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2023-11-29 9:12 AM

Black Friday 2023: South Africans Flock Online for Deals

  • Rise of Online Shopping: Black Friday 2023 saw a significant surge in online shopping activities in South Africa, surpassing in-store visits, as consumers increasingly turned to digital platforms for deals and discounts.
  • Sales Trends and Patterns: The data indicated a substantial increase in online transactions, with midnight shopping, peak sales during specific hours, and a decline in in-store transactions compared to the previous year. Supermarkets emerged as the preferred destination for bargain hunters.
  • Economic Constraints Impacting Spending: Despite the shopping enthusiasm, the Black Friday spending patterns reflected consumers' financial constraints. There was a notable decrease in overall transaction volumes and values, signifying the impact of economic challenges on consumer spending habits.
By Miriam Matoma


In South Africa, Black Friday 2023 witnessed a surge in online shopping, reflecting a shift in consumer behavior amidst prevailing economic hardships. Despite economic constraints, the populace displayed enthusiasm for discounted deals, with a significant inclination toward digital platforms.

Shergeran Naidoo, BankservAfrica’s Head of Stakeholder Engagements, remarked, “Online shopping outpaced in-store visits, drawing attention from eager consumers. Merchants’ amplified Black Friday promotions propelled online transactions, marking a notable increase compared to last year.”

BankservAfrica’s 3D-Secure*, an online card authentication service for purchases requiring customer authentication, reported a substantial rise. Black Friday saw 1.4 million transactions amounting to R1.39 billion, an 11% surge from the previous year’s 1.2 million transactions valued at R1 billion in 2022.

Notably, South Africans commenced their shopping spree right from midnight, with a 4% year-on-year increase in transactions, totaling 30,770 in the initial hour. The zenith of online sales occurred between 10:00 and 11:00, recording 93,814 transactions. The final hour witnessed a remarkable 37% year-on-year surge, totaling 34,157 transactions.

Naidoo highlighted a significant spike in sales between 08:00 and 09:00, with a staggering 124% surge compared to the preceding day, reflecting the population’s fervor for Black Friday deals.

While in-store shopping experienced a slight decline from 2022, it remained substantial as the day progressed. The aggregate volume of in-store card transactions amounted to 5.9 million, showing a 6% decrease from 6.3 million in 2022. The total transaction value plummeted by 21%, from R3.9 billion in 2022 to R3.1 billion in 2023.

The peak in in-store sales transpired between 16:00 and 17:00, accounting for 496,399 transactions. However, the highest number of swipes by a single cardholder diminished from 827 in the previous year to 644 this year.

Intriguingly, a luxury jewellery boutique recorded the highest single transaction value of R113,000 using a card.

Amidst the shopping spree, supermarkets emerged as the primary destination for bargain hunters, followed closely by department stores. This shift indicates consumers’ focus on essential goods offered at attractive prices.

Naidoo emphasized, “This year’s Black Friday spending patterns unmistakably reflect consumers’ financial constraints. It’s crucial to note that 2022 witnessed higher levels, following the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The data illustrates a dynamic shift in consumer behavior, emphasizing the growing reliance on online platforms amid economic adversities. The evolving shopping trends reflect South Africans’ adaptability and pursuit of value amidst challenging financial circumstances.

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Miriam Matoma

Miriam is a freelance writer, she covers economics and government news for Rateweb. You can contact her on: Email: miriam@rateweb.co.za Twitter: @MatomaMiriam