Black Friday, the annual retail-shopping bonanza, falls on Friday, 25 November this year, and South Africa’s online retailers are looking to harness the growing local interest in what has become global retail’s biggest day out.
According to Kevin Tucker, founder of Africa’s largest product and financial services platform, PriceCheck, Black Friday marked the first day that US retailers broke into ‘the black’ (became profitable) and has since triggered the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
It always falls on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the US and, more recently, is followed by Cyber Monday, the day on which retailers offer big discounts on consumer technology products.
“Last year, we saw Black Friday generating mainstream buzz amongst local consumers for the first time,” says Tucker. “It presents a huge opportunity for local e-tailers to drive traffic to their sites and to harness the momentum that local e-commerce has gained in recent years.”
In 2015, Google Trends indicated that roughly four times as many people searched for Black Friday deals than in 2014. South Africa’s big name e-tailers have already been riding the Black Friday wave, with sites such as Spree and Takealot.com enjoying significant surges in web traffic and sales on the day. Traditional brick and mortar retailers such as Checkers and Dis-chem have also been capitalising on the buzz, offering major discounts across a wide range of products.
“Black Friday represents a massive opportunity for e-tailers to acquire customers at low cost,” says Tucker. “The key is to make the online shopping experience easy and accessible, so that consumers have a positive interaction with your brand on the day.”
With this in mind, PriceCheck is launching a Black Friday campaign, which will effectively aggregate all the best deals and discounts. Instead of having to search and shop around online for great deals, PriceCheck will do the hard work – and present all the best deals in one place.
“We will be offering upwards of 100 Black Friday deals during the course of the day, across a wide range of categories,” says Tucker, noting that they ran their first Black Friday campaign last year, and saw a 40% increase in traffic to the PriceCheck platform.
Tucker adds that shoppers will be able to buy certain products directly from PriceCheck’s online marketplace, although the bulk of the deals will direct consumers to the relevant e-tailer.
“In the week leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we will also be running themed discounts with our partner merchants,” says Tucker. “These themes will include a diverse range of categories – from fashion to pet food and electronics, which will provide a platform for savvy e-tailers to create excitement around the day and generate brand awareness.”
Although Black Friday has become synonymous with silly punch-ups and mass hysteria, SA’s bargain hunters can simply go to one site – from the comfort of their couches – to enjoy the best of retail’s most famous day.