Tag: Black Friday

Retailers must prepare for cybercrime spikes

Retailers are increasingly coming under attack by cybercriminals, and there is little wonder why. They process payments on oftentimes unprotected Point of Sale (POS) systems, transfer large sums of money, and store and process sensitive customer information, such as banking and card information. They also process more online banking and card transactions. Cybercrime attacks on retail businesses tend to spike over the festive season, starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday when transactions spike dramatically.

Protecting customers’ payment information at every stage of the payment process is vital. Point-to-Point encryption is becoming more critical as it facilitates secure communication channels between devices and company servers, and so protects payment data in transit. POS systems should be designed to encrypt sensitive data from credit cards the moment information is received and again when it is sent to the payment server, such as passwords, configurations and other critical confidential data. The Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) increases the governance around cardholder data to reduce credit card fraud. Many banks urge organisations to be PCI DSS compliant to have the right to make credit card payments. Review systems regularly to make sure these standards are followed.

“Most cyber-attacks on retail companies happen in the e-commerce space. However, in-store POS systems are not immune to the treats. With Black Friday around the corner and the festive season looming, it is a boom time for cybercriminals. Retailers must be aware and implement strategies to guard their businesses, both online and in-store,” says Charl Ueckermann, CEO at AVeS Cyber Security.

According to Ueckermann, AVeS Cyber Security has encountered numerous organisations that have limited to no protection on POS devices. This has a direct impact on cyber security for organisations because most times, the POS and corporate systems run on the same infrastructure and network. What this means is that when a POS system is compromised, a network breach can occur for the corporate network as well, leading to confidential client information breaches.

“Protecting POS systems, therefore, requires a multi-faceted and multi-layered approach. You want a highly-effective detection and protection tool to identify and remedy vulnerabilities proactively. The solution should have anti-virus capabilities specifically designed for POS systems. You also want to ensure that the POS software itself is up to date to the latest version, at all times. This is especially important for high transaction times, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

POS systems are vulnerable to attack when they are old or outdated because the software would not have been designed with today’s modern-day hackers in mind, making them vulnerable and susceptible to malicious code. Attacks on POS systems are becoming quite sophisticated, and cybercriminals are known to use both hardware and software to hijack payment card information and steal business data. Malware targeting POS systems is common and is one of the many ways to steal payment card details. Malware is used to obtain sensitive information, and in some cases, to even steal money directly from bank accounts.

“Your security technology should be able to detect malware, tampering, rooted/jailbroken POS devices, and more. The security stack should include a feature that proactively alerts retailers and POS providers when it is not safe to use the POS devices for making payments or performing other electronic transactions. If not, your system and your business will be vulnerable,” stresses Ueckermann.

Attackers also exploit mobile POS applications to steal personal and sensitive information that is used to make fraudulent purchases. This can result in big financial losses and damage to credit reputations for unsuspecting customers, and worse still, identity theft.

The backend of mobile applications can also be used by cybercriminals to compromise POS systems as well as the majority of business transactions that are processed on the server’s side. This gives them a way into internal business systems. Once the attacker gets inside the network or central system of POS vendors or retailers, they are able to access the compromised POS application as well as other POS applications used by the retailer in other locations. Attacking the entry point at the backend is a common attacking method, and Ueckermann says countless large-scale security breaches have been caused by this method.

He concludes: “The onus is on retailers to do the due diligence to protect their customers and data against cyber-attacks over the holiday shopping season and beyond. Strategies and measures should be in place to provide a safe and secure experience for customers online and in-store.

“Card and online payment processes should be secured and encrypted, controls should be in place to check and ensure the integrity of handheld POS devices, and mobile payment systems should be subjected to regular patches, updates, and equipment upgrades to protect against continually evolving threats.”

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

Criminals will likely target the influx of shoppers bustling to get their festive season shopping done over the next few weeks, says Charnel Hattingh, national marketing and communications manager at Fidelity ADT.

Hattingh said that shoppers should particularly cautious of follow-home attacks.

“We are urging all shoppers to be vigilant at malls and shopping centres and to be aware that we generally see a spike in follow-home incidents at this time of year,” she said.

In most cases shoppers are followed home from the malls and hijacked in their driveways.

“Criminals are aware these shoppers have a car full of newly-purchased items and are generally easy, distracted targets.”

“If you suspect you are being followed drive immediately to your nearest police station or security provider guardhouse,” Hattingh said.

Fidelity ADT said drivers should also remember general hijacking safety tips such as waiting in the road for the gate to open before driving in, and making sure the gate is closed properly behind the vehicle before getting out.

Safety tips at malls

“When in the mall or centre carry as little as possible in your handbag or pockets and rather leave unnecessary bank or store cards and large amounts of cash at home,” said Hattingh.

