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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

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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 takealot.com, 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.

OneDayOnly.co.za, 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 OneDayOnly.co.za. “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 support@payfast.co.za 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.

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