How South Africans spent their money on Black Friday

Discovery Bank clients spent 10% more on Black Friday 2023 compared to last year, with the majority of spend on essentials like groceries and health products.

Following this year’s Black Friday, Discovery Bank looked at the spending trends and shopping preferences among its clients. 

“Our analysis showed Discovery Bank clients spent, on average, 10% more on Black Friday in 2023 compared with last year,” said Discovery Bank chief growth officer Akash Dowra.

“A trend we identified in our earlier SpendTrend23 report was that people are spending more money on food and essential items.” 

This was also the case on Black Friday, with the majority of spend being on essentials like groceries and health products, followed by home purchases.

Discovery Bank clients also started their Black Friday savings spree early. 

More than a third of online purchases on Black Friday were done by 09:00 in the morning.

The clients followed the global trend to shop more in stores, with 80% of Black Friday purchases made in-store in 2023 compared with 75% in 2022. 

However, the average transaction value of online purchases was double that of in-store purchases and increased by 18% in value from 2022. 

The average value for in-store purchases decreased by 5% from last year.

Discovery Bank clients also embraced paying with smartphones and wearable devices linked to digital wallets like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. 

More than a third of in-store payments were made with a smartphone or wearable device.

Discovery Bank clients spent over Ð150 million to make purchases worth over R20 million.

South African spending

The spending trends seen among Discovery Bank clients are not necessarily reflective of South Africans as a whole.

Many reports have shown that South Africans, in general, spent less this Black Friday than in 2022.

In addition, South African consumers are expected to spend R224 billion over the festive season, marginally less than last year, as the rising cost of living continues to eat into people’s spending. 

This is according to short-term lender Wonga, who conducted a survey detailing the expected spending habits of South Africans over the festive season. 

Wonga expects the spending patterns seen over Black Friday to be replicated over the festive season, with South Africans spending less than last year. 

The head of marketing at Wonga, James Williams, told Newzroom Afrika that they expect spending to be around 4% less than last year at R5,700 per person compared to R6,000 in 2022. 

“This is a reflection of South Africans having to tighten their belts due to the rising cost of living driven by inflation,” Williams said.


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