Ina Opperman
Business Journalist
2 minute read
28 Nov 2020
6:40 am

Black Friday moves online in the ‘new normal’

Ina Opperman

On Black Friday 2020 there were no fist fights about toilet paper and most websites, where consumers now do their shopping after getting used to it during lockdown, did not crash this year. While some consumers declared on social media that the specials were not up to scratch, the stacked trolleys at some stores told a different story.

Picture: iStock

Although e-tailer OneDayOnly said it spruced up its website to prepare for the Black Friday influx of consumers, the website displayed an error message when eager consumers opened it this morning.

Spokesperson, Matthew Leighton, said staff is aware that the website has been in flux, “due to an overwhelming demand from our customers. However, we can report that it has not been constantly down, with many of our customers recording successful Black Friday purchases.”

ALSO READ: Black Friday was suitably subdued

Leighton apologized for the inconvenience and emphasized that the development team is actively working on the issue to ensure that it will be 100% operational in the coming hours.

He said the company was extremely happy with the performance of its recently launched OneDayOnly app, which remained stable despite significant sales traffic and accommodated customer purchases successfully. Leighton encouraged consumers to use the app to continue with their Black Friday deals.

More consumers spend their Black Friday buying online. A recent MasterCard survey showed that 68% of South African consumers have become online shoppers since the start of pandemic, spending their money on data and airtime top-up (81%), clothing (56%) and groceries (54%).

This meant that local consumers, who were initially quite wary to buy things online, all had to learn new online skills, such as online banking and shopping. While social media became an integral platform for connecting consumers to online businesses, a secure checkout experience was rated as fundamental for online shopping.

Social media has created a virtual opportunity for consumers to browse and find the most attractive products and offers, with 64% of respondents saying that they found new sellers on Facebook and 41% saying they discovered new sellers on Instagram.

The survey also showed how important price is for South African shoppers, with 78% saying price helps them to decide what to buy and 75% of typical in-store bargain hunters spend hours searching different sites to find the best deals. Nearly half (49%) of self-confessed window shoppers say they regularly create wish lists.

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