A survey by PwC's Strategy& consulting division reveals that South African consumers are planning to spend 36% more this year than in 2018 during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Consumers plan to spend an average of R3,812 during the sales, and 85% of them intend to buy something or would consider it if there is a good enough deal.
The survey, which focused on consumer spending over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period, was conducted in six territories: France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, UK and South Africa. The research was coordinated by Dublin-based PwC Research. UK-based strategic insight agency, Opinium Research conducted the survey amongst 1,000 South African adults between 26 September and 4 October 2019.
According to the research findings, six out of ten consumers who are planning to spend the same or more than last year are trying to take advantage of savings on offer, while 43% of these shoppers are hoping that more retailers will have deals this year. Intentions to save on Christmas spending by bringing forward this expenditure into November is another important motivator.
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This report looks at Black Friday/Cyber Monday from several perspectives:
• Consumers plan on spending 36% more this year vs 2018;
• Durable goods the most popular product categories;
• Online purchases gaining strongly on in-store buying;
• Customer experience is everything – retailers need to get it right;
• Finding information on discounts and deals.
Why Black Friday is significant
For the first time, PwC South Africa is part of a growing Black Friday/Cyber Monday consumer survey run by the PwC global network over the past four years.
This shopping event is important for several reasons:
• On Black Friday 2018, South African retail sales increased by 1,952% compared to an ordinary shopping day. (For comparison purposes, the global average is an increase of 663% in sales.) Compared to an ordinary Friday, Black Friday sales increased by 2,571% in South Africa in 2018 – ranking the country in the top five globally.
• South Africans are the second-most price sensitive society in the world, with three out of four consumers knowing the prices of goods that they regularly buy.
• Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2019 sales will receive a boost from being held very near the end of the calendar month. Black Friday is scheduled for the 29th which this is after the private sector payday, traditionally falling on the 25th.
Popular shopping categories
Durable goods the most popular product categories. Despite consumers indicating that it is a not a good time to purchase durable goods, the most popular product categories during Black Friday/Cyber Monday will be durables like electrical equipment, technology goods, homewares, clothing, shoes and accessories.
Food and drink are also becoming increasingly important purchases on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, as this is the main place that households are trying to save money. Some 30% of shoppers placed the food and drink category in their top three.
Online versus in-store
Online purchases are gaining strongly on in-store buying. South Africa shoppers plan to make 50.4% of their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores compared to online retailing (43.4%) and utilising virtual assistants (5.7%).
On average, youth shoppers (aged 18-34) intend to make 51.5% of their purchases through online channels and voice recognition services, while those shoppers in the age bracket 35-54 intend to make 51.9% of their purchases through the same avenues. In contrast, consumers older than 55 will spend only 35% of their shopping efforts online or via voice recognition services.
Step up CX
Customer experience is everything – retailers need to get it right. Retailers need to step up in the way they service their customers during this shopping bonanza.
PwC’s synthesis of Opinium Research data on customer experience yielded four key customer experience priorities, namely: addressing crowds, physical and virtual queuing; offering great deals and big discounts; providing safety and security; as well as avoiding stock shortages.
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Finding information on discounts and deals
Social media will be the (joint) top source of deals information this year. Forty-eight perecent of male and 52% of female shoppers intend to research their purchases through this avenue. It is notable that South Africans spend two hours and 48 minutes on social media per day.
Some 50% of Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers will also look at television advertising, followed closely in third place (48% of shoppers) by searching on general (non-retail) websites. Deals and clearance websites are the third most popular source of information, while lower down the popularity list, 40% of shoppers will source information from newspapers, magazines and leaflets.