Payfast has recorded a record-high Black Friday payment, with one South African spending R627,000 in a single transaction.
However, according to the payment platform, the average basket size decreased from R1,689 per basket to R1,364.
Retailers for general merchandise of convenience food stores, family clothing stores and discount stores were on top, with South Africans topping up on essentials and treats after a tough financial year. This was slightly ahead of men’s and women’s clothing.
“Experienced Black Friday enthusiasts now approach the day with a meticulously crafted strategy, pre-selecting desired products and leveraging price reductions weeks before the retail event kicks off,” Payfast Managing Director Brendon Williamson said.
“With access to platforms that monitor item products over time, shoppers can gain valuable insights into price fluctuations throughout the year and gauge whether their wish-listed products really are at a good price. It’s no longer just about shopping – it’s a strategic approach.”
Payfast added that there was an uptake in QR code payments, with the volume of payments made using Zapper increasing by 63% compared to 2022, whilst Scan to Pay payments also increased by 44%. Payfast said that this highlights the trend towards quicker and more convenient payments.
“As the cost-of-living climbs, and inflation remains high, the choices around when and where to spend money have gained greater significance – particularly when considering significant purchases like appliances or electronics,” said Williamson.
Although many retailers, such as Superbalist, are running Black Friday-related deals over all of November, e-commerce spiked on the day due to retailers saving their best prices of the month for last.
Payfast said that there was a peak in transactions between 9 am and 10 am, whilst some shoppers waited till midnight to get their products.
“Black Friday has shifted predominantly towards online shopping, with numerous retailers offering exclusive online discounts. This transition offers consumers a more deliberate and curated shopping experience,” said Williamson.
“Yet, as Black Friday becomes more commonplace, we might see merchants extending their sales period through to the festive season. This aims to attract a broader range of buyers and manage the surplus stock from Black Friday.”