Black Friday morphing into 'Black November'

It seems promotions for Black Friday sales are starting earlier and lasting longer, "morphing into 'Black November'", according to PwC.

"Retail planning and imports are shifting earlier to accommodate both Black Friday and December shopping," it said in a statement ahead of Black Friday (November 23).

The trend for a longer promotional period than just on the day itself, is reflected in increased online interest in Black Friday.

According to PwC's strategy and behavioural economists, rational decision-making abilities are at their weakest on Black Friday, as marketers can easily leverage consumers' cognitive make-up to get them to spend more.

BankservAfrica recorded R2.5bn worth of transactions on Black Friday in 2017. The 4.7 million card transactions that it cleared on the Friday were double the daily average.  

"Household budgets are being pressured by the recession, record-high fuel prices and a recent rise in inflation and value-added tax," says PwC.

Karl Westvig, CEO of SME funder Retail Capital, agrees that Black Friday has grown more into a month-long "consumer spending frenzy".

"Even though it is tempting to relegate Black Friday as just another marketing gimmick, the reality is that it signifies the start of a month-long consumer spending frenzy that significantly boosts retail revenues," he comments.

His research shows that local consumers have embraced the concept and want to get the most value for their money.

"It also indicates that the period following Black Friday and Cyber Monday are vital for retailers to capitalise on the momentum these days bring,” says Westvig.

"What begins on the Friday grows strongly into Monday with more than 56% of purchases coming from online sales. Local businesses must, therefore, ensure that the specials they offer are significant or they risk losing out to more aggressive competitors."

According to Takealot.com, last year saw TVs, kitchen appliances, phones, wearable tech, fragrances and books fly off the proverbial shelves.

"With 10 000 deals and savings of up to 60% off, we expect to see similar results as well as an uptake in everyday essentials like nappies and dog food – it truly is a sale for anyone and everyone," Takealot.com told Fin24.

"We continue to see an increased adoption of mobile devices as a platform for shopping. Our fastest growing channels are mobile – mobi-site and app, with desktop still remaining strong."

Although 2018 has been a tough year for South Africans financially, Takealot.com does not believe Black Friday will slow down as a result.

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