Black Friday buys are taking a turn
CASH-STRAPPED: 30% RESTOCK HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES
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.
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.”
BEWARE THE HYPE. Retailers work hard to entice consumers with red-tag offers from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (November 29 to December 2).