The year 2020 has been one for the record books – and this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday is no different, especially in the ecommerce space. How will the retail event be different in South Africa in our COVID-impacted economy? Here’s what our research shows:

Black Friday 2020: What to Expect | eCommerce comms | Retail communication | Marketing automation

Most BFCM Sales Will Be Online

One thing that’s guaranteed is that Black Friday’s online sales will be similar or better than 2019, thanks to the boom in ecommerce this year. Before the COVID-19 lockdown, ecommerce only accounted for about 1.6% of South African retails sales, but since then:

Add this to the fact that South Africans are the third most discount-obsessed shoppers in the world and we’re looking at strong online sales this Black Friday. Make sure your ecommerce systems are ready.

Black Friday 2020: What to Expect | Online shopping | BFCM | Mobile eCommerce | Woman shopping

In-Store Sales Will Be Reduced

With COVID-19 limits on the number of people allowed in stores at any one time, many retailers will restrict their in-store promos, opting instead to go entirely online.

Promotions Will Start Earlier

If you’re a retailer and you aren’t yet promoting your BFCM promotions, we encourage getting on board fast. According to predictions by, Mashable, and Forbes, this year looks like it’ll start early, with many retailers spreading sales across the whole month of November.

For in-store retailers, this is one way of reducing the chaos and crowding that the sales weekend is infamous for.

Black Friday 2020: What to Expect | BFCM | Online sale | eCommerce | Online Retail | Sale signs

Overall Spend May Go Down

With 41% of South Africans saying they have been personally impacted by job losses under the Covid-19 lockdown, overall Black Friday and Cyber Monday spend probably won’t break any records in 2020.

However, a Nielson study has also shown that the 2020 reduction in promotional sales has left consumers feeling like prices are particularly high. This may suggest that they’re hungry for the kind of discounts that BFCM can offer.

Advertising Costs May Go Up

With big retailers focusing more heavily on online channels, Warrick Kernes, founder of the Insaka E-Commerce Academy, says smaller players must expect higher advertising costs this BFCM. Innovation and maximising on your existing contact lists will be essential.

Gear Up Your Comms for Black Friday

Competition is getting fierce in the online space – particularly during BFCM. Stand out with an automated, multi-channel communication strategy using Everlytic. The platform enables ecommerce integrations, abandoned-cart messaging, Gmail promotions, countdown timers, in-depth reports, and so much more.