KZN residents were obsessed with Black Friday in November, with Umhlanga, Phoenix, Pinetown, Bluff and other areas in Durban being the top locations for the searches. Photo: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - KZN  residents were obsessed with Black Friday in November, with Umhlanga, Phoenix, Pinetown, Bluff and other areas in Durban being the top locations for the searches.

A PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) report this week said that South Africans spent the largest share of their Google time searching for ‘Black Friday’ information.

The report said that while neighbouring Lesotho and Eswatini also rose high on the list, Gauteng was the second-placed province, with Sandton, Midrand, Lethabong, Brakpan, Germiston, Akasia and Centurion in the top 15 areas where the Black Friday hype was popular. 

The Western Cape came third.

The report, titled Post-Black Friday analysis: A perspective on transaction volumes, geographic popularity, and social media sentiment, focused on Black Friday trends on Black Friday.

The day has become one of South  Africa's major shopping events. 

The PwC used data from Google Trends, a website that analyses the popularity of top search queries across various regions and languages, to understand where – in what cities and towns – ‘Black Friday’ was more prominent in internet searches.

The PwC said that Gauteng and the KwaZulu Natal east coast had many affluent areas where households had money to spend on Black Friday. 

"Umhlanga, for example, is an affluent residential, commercial and resort town north of Durban, and placed first on the Google Trends data. It is home to the Gateway Theatre of Shopping – the largest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere," said the report.

PwC  said there was yet no comprehensive data collected in South Africa about total spending volumes and values for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

However, First National Bank said last month that merchants using its facilities had processed 40 percent more transactions by  2pm on Black Friday compared to 2018.  Payments service provider DPO South Africa and automated clearing house BankservAfrica both reported a 35 percent increase in transaction volume during the eight days ending on Monday, December 2.

However, these numbers represented electronic (card and EFT) transactions only and excluded cash purchases, lay-by arrangements, and contracts signed for instalment payments including mobile phone services.

The report said, as a result, it was not possible yet to get a firm estimate of the rise in total value in rands spent over the shopping period – apart from suggesting a big increase.

"PwC’s survey of South African adults intentions to spend suggested consumers would be spending 36 percent more this year in Black Friday and Cyber Monday," said the report

It was previously reported that wholesale volumes increased quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of  2019 as retailers stocked up ahead of Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

BUSINESS REPORT