Black Friday – The Frenzy Unfolds

Black Friday article image

This year South African consumers embraced the US tradition of Black Friday; a day of frenzied shopping to mark the start of the festive season. Many South African merchants were quick to adopt special deals and discounts to entice consumers to spend. Of particular interest this year was the significant increase in online sales in South Africa compared to previous years.

At PayFast, the day closed after having processed a whopping 300% volume compared to a normal busy day. This sure sounds impressive, but wait till you see the graphical representation below! Over a 6 day period, the graph represents the massive amounts of volume experienced on the 25th. Just by looking at it, you can almost feel the extreme excitement that Black Friday created. What’s more, Cyber Monday (although less focused on) still showed a processing of 200% of our normal volumes, which would’ve sounded huge had we not just told you about the Black Friday results ;-).

Volume Graph

To further exaggerate our point on all the craziness. According to our numbers, there was an increase in the number of buyers who got involved on Black Friday with 260% of buyers shopping in 2016 compared to 2015. Delving a little deeper, there was a 290% difference in the number of new online buyers this year compared to last. So more and more savvy South Africans are turning to online shopping. With the convenience of having access to deals online, the crowds and mass shopping hysteria could be avoided.

Looking for a little more? Well next to the 300% of processed volume, the total transaction value broke all limits, reaching north of 350%. We can deduce one key point from this, people were throwing their cares to the wind and spending a lot more. Our MD Jonathan Smit stated on the day that:

“There is definitely increased volume and people are also spending more than they normally would.”

The graph below shows the massive amount of transaction value on the 25th in comparison to other normal busy days. It’s obvious a lot of South Africans are going to have a very good festive season.

Value Graph2

Our merchants did an excellent job of promoting Black Friday specials to their customers with almost twice the number of merchants taking advantage of the Black Friday hype this year compared to last year.

On the big day, online shoppers wasted no time to get their purchases done and dusted. Increasing activity started at 6:00am and just kept on up until about 10:00am. The term ‘early bird catches the worm’ seems quite appropriate as online shoppers weren’t about to miss out on all Black Friday had to offer. After 10:00am activity slowly started to decrease, but only really settled down at about 9:00pm. It seemed to be a ‘shop ‘til you drop’ kind of a day!

This amount of activity doesn’t come without hard work and PayFast was all hands on deck on the 25th. Check out the database graph below which aptly depicts the flurry of shoppers.

database graph

The graph shows an astonishing spike in database activity reaching the tipping point at around 10:00 am. As impressive as this may be, our servers didn’t even reach 40% capacity, so it was smooth sailing all the way.

So overall, Black Friday 2016 meant More merchants, More deals, More buyers, More spend, More volume, More first timers. That’s a lot of MORE!

So, now that we have you thinking and excited, what are your plans for Black Friday 2017?