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Online shopping surges on ‘Black Friday’ , Konga records N1b sales in 48 hours


online-shoppingThousands of Nigerians at the weekend joined other people across the globe to take advantage of the ‘Black Friday’ to shop online at reduced prices.

This year’s edition which actually started last week ended on Monday.

Shoppers used the opportunity to buy toys, electronics, clothing and kitchen gadgets, among others from online platforms, including Jumia, Konga, Dealdey and Yudala.

Many retailers, especially highbrow boutiques, banks and airlines also went to social media to announce their participation, offering price discounts.

Twitter, Facebook and Instragram were awash with promotional offers. Instant messaging tools were also used to get the attention of customers, as promotional offers and hashtags announcing the day took over different social media sites.

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kick off to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black.” Back then when accounting records were kept by hand, red ink indicated a loss, while black indicated a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.

Black Friday is a long day, with many retailers opening up at 5:00 a.m. or even earlier to hordes of people waiting anxiously outside the windows. There are numerous doorbuster deals and loss leaders – prices so low the store may not make a profit – to entice shoppers.

The day varied from platforms to platforms. While some, like Konga, held their ‘Black Friday’ between Thursday and Friday, others observed it from Friday to Monday.

As retailers began to realise they could draw big crowds by discounting prices, ‘Black Friday’ became the day to shop, even better than those last-minute Christmas sales.

Checks by The Guardian showed that household items, electronics and mobile devices attracted between 20 and 80 per cent discounts.

A Deloitte survey found shoppers expect to spend 59 per cent of their money online for the four-day shopping, compared with 36 per cent in stores. The remaining five per cent is spent on catalogues, according to Deloitte.

Head of Public Relations and Brand Management, Konga, Tomiwa Akande, said the firm recorded a huge traffic on the site.

Akande disclosed that they tagged their ‘Black Friday’ Yakata, to give it more local understanding so that Nigerians would understand and appreciate it better.

According to her, the 2015 edition was the third. She said during the maiden edition, in 2013, there was problem of managing customers traffic. “But we have since done our home work very well and our technicians have been able to ensure our online platform was up and running all through the ‘Yakata Days.’ Before the completion of 48 hours on Friday, we had recorded sales of over N1 billion and I know quite well that we would have made extra N200 million in sales before the deadline on Friday. The discounts we gave were up to 80 per cent. Fashion seems to have the highest traffic.”

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