“A packed clothing store or supermarket is the prime hunting-ground for a pick-pocket or bag-snatcher. And, never leave a handbag, purse or wallet in a trolley.

“If you don’t use a bag or do not take one along, keep your wallet or purse in the front pocket of your jacket or trousers. Criminals are also targeting phones so make sure your phone is out of sight either in a zipped-up bag or in a front pocket.”

“If you are drawing large amounts of cash, take someone along to keep watch while you are at the ATM and to keep a lookout for any suspicious individuals or vehicles on the way home. If you can avoid drawing large sums of cash, do so. Electronic payments are the safer route,” she said.

Your safety outside the mall is just as important as it is inside, Fidelity ADT said.

“Before you exit the mall, have your keys ready so that no time is wasted to get your purchases and yourself into the car. This also means that you’ll be able to hold onto your handbag as you walk. If someone does try to snatch your handbag, let it go. Do not resist or fight back,” Hattingh said.

Lastly, she suggested avoiding shopping late at night.

“While the idea of a quieter shopping mall may seem appealing, you are more vulnerable in the car parks, mall bathrooms and the likes. If you have no other choice, be vigilant and report any suspicious individuals to the mall security.”

Black Friday is not a charity, consumers warned

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

Black Friday, which falls on 29 November this year, may feel like an annual treat for thrifty shoppers, but it has little to do with altruism. For retailers it is all about maximising consumer spend.

Some Black Friday bargains will save you money, with some items selling at or below cost price, but profit-starved stores, especially those in South Africa under extreme pressure, do not plan to come in at a loss for the day.

Rather, online and brick and mortar stores use the annual shopping day to manipulate consumers, get feet through doors, win hearts and minds, and generate additional revenue.

In South Africa, shoppers spent close to R3 billion at stores on Black Friday 2018 – a leap in spending so high that it even helped ‘save’ the country’s economy after a torrid year. And with South African consumer spending habits often dictated by pay day deposits, it’s an expense that few local consumers can actually afford.

In order to get consumers parting with their cash, and then, ironically, thanking the stores while doing so, retailers employ several tricks and techniques – many of which are refined each year as the shopping day continues to gain traction in South Africa.

This is how stores will try to trick you into spending more money than you probably should on Black Friday 2019.

Stores will build up your bargain-seeking arrogance – to your detriment.

The psychological manipulation starts long before anyone bangs on the store doors early on Black Friday morning itself, and all the retailers taking part are conspiring against you.

Stores use several psychological tricks to manipulate shoppers, but one of the most important is boosting your certainty of finding a great deal on days like Black Friday, according to brand and consumer specialist Martin Lindstrom.

He argued on Bloomberg that most of what we do while shopping is irrational and subconscious, and calls the mall “the soul of seduction”. The more rational shoppers think they are, he says, the more likely they are to be manipulated.

In other words, you might think it’s entirely rational, and even pretty genius, to be tracking down that amazing deal on Black Friday – but if anything, this confidence just means you’re more likely to fall prey to their tricks.

Building up the hype prior to Black Friday reinforces the idea that great bargains are to be had. Also watch out for messages that tease limited availability and the need to pounce on deals while they are available, rather than sitting on the idea of buying that brand new washing machine until it is “too late”.

“Limited stock” is just that – especially if the numbers aren’t specified.

Mainstream stores will not risk being caught for fraud; if they advertise a once-in-a-lifetime discount of tens of thousands of rands, they really will sell at that price. But there is no requirement for them to have enough stock to make sure you too can get that item at that price.

Be especially worried when the level of stock is not specified, because “limited” can mean “one”.

Stores count on the fact that the adrenaline rush of Black Friday will make you grab a “deal” you haven’t properly researched when limited stock means you can’t get exactly what you want – especially after you’ve camped out on a cold floor all night or obsessively clicked “refresh” on a web page.

Retailers lure you in with great deals, and then subtly tempt you to buy stuff that is not on sale

The concept of loss leaders – items that aren’t necessarily profitable, but sold to attract customers to other items – is nothing new, and not exclusive to Black Friday, either.

Between online research and social media, retailers have to offer genuinely good deals to get feet through their doors rather than those of competitors. If they draw enough traffic they may be able to offset the losses with higher volumes on regularly-priced goods, and they tend to do everything in their power to convince you to buy those.

In some cases it seems as if stores also subtly mark up items they think shoppers may not know the value of, and let the halo-effect of Black Friday give the impression that these too are really good deals.

Loss-leading is not a failsafe way for stores to generate profits, but they do work – to the extent that they’re banned in many US states and European countries.

The products on sale may be old….

