Last year, the value of Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases hit R6bn in SA. It was a significant increase on the close to R3bn spent in 2018, which already outperformed sales from previous years. We learnt that, despite a sluggish economy, South Africans were still spending.

But something else learnt from years past is that you don’t have to be a retail giant to take advantage of the Black Friday buzz. Small businesses — from garden services through to law firms — can and should use this time of consumerism to punt their services too.

Had 2020 been an average year, South Africans would undoubtedly have been diarised November 27 — whether as shoppers or retailers. Covid-19, however, has thrown the proverbial spanner in the works, and Black Friday will be much changed.

From a retail perspective, the most obvious impact of the pandemic is that the usual overcrowding in stores will be a thing of the past. We won’t have to deal with the wrestle to be the first customer through the door or the fastest to lay hands on a desired item.

This year, most consumers will be spending their time online.

This is where small businesses can benefit the most, since Black Friday is an opportunity to make up for lost revenues of the past six months. Whether SMEs are selling a product or a service, they should follow the lead of retailers, knowing their prospective clients will be only a click away.

With the move online, Black Friday is starting to feel more like Cyber Monday, and perhaps the days will merge into one long-weekend extravaganza of online consumerism ... shopping products and services from the comfort of home.

There is also no reason why participation in Black Friday needs to be limited to only one or two days of the month — Makro and Game have already announced they’ll be hosting promotions throughout November. 

November will become the new black, where businesses big and small can get in on the action.

Join the Business Day SME Matters digital series, in partnership with PayFast — the ultimate online payment solution in SA — where business growth expert Pavlo Phitidis speaks with PayFast MD Jonathan Smit and a panel of business owners about capitalising on the popularity of Black Friday.

How SMEs can capitalise on Black Friday trends

Date: October 21
Time: 1pm

Learn how ordinary businesses can capitalise on Black Friday trends. Picture: PEXELS.COM/ANDREA PIACQUADIO
Learn how ordinary businesses can capitalise on Black Friday trends. Picture: PEXELS.COM/ANDREA PIACQUADIO

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