‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ are the American shopping phenomena which have taken South Africa by storm. These massive shopping days saw South Africans spend over R2.8 million in 2018 alone, according to Bank Serve. Although Black Friday is the most popular of two days, Cyber Monday presents an opportunity for small businesses who can’t necessarily compete with the big retailers for foot traffic.
One of the biggest reasons small enterprises fail to make a mark on ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ is their lack of digital offerings for customers. Online payments represent less than 10% of all card purchase transactions on these days.
This growth in the use of digital channels is not unique to South Africa as consumers look for opportunities to access the deals at a convenient time and location to avoid aggressive behaviour synonymous with ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’.
According to Nelisa Zulu, Standard Bank, Head Merchant Solutions South Africa, in order to capatalise on the growth of popularity of these annual shopping events and the growth of digital adoption, small enterprises must consider the following tips:
Stand out and become more visible
One of the comforts consumers enjoy about ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ is the convenience of shopping from home at the click of a button. Most consumers attach Black Friday to in-store sales only, but retailers offer onmi-channel promotions. Consumers who are looking for convenience or do not have the opportunity to escape work on a Friday would take advantage of online sales. This There are many available providers who can build websites for businesses. Standard Bank’s SimplyBlu is an example of such. This new all-in-one e-commerce solution that enables you to start and manage online business from a single, secure platform, thus tapping into the growing online shopping market.
Embracing the power of mobile
A lot of consumers have embraced the idea of transacting on their mobile phones, what is also significant is the year on year growth of 55%, which demonstrates the digital payment adoption by South African consumers. It is important for small enterprises to be more relevant and play in a space where the clients spend most of their time.
Giving customers incentives
‘Cyber Monday’ also offers an opportunity for a business to launch its online shopping platform. It is the perfect time to drive traffic to your platform by offering significant discounts when customers shop online as opposed to physically coming to the store. Stats SA retail figures for December 2018 showed an annual decline of 1.4% instead of the expected 2.1% growth on visits to brick and mortar retail stores. This is proof that the lure of physical stores is slowly getting lost on consumers. Evidently, consumers are both cash and time-strapped and giving them a choice on where and how to engage in mutually beneficial to both retailers and consumers.
Extend the offer
Traditionally, ‘Cyber Monday’ deals cut off at midnight. The great thing about technology is that you have the power to rewrite the rules. By extending your deals beyond the 00:00 cut-off, you get an edge of competitors by offering your customers more value for longer. Just like how we have seen an extension of the promotional period for ‘Black Friday’, it may be worthwhile to consider the extension of the shopping period for ‘Cyber Monday’.
Take advantage of specials for their own business
While focusing on making sales, small businesses should also be aware of sales taking place that they themselves can take advantage of. Things like office supplies, furniture and other assets like laptops are often on special during ‘Cyber Monday’. So, while directing sales, business owners can also do their own shopping from the comfort of their own space.
Small enterprises in South Africa need to understand that ‘Cyber Monday’ is not just made for big players such as Takealot or Amazon. Technology and low-cost solutions such as SimplyBlu have levelled the playing field drastically and with the right ideas, a small business can now also begin to flex their digital muscle and enjoy a part of the shopping revenues.