Black Friday 2020: Shoppers want half-price sales, basics & gifts for family

Family-orientated purchases such as electronics, data, food and airtime deals for the festive season are among the items shoppers are eyeing ahead of the 2020 Black Friday sales.

South African shopping habits might change on Black Friday because of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. File photo.

Compared to 11 other countries, SA will be home to the highest percentage of sales day shoppers this year, beating out countries like France (66%), Ireland (60%) and the US (57%), according to research from financial comparison site

Their survey of 1,524 adults in SA reveals 70% of South Africans are planning to shop the festive sales this year — if the price is right.

Those planning to shop say it will take an average discount of 52% to entice them to make a purchase.

Men are more likely than women to shop the sales, with 73% of men and 68% of women planning to shop.

Across age groups, 25 to 34-year-olds are most likely to hit the sales, with 76% planning to shop, followed by 18 to 24-year-olds and 35 to 44-year-olds (74% each).

The report also found SA ranks 27th for search volume for the term “Black Friday”, along with countries like Austria and Hungary.

Analysis reveals South Africans are likely to search for deals from Takealot, Makro, Checkers, and Hi Fi Corp. Other popular brands include Vodacom, Telkom, and Kulula.

According to the online payment solutions company DPO Group [PayGate, PayFast and SiD Secure EFT], this year the total Black Friday spend will be down across the board, but e-commerce sales will match 2019 numbers.

The bleak economy, dented disposable income and a very uncertain future will take its toll on transactional growth this year.

Peter Harvey, MD of DPO South Africa

“The bleak economy, dented disposable income and a very uncertain future will take its toll on transactional growth this year when compared to the record years that have gone before. The lack of disposable income will be countered by the newfound comfort in online shopping, with lockdown driving first-time digital shopping experiences,” said Peter Harvey, MD of DPO South Africa.

In 2019 PayGate numbers showed Black Friday trading volumes spiking by 400%, compared to an average trading day. Overall there was a 35% year-on-year transactional volume growth for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping week, Harvey added.

Retailers are offering their specials over longer periods and ramping up their online portals, to accommodate Covid protocols.

And lower ticket items may be more popular than spoils, due to straightened finances this year.

Jonah Naidoo, co-owner of the e-commerce platform Dry Dock Liquor, said there was a marked decrease in disposable income compared to last year, even for those who have not lost their jobs.

He said there will likely be an impact on the type of items that are going to be purchased this time around. “With the lockdown ushering in a focus on experiences, they may stock up on wine as opposed to going for big-ticket items this year,” he said.

“The pandemic has also impacted on how many people choose to spend their time. There has been a spike in hiking and other outdoor activities, spending quality time with loved ones with a focus on entertaining, so food and alcohol purchases might be preferable to spending money on a pair of shoes.”

Naidoo envisages people, due to being cash-strapped, spending less on themselves and more on gifts.

“Rather than spoiling themselves, they may be taking advantage of Black Friday specials to purchase gifts, to lock in savings rather than buying presents later on, at a higher price,” he added.

John Bradshaw, retail executive: marketing at Pick n Pay, said they expect customers to use the opportunity to stock up their pantries or fill freezers. “Long-life milk, coffee, chicken, and toilet paper are always firm favourites,” he said.

He was hopeful of festive season gifting too.

“Customers love Black Friday special deals to stock up on basic food or pantry items, but bigger items or luxury purchases — such as appliances and tech products — are also very popular,” Bradshaw said.

He said their online sale strategy will alleviate the pressure. “Extensive planning with our suppliers will ensure that all stores are well stocked for the new two-week Black Friday.”

Ask yourself if it’s something you would have bought if the sale price was the normal retail price, or whether you’re getting swept away by discounts.

James Martin,

Andrew Stein, vice-president of the Game retail chain, said they are holding a month-long Black Friday promotion to allow customers to shop safely in store or online.

“One in every three TVs and one in every three large appliances purchased in SA are purchased at Game, so we expect shoppers to be looking for appliances and TVs. However, we find that household goods are in demand as well — one of last year’s best-selling items was a laundry basket, for example,” Stein said. senior writer and money expert James Martin said shoppers can pick up some great discounts. “If you have your eye on a certain product you should consider waiting to see if it’s discounted during the sales season. Even if you are in a rush, it’s still worth comparing your options — we’re already seeing heavy discounts ahead of Black Friday.”

However, Martin also warned consumers about impulse purchases and overspending this sales season.

“With 70% of South Africans admitting they could be swayed to make a purchase provided it’s discounted, the data suggest many South Africans could fall into the trap of making an impulse purchase.

“While shopping the sales can save you money, the rush to get a bargain can actually mean you spend more than you would have otherwise. Ask yourself if it’s something you would have bought if the sale price was the normal retail price, or whether you’re getting swept away by discounts.”

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Kgaugelo Masweneng

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