Ina Opperman
Business Journalist
3 minute read
29 Nov 2021
6:34 pm

Black Friday: consumers spent more money, bought online and spent a lot on electronics

Ina Opperman

At Standard Bank, the highest number of transactions by a single individual on Black Friday were 79, with the most expensive transaction R450,010.00.

Image: iStock

On Black Friday, consumers spent more money, bought online and spent a lot on electronics, showing that they are ready for a new way of shopping and paying. People bought more than in 2020, showing that their finances are recovering from the hardship of the past 18 months. They did not expect the news of another Covid variant that can affect the economy.

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According to FNB, Black Friday spending increased compared to 2020 by 19%, with transactions to the value of more than R2 billion processed on FNB Speedpoints and FNB card holders buying goods for more than R2.5 billion on Black Friday, an increase of 15% compared to last year.

“Our statistics also show heightened shopping activity beyond Black Friday, with transactions for the month of November up 25% compared to the same month in 2020. It is exciting to see consumers and businesses actively participating in economic activity despite the challenges posed by the pandemic,” says Jacques Celliers, CEO of FNB.

CEO of FNB merchant services, Thokozani Dlamini, says, it is encouraging to see many of its merchants embracing new ways of shopping and accepting payments.

“During this year’s Black Friday, we recorded a peak of 490 transactions per second, an improvement compared to 2020 and on par with volumes processed in 2019.”

His sentiments were echoed by Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB card division, who says the recovery in spending is a sign that households are gradually finding their feet in what has been a difficult 18 months due to Covid-19 and the lockdown.

More contactless payments

Standard Bank saw Black Friday contactless payments increase by 100% compared to 2020.

“It is great to see that our customers have embraced innovation and have adopted contactless payments to transact seamlessly,” says Nelisa Zulu, head of card and payments at Standard Bank.

Total Standard Bank card transactions for Black Friday 2021 increased by 17% compared to the same time last year, while the average value of transactions increased by 13% and transaction volumes of up to 460 transactions per second were recorded.

Black Friday also saw a 61% increase in virtual card transactions at Standard Bank, an increase of 28% compared to last year.

ALSO READ: Black Friday shows SA’s money battle

Increase in online buying on Black Friday

Online payment gateway PayFast recorded 34% more online transaction volumes than on Black Friday last year, with a 30% increase in total purchase values overall, as well as a 30% increase in new buyers.

“Over the past two years, consumers have become accustomed to the convenience offered by online shopping, especially when it comes to digital bargain-hunting and contactless payment options. For Black Friday, this translates to a bigger focus on the customer journey, from browsing and checkout, all the way through to delivery,” says Jonathan Page, head of technology at PayFast.

According to PayFast’s BFCM tracker, a live payment data dashboard that monitors transactions made with PayFast on Black Friday, the largest transaction value for the day was R169,855. The average basket size was R1,208, slightly lower than the average of R1,234 in 2020.

Electronics were still the focus points for Black Friday shoppers, with a 120% increase in total purchase value, indicating shoppers’ willingness to spend more on big ticket items like TVs, appliances, and consoles.

Page says while card payments remain the most popular way to pay, alternative payment methods are also increasing. “QR code payments more than doubled. Despite shops offering special prices over the whole month, ecommerce activity spiked on Black Friday between 9 and 10am, with many shoppers already shopping just after midnight.