In the past, Black Friday shopping sales have caused sales to rise by 16% for retailers in the space of a weekend. In South Africa in 2018, shoppers spent close to R3 billion at stores on Black Friday – spending so high that it ‘helped save’ the country’s economy after a troublesome year.
Black Friday is an opportunity for retailers to encourage visits to their brick-and-mortar shops in order to expose consumers to available products for sale. The traffic during Black Friday is also an opportunity for advertising heading into the Christmas shopping season.
Black Friday and COVID-19
However, the outbreak of the Coronavirus has changed this opportunity for retailers completely. The South African economy is predicted to suffer by up to 9.9% due to the impact of COVID-19 in 2020 (based on GDP).
Such economic consequences have already impacted fast-moving consumer goods because of lockdown regulations, changes in consumer behaviour, and supply chain disruption. These limitations are concerning for retailers over Black Friday.
The current situation presents retailers with two questions:
1) With restrictions on the number of people allowed in one physical space, how can we cater for customer demand over Black Friday?
2) With South African consumer spending down, how can we make the most of Black Friday?
The Solution: eCommerce
The solution to Black Friday sales for both consumers and retailers this year is online shopping.
The answer to question 1:
Businesses with online stores can expect an increase in sales over the Black Friday period as consumers avoid physical retail stores and shopping malls because of Covid-19. Also, almost 40% of South African consumers have switched to digital shopping alternatives since COVID-19 restrictions were implemented.
The answer to question 2:
Many cash-strapped South Africans will also be looking to capitalise on discounts and pre-Christmas deals over the period and therefore spending will be up.
Is your Business Prepared for an Online Black Friday?
This is a massive opportunity for retailers to step up and innovate. Until 2020, online spending in South Africa was at just 1.4% of total retail sales. However, now there is really no other option for shoppers during COVID-19.
Many retailers will reap the benefits of taking their stores online. This task, however, is no easy feat. Creating an e-commerce site. From managing customer expectations, to inventory management, to early marketing, to building an online store.
It is essential that retailers plan now to ensure a smooth November and Black Friday. Get expert advice and assistance with creating your e-commerce solution from professionals who strive to grow business functions and operations to create a competitive advantage and produce new revenue streams.
Reach out below to contact one of our Digital Specialists and let’s sit together to determine how to quickly get your business ready for the festive season ahead.