With merchants surpassing R100 million TPV (transactions processing volume) this Black Friday, it’s clear that small businesses are becoming an entrenched part of this November retail tradition.
This is according to Matt Brownwell, VP of Commercial at Yoco, a African technology company for small businesses. This figure is significant for a number of reasons, he adds: for a start, given that Yoco’s merchant base increased by 68% since last year, it’s a sign that more small businesses are ready to stake their claim in Black Friday.
This in itself warrants attention. “The fact that small businesses are eager to take part in a retail event that has previously been the preserve of larger stores shows us just how resilient this sector is – especially when you consider our current economic environment and the tumult our merchants have experienced during the past year,” Brownwell comments.
Meanwhile, the impressive TVP is indicative of a rather heart-warming trend; it seems that consumers have heeded the call to support the small businesses who have been hardest hit by the economic fallout of the pandemic and associated lockdowns. “This is extremely encouraging, as it shows us that small businesses really do have the potential to become the engine of the economy, as we have known all along.”
These trends show a marked departure from attitudes of merchants just two years ago, Brownell continues. “We regularly interview business owners to gain key insights,” he explains. In 2019, just 13% of those taking part in our merchant survey said that they believed Black Friday was good for small business in general. This year, that figure has grown to 65%. Interestingly, however, ‘good for small business’ doesn’t necessarily mean that merchants expected to gain sales from the event – in several cases, they viewed it as a platform to create brand awareness and possibly increase their customer base.