November 10, 2021

3 ways to prepare your business for a Black Friday sales surge

By Deshni Harricharan, National Sales Manager at SEACOM

Arguably the world’s biggest sale weekend of the year, Black Friday to Cyber Monday is a highlight on everyone’s calendar – consumers and businesses alike.

According to Black Friday Global, interest in the sale spectacle has increased by a mammoth 9 900% in South Africa over the last five years, compared to a 117% global growth. In South Africa in 2018, sales on Black Friday were 1 952% more than they were on an ordinary day, making our country’s appetite for Black Friday discounts more than double the world average of 663%.

For companies that want to take full advantage of Black Friday, the answer lies in preparation and planning. From boosting technical capabilities to preventing threats, here are a few ways to prepare your business for what could be an impressive boom in sales...

Make way for online shoppers

Looking back on Black Friday 2020 in South Africa, in-store sales took a serious knock, with physical retailers seeing some two million fewer transactions than the year before. In contrast, online shopping climbed by more than 60%, contributing to 300 000 extra online sales.

Similarly, PayFast processed a record 283% increase in total payment volumes, with 66% of these purchases being made on a mobile device. As such, retailers would be wise to invest in online and mobile payment methods and upgrade their online platforms for improved customer experiences.

Recent US sales data revealed that a longer Black Friday period is becoming more common, as many brands announce discounts from early November and give customers a larger window to snag a bargain. If these customers are shopping online, your digital capabilities need to be top notch for more than just a single day or weekend.

Improve the digital experience through tech

With online shopping on the rise since the start of the global pandemic, it’s worth upping your web-performance game and putting the right infrastructure in place to manage the inevitable spike in traffic.

Site speed and optimisation, online backups, and constant analysis provide a few ways to manage increased volume this Black Friday. Fortunately, many helpful plugins and solutions can assist with the technical heavy lifting of building and maintaining a rapidly loading website. A caching plugin, for example, can be used to help improve your web page load time, while dramatically decreasing server load.

On the other hand, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) boosts site speed by hosting files across a worldwide network of servers, allowing users to download information from servers close to them and decreasing page load time. You can also leverage various flexible, scalable cloud-based services, innovative voice technologies, and online backups to elevate your company’s technical capabilities beyond the month-long mayhem.

Boost your cybersecurity

The pandemic may have given rise to increased digital activity, but it’s also encouraged cybercriminals to prey on vulnerable businesses and individuals. As such, you’ll need to be especially vigilant over the Black Friday period.

From anti-virus and anti-spyware software to comprehensive firewalls and protection against DDoS attacks, there are plenty of security solutions on the market that can protect against web-based attacks. We wouldn't want your Black Friday success to be brought down by cybercrime.

At SEACOM, we want to make Black Friday a positive, successful experience for both businesses and consumers. To find out more about our digital, cloud-based, and security solutions, email us at or leave us a message.