Black Friday 2020 Breaks E-Commerce Record

According to online payment processing service, PayFast, Black Friday accelerated online transactions by 50% compared to 2019.

PayFast announced a 283% increase in total payment volumes on this years’ Black Friday which surpasses high payment totals that occur on payday.

In an official press release, Jonathan Smit, Managing Director and Founder of PayFast explains that Covid-19 has accelerated the eCommerce ecosystem in Africa and as Black Friday approached customers took to online shops to benefit from the Black Friday deals.

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“This year’s Black Friday spend surpassed the volumes we’ve seen in previous years. The rapid adoption of eCommerce throughout 2020 has meant that we’ve seen more people shopping online, especially amid fears of a Covid-19 resurgence.”

According to PayFast, the highest transaction for the day was reportedly R299 950. Customers that resorted to online shopping to combat the spread of the virus, spent on average R1 243 per basket which is a significant increase compared to the average basket value in 2020 which sits at R803.

Smit comments that customers resorted to online shopping for essential items.

“Alongside big-ticket items like TVs and gaming consoles, more purchases were made online for items that are traditionally brick-and-mortar, the retail store focused, like toiletries, cosmetics, and essentials.”

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Payment methods

Mobile devices proved to be the most used device as 66% of buyers used their mobile phones to complete online payments on Black Friday, validating the buyer trends during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Smit explains the benefits that come with using a mobile device to make payments.

“Smartphone usage means you can shop literally from anywhere, any time. We’re seeing merchants and payment methods better cater towards the demand for mobile too.”

As buyer trends indicate the increased usage of mobile devices, over the last six months retailers have adapted to the digital shift in the economy and have invested in their online platforms to improve the experience of first-time shoppers.

Smit adds that Black Friday brought opportunities for businesses to test their online platforms.

“This Black Friday offered a more considered and improved customer experience across the board. Lockdown was a good test for many eCommerce businesses, with lessons carried into this peak period.”

PayFast reveals first Ecommerce Performance Index

In 2020, 66% of transactions that were made on Black Friday were completed using cards. Alternative payment methods continue to vary as innovative payment solutions are created to allow for inclusivity and accessibility, especially during this uncertain time.

Smit explains that alternative payment methods are on the rise as consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with online shopping.

“Instant EFT, QR codes, and mobile wallets are becoming more popular as consumers become more comfortable shopping online.”


PayFast provides easy, secure, and instant transactions that ensure the success of online businesses entering into the digital economy. The company allows merchants to gain access to a variety of payment methods which enables customers to use credit cards, Instant EFT, debit cards, Mobicred, and Scode.

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