Check the model numbers of the hot ticket items that are deeply discounted, and you may find that the products are anything but new.

Events like Black Friday are a great way to move old items that haven’t sold through the year, and probably won’t move during Christmas shopping either – and which will only drop in value as they are outpaced by newer models with new features or technologies.

These can still be great deals if you know what you are in for, and if you are happy with last year’s model, or one with limited features. Just don’t be caught with a “new” TV that isn’t quite what you expected.

… or inferior

Because American consumers can now be counted on to flood into stores for Black Friday, some manufacturers create products especially to capitalise on that spending.

In at least some cases, these special product lines are cheaper to make, and inferior, to mainstream product lines that carry the same name. Because of this, Forbes suggests that the very bastion of a Black Friday deal – the not-so-humble flat screen television – is better bought at other times of the year to avoid buying “toned down, derivative models”.

If you can’t find the model number for a common item from a big name with a simple Google search, beware.

You are not being paranoid: some stores will quietly increase prices before Black Friday to claim bigger discount levels.

As with some online stores in South Africa, those dramatic double-digit percentage discounts on offer come 29 November will not necessarily be as attractive as simple math would suggest.

That’s because in order to hit the advertised discounts, some retailers quietly increase the retail price of sale items a few weeks before the event.

That way they can genuinely claim a discount compared to what they were charging before, even though that is not necessarily the price that was generally charged.

Chances are you’ll get the same thing at the same discount later – and you may do even better.

It’s easy to fall into the temptation trap of Black Friday and think it’s the only sale of the year. But, in the US market at least, CNN claims that there are the same – if not better – deals to be had at other times of the year.

And the South African seasonal retail cycle is looking more and more like that of America, as Black Friday and Cyber Monday take hold here.

Sales on things like clothes and outdoor equipment are often dictated by the changing weather, so if you’re after summer fashion items, you may be better off waiting a few months after Black Friday.

Likewise, South African electronics stores increasingly release items like smart phones and televisions soon after they launch elsewhere. Those launch dates are often linked to big international events, such as the Consumer Electronics Show in the US.

So if you lust after a big-ticket item such as a new iPhone or a large TV, you might be better syncing your sales clock with, say, Apple’s international releases, and waiting for the fire-sale price drops that come when that now top-of-the-line phone suddenly becomes a previous model.

Pick n Pay has big Black Friday 2019 plans

Pick n Pay’s planning for Black Friday 2019 began straight after the shopping holiday ended last year.

  • The retailer worked to gauge what customers most enjoyed
  • They looked to improve shopping experience
  • They ran a trial Black Friday on 27 September
  • Plans were made months in advance with suppliers to ensure that it has the right stock available, at the right prices, in the right quantities across the right stores
  • Arrangements for extra deliveries to stores over the weekend and add extra delivery and collection slots to our online shop
  • The staff complement was increased
  • Black Friday 2019 will involve deals at different times throughout November as well as weekly online-only deals for customers
  • It will involve a range of products from fresh food to grocery staples, appliances, liquor and clothing

Black Friday sales expected to soar in SA

Source: African News Network

South African business have begun preparing for what looks to be another bumper Black Friday trading day, with sales predicted to be up 30% from last year, online largest payment service provider PayGate said.

South Africa has like several other countries adopted “Black Friday”, the informal name for the day after Thanksgiving in the United States which marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. This year, it will fall on November 29.

Data from retail tracker Black Friday Global shows interest in Black Friday deals in South Africa has grown by 9,900 percent over the past five years, PayGate said in a statement on Tuesday.

“PayGate’s tracking of payments for Black Friday, meanwhile, shows the number of transactions doubling every year for the past three years, and payment clearing house BankservAfrica says it saw a 55 percent growth in transactions in 2018 compared to the previous year,” it said.

“PayGate expects 2019 Black Friday transactions to grow by 30 percent this year.”

It however said South Africa’s e-commerce growth was generally coming off a very low base, having really taken off only in the past three years or so.

The company said it had processes some 64 percent of Black Friday transactions last year, and expected this to rise to as much as 70 percent in 2019.

South African business have begun preparing for what looks to be another bumper Black Friday trading day, with sales predicted to be up 30 percent from last year, online largest payment service provider PayGate said on Tuesday.

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

Data shows that 2 out of 3 South African consumers participated in Black Friday shopping at some point, according to Isana Cordier, sector head for consumer goods and services, corporate and investment banking at ABSA.

ABSA card data indicates that, on average, every last Friday of the month consumers spend about 55% of purchases on groceries.

On Black Friday, however, this changes and durable goods make up about 20% of purchases.

