This is how South Africans spent their money on Black Friday

 ·28 Nov 2023

South Africans increasingly turned to shopping online this Black Friday, even if the 2023 levels highlighted the harsh economic conditions.

“In-store shopping was slightly down from last year’s levels compared to online, which delivered again as merchants upped their Black Friday promotions and attracted interest from eager consumers,” said Shergeran Naidoo, BankservAfrica’s Head of Stakeholder Engagements.

“BankservAfrica’s online card authentication service (i.e. online purchases that require customer authentication), 3D-Secure*, recorded a Black Friday total of 1.4 million transactions to the value of R1.39 billion. This represents an 11% growth on the 1.2 million transaction volumes and 29% improvement on the R1 billion registered in 2022.”

South Africans also started shopping from midnight, with 30,770 transactions in the first hour – a 4% annual increase.

Despite slowing down, online sales peaked between 10:00 and 11:00, with 93,814 transactions recorded. The last hour of Black Friday showed the largest hourly year-on-year online growth of 37%, with 34,157 transactions. 

“Another interesting development occurred between 08:00 and 09:00 with 89,362 online sales recorded – a whopping 124% up from transactions at the same time on the previous day,” said Naidoo.

Despite dropping slightly from 2022, in-store shopping levels remained relatively high as activity increased by the hour.

“The total volume of in-store card transactions amounted to 5.9 million, declining by 6% compared to the 6.3 million in 2022,” he said.

The total value of transactions declined by 21%, from R3.9 billion in 2022 to R3.1 billion in 2023.

Bargain hunters went to the shops later in the day, with the most in-store sales volumes occurring between 16:00 and 17:00, with 496,399 transactions recorded.

However, the highest number of swipes by a single cardholder did drop from last year’s tally of 827 to 644 this year.

The largest single transaction value by card was R113,000 at a luxury jewellery boutique.

As expected, consumers stocked up on well-priced goods, with the spending at supermarkets in the lead ahead of department stores.

“Overall, the financial constraints faced by consumers were clearly visible in this year’s Black Friday spending patterns. We should also be mindful that levels were higher in 2022, as this was the first year immediately after the Covid-19 pandemic,” Naidoo.

Read: Black Friday 2023 hits big in South Africa – with one customer spending R235,500 on a single item

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