The food and beverage industry as well as retail were the big online winners over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, with travel and accommodation coming a close third.
This was according to South African-based digital payment gateway Peach Payments, who shared details of transactions processed on its platform from Black Friday to Cyber Monday 2023.
The payment gateway said the largest transactions processed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday were both in the travel and accommodation industry, at R156 757 and R440 000 respectively, compared to R100 828 and R132 600 in 2022.
Overall, the travel and accommodation industry saw growth of a staggering 341% in rand value compared to 2022, as it continued to recoup losses suffered during the pandemic, said Glenda Steyn, head of Enterprise Sales at Peach Payments.
This figure includes new merchants on the Peach Payments platform, but even without them, travel and accommodation grew by 29%.
Retail industry activity grew by 52% in transaction count and by 41% in rand value over 2022 figures.
The food and beverage sector grew by just over 57%, both in rand value and in number of transactions.
These figures made sense within the broader South African context as families try to manage their expenses in the face of rising food inflation and interest rates, said Steyn.
But they also hoped to go away for a break, which the specials on Black Friday and Cyber Monday could make possible.
“Despite the economic pressures, the sheer volume of online payments South Africa’s economy supports is impressive. As the country’s second largest online payment platform, over the four-day weekend we processed more than 1.1 million transactions, to a total value of more than R872m,” Steyn said.
“We believe that there are a lot of merchants poised to scale their businesses in 2024. This weekend’s trading was a foretaste of what we can expect in 2024, particularly after the elections.”
This was also reflected in the interest shown on the Peach Payments Black Friday Dashboard – peachpayments.com/black-friday.
The dashboard shows the amount of transactions processed on Black Friday, alongside other data points. It also allowed merchants to promote their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in a social media display box, automated from Instagram posts that included the hashtag #PeachFriday.
This promotional opportunity was open to all merchants, not only those who have an existing relationship with Peach Payments.
Joshua Shimkin, head of SME Growth and Marketing at Peach Payments, said the payment platform planned to continue assisting merchants to promote their businesses, a decision backed by other initiatives that help merchants scale.
“These include an e-commerce hotline at 021 891 0440 that answers anyone’s questions about online business, as well as regular webinars about specific aspects of optimising an online business, and ongoing assistance from our support teams that work closely with merchants,” Shimkin said.