South Africans are waking up to the first Black Friday falling outside of lockdown restrictions in two years.
Merchants have gone to publish with their deals and shoppers are already planning their purchases around their budgets.
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Banks are anticipating point of sales stats to increase today by around 200% and over.
Managing Executive for Consumer Product in Absa Everyday Banking, Christine Wu, said: “Following a record 200% increase in e-commerce levels in 2020, and a 231% increase in debit and credit contactless card volumes in 2021, Absa is bracing itself for another intense Black November. Last year, approximately 2.1 million Absa cardholders spent a whopping R1.3 billion on Black Friday marking a 10.71% increase in spend on the day since 2020.”
Gadgets, power-back up equipment and toilet paper
Customers across the country are already showing interest on social media platforms on spending their money on technological gadgets, such as cellphones and TVs, as well as back-up power equipment such as generators and UPS to mitigate the country’s rolling blackouts. Not unlike the trend during the start of the pandemic where shoppers went into frenzy stocking up on toilet paper, this year’s Black Friday specials on the same item seems to also be a hit. So far, Checkers and Spar seem to have the best deals.
Meanwhile, FNB reckons that a return to popular categories like travel and entertainment this Black Friday is inevitable as customers look to spend time with their families without any restrictions. “In previous years, we saw spend on digital and technology, groceries and home improvement products lead in popularity due to the changing climate imposed by the pandemic,” said Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB Card.
Be wary of fraudsters
South Africans are being warned though that fraudsters will be in overdrive trying to scam unsuspecting consumers. Banks have warned that fraudsters will use Black Friday as an opportunity to dupe customers into believing that they are engaging with legitimate organisations with the sole purpose of committing fraud for personal gain.
“Black Friday will present rogue websites or platforms where ‘once in a lifetime’ specials are presented. Always validate the credibility of the website or email offers. Consider the products offered and identify comparative prices for similar goods or services. Assess if the company/party presenting the offer is credible and attempt to validate the company. Search for reviews and possible complaints linked to the party offering the special. Consult legitimate parties offering similar products to sense check the offers. Lastly, use the ‘Account Verification Service’ to validate the account holder against the party offering the goods or services,” Absa advised.
And the final rule of thumb for Black Friday in the face of a sluggish economy: If you don’t really need it, don’t buy it; and if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.