Following a record-breaking Black Friday weekend in 2020, this year’s total online transaction volumes increased by a further 34% – as well as a 30% increase in total purchase values overall – highlighting a long-term shift in consumer behaviour as a result of the pandemic.
This is according to data released by online payment gateway PayFast, which also recorded a 30% increase in new buyers, compared to last year.
“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 ($10,536.45).
The average basket size was R1,208 ($74.93), slightly lower than 2020, which recorded an average of R1,243 ($77.11) per basket.
Electronics continues to be one of 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.
While card payments remain the most popular way to make purchases, alternative payment methods are also on the rise.
“QR code payments more than doubled on Black Friday 2021. This highlights the increasing number of consumers who are growing comfortable with cashless transactions – as well as how critical it is for businesses, whether they are brick-and-mortar or e-commerce-based, to accommodate any scenario of sale,” says Page.
With big online retailers like Takealot launching campaigns such as Blue Dot Countdown sale, Black Friday has become a month-long online shopping event, rather than a once-off in-store day. Despite this, e-commerce activity spiked on Black Friday. “Transactions peaked between 9 and 10 am, with many shoppers already making purchases just after midnight,” says Page.
In 2021, DPO Group, of which PayFast is a subsidiary, was acquired by Network International, a globally renowned enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa. As South Africa’s leading online payment gateway, PayFast enables frictionless, secure and instant transactions helping businesses succeed in the digital economy.
To provide merchants with an overview of the e-commerce landscape, the company has released their annual PayFast Ecommerce Performance (PEP) Index. According to the report, 50% of merchants saw an increase in online sales over the course of the year.