With the largest shopping event just days away, an estimated amount of about 74% of adult South Africans are preparing their wallets for the spending frenzy that awaits them this Black Friday. And, with this high percentage in mind, it’s difficult to imagine what all these locals will be purchasing.

Whether it’s buying Christmas presents before going on holiday, or simply finding items with the biggest discount, South Africans will be buying! And media update’s Lara Smit is here to put it across as to why they should be vocal about shopping locally this Black Friday:

1. Buying local is beneficial to our economy

Earlier in 2021, Cyril Ramaphosa spoke at the ninth Annual Proudly South African Buy Local Summit. He made a plea to South Africans to support local businesses because it: 
  • fosters economic growth
  • provides job opportunities
  • encourages business development, and 
  • expands markets. 
This appeal may not come as a shock. This is especially after Proudly South African chief executive officer Eustace Mashimbye stated three months earlier that South Africa spends about R1.1-trillion every year on imports. Nevertheless, why should this concern us?

Think about it this way: R1.1-trillion is coming out of South Africa’s pocket to contribute towards foreign businesses — as opposed to being invested into South African ones. Whereas, if this money was spent locally, it would continue circulating inside the country and contribute to our own economic growth. 

Additionally, buying local has a positive domino effect in the economy. How? A higher demand for local products and services results in businesses expanding to meet these demands.

 In fact, Mashimbye noted that if South Africans focused on buying locally, it would add another 2% to our Gross Domestic Product. The expansion of local businesses will then lead to the availability of more jobs and, subsequently, the employment of more people. 

This doesn’t just positively affect job markets though. By purchasing from South African businesses, consumers invest in — and support — local innovation. Why? Local businesses must produce niche products and offer unique services in order to stand out amongst the sea of global retailers, right? Therefore, when South Africans support these businesses, they encourage this type of innovation. 

Besides these benefits, buying local goods is also incredibly beneficial for the communities that provide them. This is because it nurtures strong relationships between consumers and sellers in areas where small businesses need the support of their community members. 
In a diverse country like South Africa, buying local is also important because it allows us to celebrate different cultures by sharing products.

With South Africans spending a predicted amount of about R11.3-billion this Black Friday, it's hard not to think about how it will benefit the economy if at least some of it was spent on local products. 

2. You get what you pay for

Another thing that locals should consider is that every country has their own quality standards. Although international companies are compliant with the quality standards in their countries, that does not necessarily mean that they match the high standards we have here in South Africa. 

For example, local businesses that wear the ‘Proudly South African’ logo are required to:
  • have products and services of a high quality, and 
  • be committed to fair employment practices and services. 
So, in short, these businesses provide ethical services and products that are of a high standard. And who doesn’t want to support that?

Image sourced from Cape Business News

We should also consider that local SMMEs (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises) aren’t just motivated by money. Yes, these businesses contribute to the livelihoods of their owners and employees. But many of these employees are skilled artisans that see their products as passion projects as well.

Because local SMME goods aren’t mass-produced, they are often skillfully and uniquely created. Their creators are often dedicated to the standard of their work and the attention that they give to their merchandise translates directly into its quality.

But beyond that, the love that they have for the goods that they create adds to the sentimental value that they have.

Furthermore, local artisans can create custom-made goods by hand. This also contributes positively towards the quality of their products. Why? It allows the products to directly meet the desires and needs of customers. Furthermore, these goods are one-of-a-kind — making them valuable because of their exclusivity.

This Black Friday, South Africans should try to give special consideration to local SMMEs. This is because small businesses often struggle to match the hype that is produced by larger corporations for Black Friday. They tend to be drowned out by the advertising of larger businesses and seldom have big enough marketing budgets to compete.

Additionally, SMMEs cannot necessarily manufacture goods cheaply in large amounts, due to the costs of material and labour. Therefore, the prices of their products cannot experience the same price cuts as those of larger companies on Black Friday.

3. The Internet has made buying local easy

Shopping has undeniably become a lot easier since it has migrated online. With a click of a button, customers are able to buy what they want, whenever they want and have it delivered to their doorstep. How convenient?

If not, they are able to check the availability of products on a business’s website or pre-order items that aren’t in stock. In this way, e-commerce produces a seamless shopping experience in which customers have more control over their purchases.

E-commerce itself has become increasingly refined as buyers now have a variety of payment methods to choose from. With services like Masterpass and Paypal, customers can pay with their debit or credit cards. They even have the option to pay via EFT or Secure Instant payment.

Speaking of Secure Instant payment, buying online has also improved in terms of security. For example, more e-commerce sites are using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.

SSL essentially ensures that sensitive data that is loaded onto a website gets encrypted. This is so that it may not be accessed or used by criminals online. You know the little lock that appears next to the link of a website you are visiting? That’s SSL. You can also check that a website has SSL if the hyperlink starts with “https” as opposed to just “http”.

Image sourced from W3HUB

As more locals incorporate e-commerce onto their websites and social media platforms, their products and services have become increasingly accessible. Specifically on days like Black Friday, e-commerce is particularly helpful for SMMEs that may not have enough staff to handle a large influx of buyers.

With the ease and security of online buying in mind, more South Africans should consider setting their intentions on buying local products online this Black Friday.

How do you think that buying local benefits South Africa? Let us know in the comments section below.

Want to stay up to date with the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Looking for more Black Friday content? Make sure you read our article Black Friday: Is it unethical?

*Image courtesy of Canva