This was the single biggest online purchase on Black Friday 2020

The number of new shoppers introduced to e-commerce over lockdown boosted Black Friday weekend total online transaction volumes by 50% compared to 2019, data from online payment gateway PayFast shows.

The company said that it processed a 283% increase in total payment volumes on Black Friday alone compared to a normal busy day such as payday.

“This year’s Black Friday spend surpassed the volumes we’ve seen in previous years.

“The rapid adoption of e-commerce over the course of 2020 has meant that we’ve seen more people shopping online, especially amid fears of a Covid-19 resurgence,” said Jonathan Smit, managing director of PayFast.

The highest transaction for the day was R299,950 – and online shoppers spent more per basket at R1,243, compared to the 2019 average basket value of R803.

“Alongside big-ticket items like TVs and gaming consoles, more purchases were made online for items that are traditionally brick-and-mortar, retail store focused, like toiletries, cosmetics and essentials,” said Smit.

As seen with other buying trends during the coronavirus lockdown, 66% of purchases were made using a mobile device.

“Smartphone usage means you can shop literally from anywhere, any time. We’re seeing merchants and payment methods better cater towards the demand for mobile too,” said Smit.

Smit said that over the past six months, retailers have invested in their online platforms to offer better user experiences for first-time shoppers.

“This Black Friday offered a more considered and improved customer experience across the board. Lockdown was a good test for many e-commerce businesses, with lessons carried into this peak period,” he said.

This year, 66% of transactions were made using cards, but the data shows that alternative online payment options are also on the rise.

“Instant EFT, QR codes and mobile wallets are becoming more popular as consumers become more comfortable shopping online,” said Smit.

Read: What ‘snap’ lockdowns would mean for South Africa’s economy

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This was the single biggest online purchase on Black Friday 2020