When it comes to Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday, which one takes the lead in terms of online sales?

The popularity of online shopping continues to gain traction, even though many consumers have returned in-store. The Courier Guy monitored local shipments that took place during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

According to The Courier Guy, the growth in total shipments on Black Friday and Cyber Monday were almost tied, with Black Friday only just taking the lead. While Black Friday still stands at the top with shipments having grown by 24.75% year on year and Cyber Monday by 25% year on year, Cyber Monday is fast growing into a calendar marked sale day just as big as Black Friday.

‘This activity can be attributed primarily to an increased adoption of online and marketplace sales, such as through the likes of Takealot and Massmart. The frequency of purchases is also increasing,’ said Craig Pitchers, Chief Operating Officer at The Courier Guy.

Takealot first announced its Black Friday sale just over a decade ago in 2012, while over recent years, Cyber Monday has emerged and gained momentum, becoming a force to be reckoned with in the local e-commerce scene.

Online Shopping Growth

Banking activity confirms that online shopping continues to be a popular option for consumers. Discovery Bank reported a sizeable 40% increase in volume of transactions on the banking app this Black Friday, compared to last year. Data indicates that Takealot and Checkers Sixty60 were among the most popular websites for online sales, making up 10% of all Black Friday spending (source). This also speaks to the fact that consumers are looking to save on staples, as well as on homeware and items to use at home.

Takealot reported a staggering 65% increase in sales this year, since its Blue Dot sale last year. First National Bank, meanwhile, noted stable transactions over Black Friday, including 9.7% growth over the following Saturday and Sunday but that volumes are down since last year’s Black Friday period. Capitec also reported increased digital payments over cash withdrawals, indicating that many consumers are spending more online than in the shops.

Consumers continue to hunt for a bargain particularly under economic strain. With incentives like free delivery on a certain order size, or a low-cost delivery option comparable to the costs of petrol and mall parking, it has become a lot more appealing to order and wait for items to arrive, instead of going to the shops, even though many consumers are still choosing to buy in-store.

Interestingly, Discovery Bank shared that the average transaction value of online purchases was twice that of in-store purchases, increasing by 18% in value since last year, while the average value for in-store purchases decreased by 5% from last year.

With the vast geographical spread of the country and sometimes limited access to physical stores, online shopping allows consumers to browse and purchase a diverse range of products from the comfort of their homes. The popularity of Black Friday in-stores can also be unappealing to those who prefer to avoid crowds, giving rise to the convenience and ease of online shopping. The availability of ‘online-only’ deals further encourage consumers who are looking for the best price.

‘A lot of businesses also ran Black Friday deals for the entire month of November, so we actually saw increased volumes for the whole month but spiking over Black Friday and Cyber Monday in particular,’ Pitchers added.

Positive Outlook Ahead

‘Overall, we are happy with the volumes over this period and are optimistically hopeful we’ll see the same level of growth year on year as more people adopt online shopping.’

The year isn’t over with the festive season just around the corner and set to deliver plenty online shopping activity. Shopping to shipping trends indicate that volumes remain high in the week leading up to Christmas.

‘We expect to be busy up until 22 December, particularly as online shopping has become such a time-saving factor in preparing for the holidays,’ Pitchers concluded.