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There have been many reports in the media about the numbers and transaction volumes… but what did shoppers actually do and buy and think of the Black Friday 2023 offers?

Trade Intelligence partnered with Chirp to run a follow-up survey (online, like the first one) to find out what South Africans thought about how Black Friday played out, including reporting on their own behaviour. 

In our pre-Black Friday survey, two thirds were five-out-of-five excited for Black Friday, but afterwards, only one in three said the specials totally met their expectations. Even fewer of those who only made planned purchases said their expectations were totally met.

There were definitely bargains to be had, though – among those who said they ended up grabbing a bargain, 52% of them said their expectations were totally met (a score of five out of five). A further 24% gave the event a four out of five for meeting their expectations. People who ended up buying gifts for themselves gave very similar feedback. 

It seems it was the big spenders who ended up the most satisfied: here are the percentages of spenders by spend category who had their expectations met at a five-out-of-five level:
Spent less than R500: 15%
Spent R500-R999: 15%
Spent R1,000-R4,999: 26%
Spent R5,000-R9,999: 43%
Spent more than R10,000: 73%

As our respondents predicted, groceries were the most shopped category (by an even bigger margin than in the predictions); but ‘gifts for myself’ edged out other household necessities for the next spot (we’re certainly not judging… who doesn’t deserve a little pick-me-up after a tough year?).

  Planned spend (according to the pre-Black Friday survey) Actual spend (according to the post-Black Friday survey)
Less than R500 3% 4%
R500 – R999 11% 17%
R1,000 – R4,999 43% 43%
R5,000 – R9,999 30% 22%
R10,000 or more 11% 13%
No idea 3% 1%

The sweet spot for spend was between R1,000 and R5,000, with 43% of our respondents saying their spend fell into this category. A further 35% spent more than this. 

In total, 43% said they spent what they planned to spend, but a third were lured into spending a little or a lot more than planned.
Compared with what our pre-Black Friday sample revealed, people didn’t spend as much as they expected to. This could partly be attributed to some fiscal strain showing, but also possibly linked to a slightly disappointing crop of special offers (as illustrated by the actual levels of excitement being lower than the predicted levels). 

68% said they calculated what they had saved (especially the big spenders) but only 35% of those who calculated managed to save more than R1,000.

Almost half of our respondents earned themselves a spot on Santa’s ‘nice’ list by practising some fiscal restraint and only buying what they planned to buy. 11% confessed that they only bought impulse items and the remainder said ‘a bit of both’.

67% – or two in three – said they shopped only or mostly in physical stores. This was particularly true for female shoppers. Interestingly, the online numbers were boosted by both 18- to 24-year-olds and 50+ shoppers.

Prior to the Black Friday weekend we reported that shoppers were not expecting grocery retailers to offer the best specials, with only one supermarket (Checkers) making it into the top 6, behind Game and Takealot, with Makro, Clicks and Mr Price behind. 

When it came to the crunch, though, the supermarkets stole the show in terms of post-weekend perceptions of delivering the best specials. Checkers, Pick n Pay and Shoprite dominated the top-3 podium spots with Takealot, SPAR and Makro making up the rest of the top 6. Game and Clicks fell out of the top 6 completely, to positions #7 and #8 respectively.

Naturally, responses were linked to shopping context – Shoprite was the most mentioned retailer by those with a household income of less than R5,000, and for those who were in the market for tech, Takealot was the most mentioned retailer, followed quite closely by Game, Checkers, Shoprite and Makro (note: these were the perceptions of tech shoppers not necessarily shopping for tech at these stores). 

All in all, it seems the strategic shoppers among us got what they wanted, but the Black Friday of a few years ago has lost a lot its excitement and buzz.

If you are interested in bespoke research in FMCG retail for your business, reach out to

About Trade Intelligence 

Trade Intelligence is South Africa’s leading source of consumer goods retail research, insights and capability-building solutions, focusing on the industry’s corporate and independent retailers and wholesalers. We are the trusted voice of the sectors in which we operate, aggregating information to amplify knowledge, grow capability, and enable collaboration that drives profitable trading relationships and sustainable sector growth.  

About Chirp

Chirp is an all-in-one research platform. Chirp lets you survey highly specific target groups and gather consumer opinions in minutes. It allows you to easily create custom questionnaires using the built-in form builder with various survey question types, logic jumps and other advanced features. Consumers are instantly recruited for the survey that matches the clients target market demographics and interests with the Chirp advanced audience builder. Push notifications are sent to consumers in the panel and can respond instantly. Responses can be reviewed in minutes with the real-time analytics dashboard and insights, allowing results to be shared and exported.

Get in touch with Chirp by contacting Nick Wallander at and visit or download the app by following this link, or alternatively snapping the QR code

Chep QR code

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