Loot partnered with SCode to make e-commerce more inclusive. Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA
Loot partnered with SCode to make e-commerce more inclusive. Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA
loot.co.za chief executive , Gary Hadfield.
loot.co.za chief executive , Gary Hadfield.
JOHANNESBURG - South African e-commerce company Loot.co.za said its Black Friday revenue increased 149percent year-on-year, while visits to its website surged 123percent.

Gary Hadfield, the chief executive of Loot, said yesterday the top sellers were televisions, notebooks, external hard drives and gaming consoles.

“The high levels of in-stock items and increased warehouse capacity in Cape Town ensured that we were able to despatch more than 60percent of Black Friday orders by November 29.

“The extensive pre-planning with FedEx allowed us to inject more than six four-ton trucks of orders into their system by 5.30pm on Black Friday,” Hadfield said.

Loot was launched in 2002 with a focus on books. The focus shifted to building a strong value chain and, since 2011, transforming the business into a leading e-commerce retailer.

loot.co.za chief executive , Gary Hadfield.

Loot this year opened a warehouse in Midrand close to a Fedex hub and in October moved into a larger warehouse in Airport Industria in Cape Town, also near a Fedex hub.

Delivery is free for orders valued at R250 or more. The company said it had exceeded the number of unique visitors on the days leading up to Black Friday and user sessions achieved last year. The group also said it had exceeded total 2016 revenues by 10am on Black Friday.

The performance of Loot this Black Friday mirrors that of its international peers. According to Adobe, a record $5.03billion (R68.68bn) was spent online this Black Friday, up 16.9percent from $4.3bn in 2016. The firm also said mobile devices drove 54.3percent of visits and 36.9percent of revenue on Black Friday.

Monetate, an American firm that provides e-commerce solutions for online retailers, has said the largest spenders on Black Friday were Canadians, at an average order value of $157.56, followed by shoppers in the US, at $142.86, and those in the UK, at $136.65.

Loot has previously highlighted its capital-efficiency position and sound market understanding by its top executives as one of the company’s key growth elements.

The group has partnered with SCode to make e-commerce more inclusive and to tap into the unbanked segment of the population in order to fulfil its targets.

The SCode cash-payment option solution allows Loot shoppers to check out and pay for their orders with cash and credit/debit card at places such as Shoprite and Checkers money kiosks, as well as post offices.

Hadfield said there were no major issues with South Africa’s payment infrastructure during Black Friday this year. “The most popular payment options on Loot were iPay, credit card, SCode, Zapper and Discovery Miles.”

Christoph Nieuwoudt, the chief executive of FNB Consumer, said there was appetite for more e-commerce among South African consumers.

“While e-commerce is still in its infancy in South Africa compared to global standards, the consumer and retail sectors are warming to the use of technology,” Nieuwoudt said.

- BUSINESS REPORT