South African companies and consumers are already preparing themselves for Black Friday 2019 – which has quickly become the biggest shopping day of the year.
BankservAfrica, the continent’s largest automated payments clearinghouse, said that it processed a total of 581,189 online transactions over the 2018 Black Friday weekend.
404,594 online transactions were recorded on Black Friday (up 55%) while Cyber Monday hit 176,595 transactions – up 36% from 2017 (129,458).
The most expensive single transaction for Black Friday was over R6 million, while for Cyber Monday this reached R5 million.
BusinessTech spoke to a number of retailers and experts about how best to prepare yourself for Black Friday 2019.
Not just one day
While Black Friday 2019 is scheduled to take place on 29 November, a number of retailers have already confirmed that they will be hosting sales well before the actual day.
Makro has confirmed that its Black Friday sale will take place over five days with the sale dubbed ‘Black 5 Day’.
Other stores – such as Game – have confirmed that they will be opening some stores at midnight, and other stores at 06h00.
BankservAfrica’s data shows that the majority of Black Friday 2018 shopping took place between 08h00 – 09h00, while Cyber Monday shoppers started a bit later at 10h00 – 11h00.
While Black Friday has long been associated with crowds and chaos, South African retailers say they are working on a number of plans to make this the smoothest Black Friday yet.
Makro said that it is improving its checkout process by reducing queues through the mobile pay-point system.
The retailer said that it will also continue its partnership with Uber, offering discounts on rides to and from their stores.
Massmart said that it is also making a number of changes to its logistics operations.
This will include increasing the number of staff and security at all its stores, and implementing well-supervised ‘snake-queues’ in the staging areas outside the entrances of some of our busiest stores.
Despite these improved logistics, consumers should still prepare themselves for downtime.
According to PwC for companies of all sizes, the risk of website downtime, stock shortages and a lack of capacity at call centres are real risks during Black Friday.
Retailers are challenged by short-term needs – getting customers in and out – with long-term reputational challenges of service delivery falling short.
While Black Friday is often seen as a day for traditional retail and tech purchases, a wide category of stores are expected to offer deals on the day.
Supersonic, RSAWEB and MTN have all confirmed to MyBroadband that they will be hosting deals on the day.
For Black Friday 2018 BusinessTech also covered various deals on cars, travel, lingerie, supplements and even tattoos.