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A shopper leaves a store in Canal Walk, Cape Town, during last year's quiet, pandemic-hit Black Friday. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
A shopper leaves a store in Canal Walk, Cape Town, during last year's quiet, pandemic-hit Black Friday. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Black Friday transaction data is the focus of this edition of the Business Day Spotlight.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Karen Nadasen, CEO of fintech company PayU SA and chair of the Ecommerce Forum of SA. 

The session begins with a look at transaction data from BankservAfrica, the largest automated clearing house in the region, which facilitates payments between SA’s banks.

Join the discussion: 

According to BankservAfrica’s overall Card Point-of-Sale transactional data, total Black Friday 2021 sales volumes improved by 10% on the previous year. The total value of transactions was R3.3bn, representing growth of 17% from the R2.9bn for Black Friday 2020.

The company notes that the busiest times this year were between 11am and 5pm.

PayU, which specialises in payments for e-commerce platforms, saw similar trends, though Nadasen notes a decline in the amount spent.

Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

She says the number of people shopping online and the number of transactions were up 30% from last year, however the amount spent was 6% lower. In essence, “more people shopping online but with less money”.

As a result, the Prosus-backed payments company experienced a 20% contraction in basket size.

Nadasen notes that in previous years there was a flurry of transactions at the stroke of midnight, as consumers try to get ahead of the competition to clinch the limited offers, but that trend has been on the decline over the last two years. This year, much of the activity began between 4am and 6am, with peak traffic from 9am onwards. Activity then slowed down from 8pm.

Fashion was up 19%, together with electronics. Health and beauty was down a third, likely due to consumers having less money for luxury spending. There was an increase in the delivery sector with companies like UberEats having sales on the day. 

Topics of discussion include: transaction data for Black Friday from payments providers; pressure on consumer pockets; the growth of e-commerce in SA; efforts by retailers to drives sales; transaction data from Cyber Monday; and an outlook for the e-commerce sector.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a TimesLIVE Podcasts production.


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