Black Friday has become incredibly popular in South Africa, but the increase in online shopping traffic can cause headaches for e-commerce platforms, which may not be prepared for the large numbers of users visiting their websites.
There are various considerations to take into account ahead of Black Friday for these businesses – one of which is the reliability of their payment platforms.
DPO South Africa processed 64% of South Africa’s Black Friday transactions in 2018, primarily through its payment solution PayGate.
MyBroadband spoke with Brendon Williamson, head of sales and marketing at PayGate.
Preparing for Black Friday
According to Williamson, PayGate’s tech team has spent months preparing for increased traffic during Black Friday 2019 by making enhancements to their cloud-based infrastructure.
“From a transactional process point of view, we know we are prepared as our processing systems now auto-scale as the transaction volumes demand which gives our merchants a real peace of mind should their sales hit unexpected peaks during the day,” Williamson said.
“Come midnight on the 29th November, the PayGate Customer Services and Technical Support teams go into full Black Friday combat mode, which will continue through to Cyber Monday.”
Williamson said that because PayGate systems process the majority of South Africa’s Black Friday volume, the payment service has a solid understanding of what to expect in 2019.
“Knowing what we could expect in terms of transaction volumes, we have readily prepared all of the operational units and put in place contingency plans during peak volume periods.”
Williamson said that PayGate’s transaction volumes increase by about 150% over Black Friday.
“But our systems do not necessarily undergo any additional strain, as we already capable of handling increased transactional traffic due to scalable systems and supporting operational processes,” he added.
Advice from PayGate
Williamson told MyBroadband that the more established South African businesses are already in the thick of preparations thanks to the lessons they have learned over the years.
“We have definitely seen a surge in new merchant applications,” added Williamson.
“Everyone within the online payment ecosystem is much more aware of the unique needs of e-commerce businesses and so are better positioned to help set-up merchants to enable faster payments.”
According to Williamson, retailers who want to secure their share of an expected 30% year-on-year online Black Friday growth should ensure that their marketing is coordinated across channels.
Williamson also stressed that it is important that businesses make payments as easy as possible for customers.
“Merchants must be sure the customer journey is simple, clear and results in as few abandoned carts as possible.”
“This will include making sure that shoppers can end their experience by paying with whatever method they are comfortable,” said Williamson.
“Ensuring you have an EFT option, like SiD Secure EFT, is essential for those shoppers who are hesitant about using their cards and also acts as a failsafe should card or other payment methods fail.”
“Great e-commerce customer journeys must be planned from search to delivery. Making even small improvements now can ensure a more lucrative Black Friday come November,” he said.