Time for Africa’s retailers to refine their Black Friday strategies

By our News Team | 2023

Offer online deals that complement in-store promotions, and use online channels to drive foot traffic to physical stores, says expert.

As Black Friday approaches and African consumers increasingly embrace what was once a uniquely American shopping concept, the continent’s retailers are gearing up to woo customers who are struggling financially – more so than in previous years.


To determine what will ultimately hit the sweet spot with their specific target audience, retailers must find the best fit to leverage both in-store and online strategies.

Black Friday

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

This is according to Mike Smollan, Chief Growth and Innovation Officer at Smollan, a retail solutions company servicing brands and retailers across over 60 countries. He emphasises that both in-store and online options have their advantages.


“In-store offers the excitement of sensory appeal for shoppers [and] an opportunity to engage with customers, drawing them in with eye-catching displays and product demos, and maximising on impulse buying,” says Smollan.


“Online offers the potential for new customer acquisitions [and] reaching a wider audience, as well as being able to tap into detailed analytics to track shopping behaviours and identify trends going forward.”


Hybrid strategy makes the most sense

A hybrid approach makes sense. For example, offering online deals that complement in-store promotions and using online channels to drive foot traffic to physical stores.

“Undoubtedly the customer connection is everything, whether online or in-store, as consumers demand an excellent shopping experience over Black Friday,” advises Smollan.


“They want options, the latest ranges, offers on offers, quick check-outs, quality, delivery in the quickest time possible if ordering online – and a store experience where availability, and lots of it, does not switch their mood.

“What we’ve found from an in-store perspective during these times of high demand is the immense value of sending in our surge merchandising teams. They focus solely on brand visibility, additional POS and making sure product is in stock, on shelf, all the time. That’s the whole idea: speed, efficiency and targeted sales.”


This year, Black Friday is on 24 November. Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday when additional deals are on offer, is on 27 November. 


Frequently, though, many African retailers and e-commerce portals are offering ‘Black Friday week’ and ‘Black Friday long weekend’ to maximise the hype and marketing effort. 

In some markets, this is now the biggest sales period leading up to Christmas, rather than the traditional week or so prior to Christmas Day.


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    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
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