Are we poor, or was there more responsible spending this Black Friday?

There’s usually something at the cause of a shift in pattern, and looking past Black Friday’s whirlwind, there was a definite shift in consumer spending.

Is this a good or bad thing?

Nedbank points to a small number of significant trends in consumer spending behaviour during the Black Friday period and notes the definite shift which could mean the necessary evolution in spending on the retail landscape.

The term poor indicates a lack of sufficient money to live at a certain standard considered comfortable or normal in society.

Is that the reason for the said evolution?

There’s a greater awareness by South African’s on the importance of sound personal financial principles.

Data from a report by BankservAfrica notes the South African banking industry experienced a 6% decline in Black Friday transaction volumes.

Yusuf Hassen, Head of Product Management Cart at BankservAfrica says the shift in pattern, or decline, although concerning, it was important to understand the broader context influencing consumer behaviour.

“Financial constraints faced by consumers were clearly visible in this year’s Black Friday spending patterns, and we are also mindful that promotions extended throughout the month of November, which could have resulted in the muted figures for Black Friday itself.”

The timing of Black Friday in relation to payday may have an impact on spending habits.

Hassen said last year’s Black Friday fell after payday, which for most people in the country is the 25th of the month.

Black Friday being on the 24th meant most employees would still not have been paid, and that could directly negatively impact consumer spending power.

The bank perspective

Executive Trading Product VP at Nedbank, Privesan Naidoo says Black Friday delivered something of a mixed bag in terms of transaction volumes and values, “but it clearly demonstrated the resilience of Nedbanks’ card transaction processing platforms.”

Dispite a decrease in physical card transactions, Naidoo says, they picked up that there was a continuation on the shift towards e-commerce, evidenced by a the 35% growth in the online payment transactions.

There was a digital shift in the South African retail landscape towards online shopping.

It’s interesting to note that Nedbank’s own data revealed a pattern that corroborated Hassan’s opinion that the timing of Black Friday in relation to when consumers were paid meant something.

  • Nedbank saw a slight decline in the growth of volume and value of transactions on the day itself, followed by a significant recovery over the weekend.

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