Black Friday 2020 breaks ecommerce records

A couple shopping online using PayFast during Black Friday

The number of new shoppers introduced to ecommerce over lockdown has boosted Black Friday weekend total online transaction volumes by 50%, compared to 2019. This is according to data released by online payment gateway PayFast. The company processed a 283% increase in total payment volumes on Black Friday alone compared to a normal busy day such as payday. 

“This year’s Black Friday spend surpassed the volumes we’ve seen in previous years. The rapid adoption of ecommerce over the course of 2020 has meant that we’ve seen more people shopping online, especially amid fears of a COVID-19 resurgence,” says Jonathan Smit, Managing Director and Founder of PayFast.

The highest transaction for the day was R299 950 and online shoppers spent more per basket at R1 243, compared to the 2020 average basket value of R803. “Alongside big-ticket items like TVs and gaming consoles, more purchases were made online for items that are traditionally brick-and-mortar, retail store focused, like toiletries, cosmetics and essentials,” says Smit. 

True to buyer trends seen during lockdown, 66% of purchases were made using a mobile device. “Smartphone usage means you can shop literally from anywhere, any time. We’re seeing merchants and payment methods better cater towards the demand for mobile too,” says Smit.  

Over the past six months retailers have invested in their online platforms to offer better user experiences for first-time shoppers. “This Black Friday offered a more considered and improved customer experience across the board. Lockdown was a good test for many ecommerce businesses, with lessons carried into this peak period,” says Smit. 

This year, 66% of transactions were made using cards, but alternative online payment options are on the rise; “Instant EFT, QR codes and mobile wallets are becoming more popular as consumers become more comfortable shopping online,” says Smit. 

In 2019 PayFast became part of the DPO Group, spurring the growth of the largest African payment service provider. As South Africa’s leading online payment gateway, the company enables easy, secure and instant transactions helping online businesses succeed in the digital economy. PayFast offers merchants a variety of payment methods to better serve their customers including credit cards, Instant EFT, debit card, Mobicred and Scode. 

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