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Black Friday filled with fails

Black Friday the world over – including South Africa – delivered its fair share of fails, despite extensive preparations, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK



Reid said the infrastructure was in place to ensure it could cope with the massive demand of the shopping season.

“We have scaled operations across multiple areas within the business. This includes, but isn’t limited to, increasing our driver count to over 4,500, and increasing our warehouse storage space – now 75 000 square metres.

“We’ve also opened 47 Takealot Pickup Points nationwide allowing shoppers to collect and return their orders at a time convenient to them and real-time reporting software to allow us to monitor and manage deliveries. We’ve also worked with our branches throughout South Africa to ensure that all deliveries are carried out as efficiently as possible.

“From a tech perspective, the infrastructure in place is predominantly based on dynamic capacity available by using cloud infrastructure. Essentially, we have added more capacity to meet the requirements based on load test outcomes.  At, 100% of our core production infrastructure uses public cloud. However, warehouse infrastructure, for example, is run in the warehouse itself.”

Despite all the preparations, a handful of consumers reported intermittent outages in the course of the day, with most complaints at 1am. Far more complaints were made about Black Friday “deals” that were virtually the same as regular prices. Takealot said this was a result of consumers comparing Black Friday prices to Blue Dot Sale prices., possibly the fastest growing ecommerce site in South Africa warned that “South Africans are the second-most price sensitive society in the world, with three out of four consumers knowing the prices of goods that they regularly buy”. 

“Us South Africans are seriously savvy when it comes to deal hunting. So much so that people are watching multiple screens to make sure they stay on top of deal announcements of the Black Friday weekend,” said Matthew Leighton, spokesperson for “This morning when we announced via social that our first 100% off deal was available, an instant spike in shopper volume recorded on our site. This shows just how closely South Africans keep an eye on the 100%-off deal drops via social media, and that people are increasingly hungry for real discounts. 

“10% off if you spend over R1 000 just won’t cut it anymore in South Africa and its time we start experiencing true Black Friday deals locally.”

The 100%-off deals – in effect free goods – include electronics like TVs and washing machines, but users have to be on the site as the deals are announced. Leighton said over R1-million of 100% off deals were up for grabs until midnight.

Payfast advised merchants that temporary processes would be in place from 28 November to 4 December 2019.

Among other, there will be no telephone support for buyers, who are requested to send queries to on Black Friday and over the weekend.

“For urgent queries, we have established a merchants-only hotline,” it advised merchants. Kindly note that this will be a temporary merchant support line during the stated period.”

Visit the next page to find out what the transaction volume increase has been in South Africa.


GoFundMe hits R9bn in donations for people and causes

The world’s largest social fundraising platform has announced that Its community has made more than 120-million donations



GoFundMe this week released its annual Year in Giving report, revealing that its community has donated more than 120-million times, raising over $9-billion for people, causes, and organisations since the company’s founding in 2010.

In a letter to the GoFundMe community, CEO Rob Solomon emphasised how GoFundMe witnesses not only the good in people worldwide, but their generosity and their action every day.

“As we enter a new decade, GoFundMe is committed to spreading compassion and empathy through our platform,” said Solomon in the letter. “Together, we can bring more good into the world and unlock the power of global giving.”

The GoFundMe giving community continues to grow with both repeat donors and new donors. In fact, nearly 60% of donors were new this year. After someone makes a donation, they continue to engage with the community and give to multiple causes. In fact, one passionate individual donated 293 times to 234 different fundraisers in this past year alone. Donations are made every second, ranging from $5 to $50,000. This year, more than 40% of donations were under $50.

GoFundMe continues to be a mirror of current events across the globe. This year, young changemakers started the Fridays for Futuremovement to fight climate change, which led to a 60% increase in fundraiser descriptions mentioning ‘climate change’. Additionally, the community rallied together to support one another during natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian and the California wildfires, where thousands of fundraisers were started to help those in need.

The report includes a snapshot of giving trends from the year based on global GoFundMe data. It also includes company milestones from 2019, such as launching the company’s non-profit and advocacy arm,, and introducing GoFundMe Charity, which provides enterprise software with no subscription fees or contracts to charities of every size.

Highlights from GoFundMe’s 2019 Year in Giving report include:

  • Global giving trends and data
  • Top 10 most generous countries
  • Top 10 most generous U.S. states and cities
  • Biggest moments in 2019

To view the entire report, visit:

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For users, in-car touchscreens ever more useless



As touchscreens become more commonplace, the gulf of perceived differences in the performance of these features between cars and other devices (such as mobile and in-home) has become wider. A new report from the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has investigated car owners’ satisfaction with their on-board touchscreens. Long hamstrung by poor UX and extended production cycles, in-car touchscreens are seen by car users and buyers as lagging behind the experience offered by touchscreens outside the car. As such, consumer satisfaction has continued to slide in China and Europe, while reaching historic lows in the US.

Surveying consumers in the US, Western Europe, and China via web-survey, key report findings include:

  • Difficult text entry and excessive fingerprint smudging are common complaints among all car owners.
  • Because touchscreens have reached market saturation in the US, satisfaction with in-car screens has tailed off significantly.
  • However, touchscreens remain a relatively newer phenomenon in many car models in Western Europe (compared with the US) and thus their limitations are less prominent in the minds of car owners.
  • Overall touchscreen satisfaction fell for the fifth straight year in China, indicating a growing impatience for in-car UX to match UX found elsewhere in the consumer electronics space.

Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author, says, “Part of the issue with fingerprint smudging is the angle at which in-car touchscreens are installed – they make every fingerprint increasingly visible.

“Fingerprint smudging is an issue across all touchscreen-based consumer electronics. But in most form factors and especially mobile devices, consumers can quite easily adjust their viewing angle. This is not always the case with fixed in-car screens.”

Says Chris Schreiner, Director, Syndicated Research UXIP, “Although hardware quality certainly figures in many of the usual complaints car owners have about their screens, it is not the sole factor. Cockpit layout and UI design can play important roles in mitigating some issues with in-car touchscreens.”

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