Black Friday might have started in the U.S., but the annual retail frenzy has exploded in popularity across the African region in recent years, with people flocking to take advantage of the best deals retailers have to offer.
Africa-focused online marketplace Jumia was quick to tap into this opportunity when it introduced the event nine years ago across its African markets, focusing on Lagos and Cairo, the firm’s top two cities with the most volume of orders.
Since then, the company has achieved record-breaking success with the event, and company data shows that consumer appetite for Black Friday has been growing across the region year-on-year.
During Black Friday 2020, top sellers on the platform recorded a 141% year-on-year growth in items sold, with one out of three clicks being a new consumer. Additionally, the company said it saw increasing brand appetite across all 10 Jumia markets during last year’s sale, which ran throughout all four Fridays of November.
That trend is expected to continue during this year’s edition of “Jumia Black Friday,” running from November 5-30.
The Nigeria-based firm has partnered with brands like HP, Adidas, Unilever and Diageo, as well as with thousands of sellers, to offer consumers the best deals on a wide range of products.
“The Black Friday campaign has been a success year-on-year and is the biggest sale of the year,” Jumia Nigeria CEO Massimiliano Spalazzi reportedly told Lagos-based publication, Vanguard. “This year’s campaign will focus on strengthening our position as a brand within the African market, and also providing support to our sellers.”
Olajumoke Bolu-Kujero, chief marketing officer at Jumia Nigeria, added that ‘‘daily games, prime members dedicated offers, JumiaPay discounts (cashback or flash discount), and influencer unboxing, and vouchers are also in the kit box, among many other exciting offers consumers will benefit [from] during the Black Friday window.’’
A similar Black Friday campaign has been launched in Egypt — and to entice consumers to spend a little more than they otherwise would, Jumia has partnered with National Bank of Egypt and other banking institutions to offer a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service to consumers at zero-interest.
Consumers using the JumiaPay App can now spread payments over 24 months using credit cards from institutions including Banque Misr and Alexandria Bank. Jumia will also offer a 10% discount on both Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) cards and Banque Misr ATM cards.
The previous Black Friday data is a strong indication of the positive effect the event is having on eCommerce and digital payments on the continent, not to mention how it is boosting sales for the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) using the Jumia platform, including the 11,000-plus sellers on the Jumia Nigeria platform alone.
The Great Shift to Essentials
Last month, Jumia published its first Africa e-Commerce Index 2021 report, compiled in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Mastercard.
Per the report, there was a “great shift” in shopping habits across Jumia’s markets last year, from phones and electronics to shopping for “everyday essentials” — a trend expected to reflect in this year’s Black Friday sales.
That change was directly linked to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home restrictions. This also led to a jump in Jumia’s total sales value of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), fashion and beauty products, from 44% to 57% between 2019 and 2020.
In an interview with PYMNTS earlier this year, the company’s Executive Vice President of Financial Services, Sami Louali, said that the consumer embrace of FMCG means that Jumia will prioritize building out its logistics operations to meet the needs of buyers who want groceries delivered the same day with ever-narrowing windows.
He added that shopping for groceries online has also given a tailwind to the adoption of JumiaPay, the company’s payments unit which was first introduced in 2016.
Data from the company’s latest earnings report shows that transactions on JumiaPay increased by 34% to hit 3 million in the third quarter of 2021, the fastest transactions growth rate of the past five quarters.
This growth was driven primarily by accelerating volume growth in the food delivery category.