With the usual frenzy expected on Black Friday later in the month, experts are cautioning against South Africans getting into debt. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency. ( ANA ).
JOHANNESBURG - FNB Merchant Services chief executive Thokozani Dlamini has predicted bumper Black Friday transactions based on the growth in sales volumes recorded over the last three years.

Black Friday falls on November 29, while Cyber Monday falls on December 2. The days have changed the way South Africans shop ahead of Christmas.

“This year we anticipate a 15 percent increase in the total number of transactions between November 29 and December 2,” said Dlamini.

Dlamini said that over the past three years, FNB had seen a substantial increase in transaction volumes for the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

According to BankServAfrica, Africa’s leading automated clearing house, South Africa's card transactions reached R3billion on Black Friday 2018, up 16percent from 2017.

"The total number of transactions processed through our payment system over the course of the Black Friday weekend were 10million on Friday, 8million on Saturday, 5.9million on Sunday and 6million on Cyber Monday,” Dlamini said.

Black Friday is a huge discount-driven shopping day held annually the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday. In 2018, Google reported that South Africa topped the list of the most online searches for Black Friday globally - more than any other country.

Dlamini said that historically, both card present (CP) and Card Not Present (CNP) transactions, which included online and app purchases, increased during this period.

“While we still expect that CP transactions will reflect the majority of consumer spend, online and app purchases have shown strong growth in recent years in line with the increase and adoption of e-retailing in South Africa and globally,” said Dlamini.

Dlamini said that over the last two Black Fridays, CNP grew 26percent year-on-year, while CP grew by 14percent year-on-year.

“Merchants like Takealot continue to be one of the top 10 merchants for FNB customers to spend on Black Friday, accompanied by the eBucks shop which offers consumers significant discounts,” said Dlamini.

“As a proactive strategy to maximise sales from shoppers seeking to take advantage of Black Friday deals, we have noted that some retailers are now spreading specials over two or three days prior to Black Friday in order to manage the volumes,” Dlamini said.

South African retailers have come to rely on Black Friday to drive sales.

Last week The Foschini Group said that the second half of the group's financial year was heavily dependent on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas trade to determine its performance for the full year.

Payflex commercial director Derek Cikes cautioned customers against incurring debt on Black Friday, saying they must be realistic and know what they can afford.

“Decide on the maximum you’re going to spend and allocate spend for must-have items and then a small amount to use freely to treat yourself to something special,” said Cikes.

According to the 2019 Black Friday Global Analysis, 66percent of South Africans will participate in Black Friday this year and the average South African will spend R1654 on Black Friday while 16percent of consumers would do their shopping online.

BUSINESS REPORT