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Black Friday comes to South Africa

For years we’ve been reading about this ‘thing’ that them Americans refer to as Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving when retailers formally open the Christmas shopping season and we get bombarded with fantastic material to remind us how fallible human compassion really is (evidence). This year it hit South Africa (sadly without the holiday) giving many South Africans a great financial respite ahead of Dreaded December – not to mention our own videos of humans behaving badly.

From the 26th to the 29th November 2015 a total of 18 280 South African online conversations took place around the topic of Black Friday or Cyber Monday (an interesting digital addition). Of the total conversation, the largest percentage (42%) was strongly positive towards the sales and discounts – with huge excitement building in the days before and over the weekend.

Black Friday Opinion Analysis

If we look geographically at the conversation we notice that the majority originated from Gauteng 50.83% followed by the Western Cape at 27%.

Back Friday Country conversation

Despite the huge excitement across South Africa, it was equally tempered by almost a third of all conversation (27%) driven by individuals commenting that they will not be spending any money on Black Friday as they were broke.

Back Friday Tweet 2

Of those wishing that they could afford Black Friday deals, there are some interesting affinities which come forward. In particular, when comparing those who are “broke” (etc) with the rest of the conversation in South Africa, we see a bias towards Orlando Pirates and Beyonce – and away from interests such Amazon, Fiction and Personal Development.

Back Friday Affinities

Despite a concerted effort by brands to captivate the online conversation and gain mass good-will, only one brand made it to the key topic wheel for the overall conversation. This brand, Checkers, achieved this as a result of cleverly promoting their activities and due to their appeal to the broader South African population.

Black Friday Topic Wheel

Interestingly, there was some discussion as to why it was in South Africa (7%) and a further 10% who were confused by the entire concept of Black Friday.

Black Friday Tweet

When comparing the 2015 BlackFriday and CyberMonday we see significant growth over the last three years. In 2013 there were 4078 discussions about BlackFriday/CyberMonday, in 2014 this grew by 63% (to 6653). The jump to 2015 was however much more significant at 274% to 18 280. This is in part driven by overall social media growth and in part due to increased activity by brands in 2015.

Black Friday Social Media Analysis. 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Black Friday Social Media Analysis. 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Looking back at 2015 in terms of analysis of this discussion from a brand’s communication perspective, 17%, is a significant untapped market. Brands would therefore do well to begin communications about Black Friday sooner and make it far clearer what it means for shoppers – particularly among lower educated (and poorer) members of the South African population.

This data was gathered and analysed using Crimson Hexagon’s Forsight platform.
youKnow Digital are Crimson Hexagon’s Sub-Saharan partners. If you would like to see more of the powerful features that this Social Research and Analytics platform can provide, feel free to contact us for a live demonstration.



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