Loot said its Black Friday revenue increased 149% year-on-year. Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA
The performance of retailers on Black Friday is gaining traction. South African e-commerce company Loot.co.za said its Black Friday revenue increased 149% year-on-year and visits to its site surged 123%, while retailer TFG doubled its sales.

Christoph Nieuwoudt, chief executive of FNB Consumer, said there was appetite for more e-commerce among 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 to deliver and acquire goods and services.”

Nieuwoudt said Black Friday was a trend that was definitely gaining momentum across consumers and retailers.

Gary Hadfield, chief executive of Loot, said yesterday that 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 dispatch over 60% of Black Friday orders by November 29.

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

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 said it had already 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 (R67.9bn) was spent online this Black Friday, up 16.9% from $4.3bn in 2016.

The firm also said mobile devices drove 54.3% of visits and 36.9% of revenue on Black Friday.

Meanwhile, TFG’s turnover soared to R432million on Black Friday, double last year and more than 50% higher than planned, chief information officer Brent Curry said yesterday.

“Black Friday was big for South Africa this year. We doubled sales to R432m, and this was 60% above our target,” said Curry.

He added that contrary to media reports, the TFG website did not crash on Black Friday. “We experienced an early morning slowdown. After the Takealot site crashed, Takealot customers migrated to our sites, resulting in erratic performance in the early morning.”

In addition to the crash of the Takealot website, banks experienced technical glitches.

Nedbank’s payment system had a temporary crash, resulting in transactions being declined between 8am and 10am on Black Friday.

“Black Friday is just a blip on our calendar, and the next couple of weeks are critical, and we are ready for the Christmas period,” said Curry.

Cape Argus