Black Friday buys are tak­ing a turn

CASH-STRAPPED: 30% RE­STOCK HOUSE­HOLD SUP­PLIES

The Citizen (KZN) - - Business - Melitta Nga­lonkulu Money­web

It’s no longer about im­pul­sive buy­ing but stretch­ing money dur­ing these dire times.

De­pressed econ­omy or not, South Africans can­not re­sist a great dis­count. This is why we love the global shop­ping phe­nom­e­non known as Black Friday.

Pi­codi re­tail mar­ket an­a­lyst Katarzyna Kobyłka says even though lux­ury items are still in favour, the day is no longer about im­pul­sive buy­ing but about stretch­ing one’s money dur­ing these dire eco­nomic times.

“The most ap­pre­ci­ated types of bar­gains among South African shop­pers are ‘three for the price of two’, which may prove that con­sumers fo­cus on bulk shop­ping and start to think of Black Friday as the op­por­tu­nity to re­stock house­hold sup­plies,” Kobyłka says.

A sur­vey con­ducted last month by UK-based Opinium Re­search in­volv­ing 1 000 South Africans sug­gests that 30% pri­ori­tise the pur­chas­ing of food and drinks dur­ing Black Friday be­cause they are cash-strapped.

The re­port says the need to save on food costs has re­sulted in South Africans re­duc­ing the trips they make to shops.

Where will most of the shop­ping hap­pen?

It also says that in the days prior to Black Friday a lot of con­sumers use on­line com­par­i­son tools to get an idea of where to spend their money.

On the day, how­ever, 50.4% of shop­pers are ex­pected to make their pur­chases in brick-and­mor­tar stores – de­spite on­line re­tail­ers of­fer­ing some of the best deals dur­ing Black Friday last year.

The re­main­der is split be­tween on­line re­tail­ing at 43.4% and by util­is­ing vir­tual as­sis­tants like Ap­ple’s Siri and Google’s As­sis­tant (5.7%).

In South Africa, on­line re­tail ac­counts for just 1.4% of South Africa’s over­all re­tail ex­pen­di­ture and is ex­pected to reach the 2% mark only in 2022. How­ever, Opinium Re­search says this low num­ber ob­fus­cates the vol­ume of con­sumers who spend time vis­it­ing on­line stores.

Kobyłka says 58% of trans­ac­tions are made from mo­bile phones, 38% from desk­top com­put­ers and 4% from tablets.

The money

On av­er­age a shop­per is ex­pected to spend R3 812 on Black Friday, 36% up from the R2 803 spent last year. Com­par­i­son web­site PriceCheck CEO Chloe Go­jon-Löt­ter says air con­di­tion­ers, large ap­pli­ances and video game con­soles were pop­u­lar pur­chases last year and she ex­pects the same trend this year.

She adds that in the past three years PriceCheck’s traf­fic has reg­is­tered about two mil­lion peo­ple on Black Friday.

When con­sumers pur­chase on­line, most of the pay­ment trans­ac­tions will be dig­i­tal.

FNB says it ex­pects a 15% in­crease in trans­ac­tion vol­umes in the four-day pe­riod from Black Friday to Cy­ber Mon­day this year (Novem­ber 29 to De­cem­ber 2) – up from R23.9 mil­lion last year.

‘Be care­ful of re­tail­ers’

How­ever, Carla Ober­holzer of DebtSafe warns shopa­holics that the “mind­less-swip­ing cul­ture” of the week­end may leave them in­debted.

“Spend­ing be­yond your means can have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences, and ul­ti­mately lead to se­vere debt.”

She points out that re­tail­ers work hard to en­tice con­sumers with the red tag “mar­ket­ing gim­mick” dur­ing this week­end. “If you don’t need to buy an item at full price, you don’t need to buy it on a sale,” says Ober­holzer.

“Be care­ful of those sale signs,” she warns. “Some­times a sale ‘price’ is not re­ally a dis­count.”

Pic­ture: Sup­plied

BE­WARE THE HYPE. Re­tail­ers work hard to en­tice con­sumers with red-tag of­fers from Black Friday to Cy­ber Mon­day (Novem­ber 29 to De­cem­ber 2).

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