Black Friday: More checkouts, less spend
Tough times force consumers to curb online spending
South Africans conducted more transactions online on Black Friday but spent less money than last year.
The fastest recorded Black Friday transaction via instant EFT payment provider i-Pay was a mere 13 seconds. At one stage, i-Pay had processed 438 concurrent transactions on the biggest online shopping day of the year.
However, despite the increased number of transactions this year, South Africans spent less money online this year than 2017.
Chief executive officer of i-Pay Thomas Pays explained that at face value, e-tailers experienced the highest volume of sales on record for Black Friday as completed transactions on the day increased by close to 700% up from last year.
“Our data shows that the average EFT transaction value decreased by 19% from last year,” he said.
Pays believes the current uncertain economic environment contributed to how much consumers were willing to spend online.
“The interest rate, the rising fuel price and the technical recession are to be blamed for the low spend,” he told Times Select.
Consumers, who turned to the internet to save a buck, bought perfume, nappies, game consoles and DStv Exploras.
“Interestingly, there seemed to be a lot of people buying DStv Exploras,” Pays said.
He said South Africans had warmed up to shopping online.
At least 35% of consumers using i-Pay were using it for the first time.
“This is evidence that people are willing to embrace digital payment solutions,” Pays said.
However, being online is no longer good enough.
While e-tailers invested heavily to ensure their sites stayed online, consumers were frustrated by traditional online payment services being unavailable.
“People could browse online stores but could not check out and pay for their orders. This resulted in consumer frustration and merchants losing out on sales.
“You must empower merchants and consumers with digital payment solutions that are secure, do not require credit cards or customer registration, and are available no matter the traffic volumes. This year has shown the importance of this and made people aware of the need to use Instant EFT systems for their online purchases,” Pays said.
The average spend per consumer using SA’s only digital credit product for online shopping‚ Mobicred‚ was R1,800.
Mobicred founder Jason Sive agreed with Pays.
“The number of transactions are definitely up, but the average rand value is down. It could be that customers are spending less or merchants are providing better deals,” he said.