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To buy or not to buy?

Around a third of consumers chose not to participate in Black Friday this year, largely as a result of financial constraints (61%), but also because they don't believe prices are meaningfully reduced (21%).
To buy or not to buy?

These were some of the key take-outs of the Ask Afrika PowerPanel, which provided insight about consumers’ purchase intentions on Black Friday this year. At least 328 consumers participated.

The findings of the PowerPanel echo the ‘penny pinching’ mentality, which is currently prevalent in the country as a result of the economic downturn.

However, a total of 77% panel members – all Black women – said they were planning to participate in Black Friday shopping this year. Of this group, 45% are between the ages of 25-34, while a third are older than 35. Two-thirds are employed while the balance are unemployed. A total of 28% said this was the first time they had participated in Black Friday shopping.

Those planning to shop on Black Friday said they were looking out for deals across the spectrum, but predominantly in essential shopping within the clothing and grocery categories:

  • Clothing, shoes and accessories: 71%
  • Groceries: 66%
  • Electronics: 51%
  • Household appliances: 49%
  • Beauty products: 39%
  • Furniture and décor: 32%
  • Children’s toys: 23%
  • Aeroplane tickets: 10%

There is a notable shift of preferred purchasing platforms towards online and mobile shopping, possibly due to social distancing introduced by Covid-19:

  • In-store: 81%
  • Online websites: 47%
  • Mobile apps: 27%

Potential planned spend during Black Friday 2020 varied but 56% of panellists said they were planning to spend less than R3,000 compared to 47% spending that amount in 2019. Only 22% said they were planning to spend more than R5,000 in 2020, compared to 29% that spent more than R5,000 in 2019. This indicates that fewer shoppers made use of the Black Friday opportunity, whilst also spending less than last year.

Only 50% of Black Friday shoppers said they were planning a holiday trip during the festive season, and only 6% were preparing for a holiday out of the country. A total of 42% said they were staying at home because:

  • I am concerned about contracting Covid-19: 19%
  • I cannot afford it: 15%
  • I am celebrating at home: 7%
  • I do not usually go on holiday this time of year: 6%
  • I am working: 5%

Since the inception of the lockdown in South Africa the Ask Afrika Covid-19 Tracker study has interviewed a representative sample of 12,995 South Africans in order to measure the socio-economic impact of the virus, the lockdown and gradual re-opening of the economy. One of the most alarming findings of the study is that food insecurity has reached an all-time high since LL5 with almost a quarter of children going to bed hungry in Level 1.

When it comes to finances, the high levels of financial borrowing that started during lockdown Level 2 has spiraled into Lockdown Level 1. Payment holidays that were provided by financial institutions have been complimented with additional payment arrangements made by consumers.

Other strategies to ensure people survive financially include:

  • Loans against salaries and wages
  • Selling personal assets such as vehicles and jewelry
  • Small loans from informal lenders
  • Borrowing money from family and friends
  • Access savings

In addition, 31% of consumers applied for a government social relief grant, followed by 19% that applied for a Sassa grant while another 11% applied for a Ters grant.

For more information, contact Mariëtte Croukamp – 082 853 8919 az.oc.akirfaksa@pmakuorc.etteiram or Maria Petousis – 083 260 4903 – |

Join the Ask Afrika Power Panel today:

To buy or not to buy?

About Ask Afrika

Ask Afrika is a decisioneering company. We support our clients’ decisions through facts. Typically, our clients’ require information around social research and philanthropy, experience measures and consulting, and brand dynamics.

Social research decisions are required around HIV/Aids and, more recently, Covid-19. Educational and early childhood development, fair-trade shopping, media and financial research are some of the areas we love to work in. NGOs, public and private sector clients choose to work with us to get the pulse of the nation.

Besides being decisioneers in brand and customer experience research, Ask Afrika is well known for creating some of the most useful, go-to industry benchmarks, including the Ask Afrika Orange Index®, the Ask Afrika Icon Brands®, the Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands and the Target Group Index (TGI). Ask Afrika’s knowledge of brands is extensive. The Target Group Index (TGI) survey, which measures psychographics, service, products, media and brands, has been used by the majority of the top 50 advertisers and media owners in South Africa for nearly two decades.

Our clients operate across various industries, including retail, telecoms, finance, and the public sector. We offer tailor-made and ready-to-use offerings for all our clients regardless of the size of project.

In addition to being brave, agile, vibrant and experimental, we apply deep thinking to every research project. Our aim is to be great at everything we do and to make a meaningful impact.

Partner with Ask Afrika in order to confidently make game-changing business decisions that grow your business.

az.oc.akirfaksa@tcennoc |

Ask Afrika
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