“It, therefore, seems that consumers are holding back spending on those durable items to buy them on Black Friday. South Africans especially like to spend on electronics on Black Friday,” Cordier said at a recent consumer insights event hosted by ABSA in Cape Town.

Black Friday has become the biggest spending day of the year in the SA retail sector, with more than R3bn spent last year.

Another interesting trend for her is that, whereas Black Friday shopping in SA was initially mostly centred around Gauteng and the Western Cape, the “frenzy” has started to spread to other provinces as well.

For instance, the Eastern Cape now makes up about 7.2% of Black Friday spending in SA, KwaZulu-Natal 14.2% and the Free State 4.1%. Gauteng still accounts for 37% of spending in SA on Black Friday.

Fin24 reported last year that retail sales over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period most likely “saved” the South African economy in November, according to the BankservAfrica Economic Transaction Index (BETI).

On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a total of 5.2 million card transactions were recorded.

More significantly, according to the BETI report, there was 55% growth in online sales for Black Friday and 36.4% for Cyber Monday.

Black Friday weekend in numbers

According to an article by Business Tech, online sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 exceeded figures for 2017.

BankservAfrica provided Business Tech with the following figures on one of the biggest shopping days of the year:

  • A total of 581 189 online transactions were processed over the weekend
  • 404 594 online transactions were recorded on Black Friday
  • The single most expensive transaction for Black Friday was over R6-million
  • The single most expensive transaction for Cyber Monday was R5-million
  • Black Friday shopping peaked between 08h00 and 09h00
  • Cyber Monday shopping peaked between 10h00 and 11h00
  • The average number of transactions per minute peaked at 695 on Black Friday
  • Transactions averaged at 281 per minute on Black Friday
  • The average number of transactions per minute peaked at 277 on Cyber Monday
  • Transactions averaged at 1251 per minute on Cyber Monday
  • Black Friday saw 55% year-on-year growth in online transactions
  • Cyber Monday transactions were up 36% year-on-year 

The United States, where the trend originated, also saw some big numbers:

  • Cyber Monday sales surged to a record $7.9-billion spent online
  • This is a year-on-year increase of 19.3%
  • Black Friday pulled in a record $6.22-billion in e-commerce sales
  • Transactions on mobile devices were up 55.6% on Cyber Monday, generating $2.2-billion in sales
  • Cyber Monday marked the biggest shopping day in Amazon’s history
  • Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined saw the purchase 18-million toys and more than 13-million fashion items

Source: 702

On Black Friday, most shops opened very early to allow shoppers to start helping themselves to the deals.

EWN reporter Shamiela Fisher reported that Checkers in Goodwood had long queues before 6 am. According to the manager, the staff had to be collected as early as 2 am to ensure that everything is in order by the time shoppers arrive.

EWN reporter Refilwe Pitjeng was monitoring Mall of Africa, Sandton and Woodmead in Gauteng.

She says toilet paper was the most popular item and Mall of Africa was out of stock.

Source: Fin24

Deeply indebted consumers have been warned not to splurge on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales as retailers tempt even the most financially distressed, said Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roets.

Black Friday is taking place on Friday, 23 and Cyber Monday, 26 November.

“While it is true that there will be some very tempting deals on offer, consumers should think long and hard before plunging themselves even deeper into debt by splurging on luxury goods that they most likely don’t need.”

Roets said that over the past several years, his firm has seen the impact that Black Friday and Christmas shopping sprees have had on consumers over reckless spending .

He pointed out that South African consumers collectively owe their creditors in excess of R1.7trn with most of them three months or more in arrears with their repayments.

“We are far from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It is our belief and many leading economists share that belief that we are far from staging a recovery.”

Roets was on the view that things are going to get a lot tougher before they get better.

“Now is not the time to act recklessly. On the contrary – it is more important now than ever before to implement fiscal discipline and save whatever money is left over at the end of the month.”

Roets suggested that consumers only buy what is absolutely necessary.

“While we all feel that we desperately need a holiday and the end of a brutal year, keep those holidays within budget and don’t think that if you don’t have the money for school fees in December that the money will somehow, magically become available in January when the schools reopen,” he said.

SA retailers reveal deals for Black Friday 2018

By Lauren Hartzenberg for BizCommunity

Retailers and shoppers are gearing up for the biggest sale day on the retail calendar, Black Friday, taking place on 23 November this year. The event marks the beginning of the festive shopping season. It also allows consumers to save on Christmas shopping and retailers to boost sales and move stock before the festive season really kicks in.

Black Friday has picked up steam in South Africa since its entry into the local market in 2015, with a growing number of retailers and brands participating in the event each year. 2017 was the strongest Black Friday to date for consumer electronics sales in South Africa, and Superbalist celebrated its biggest trading day with over 118% year-on-year growth.

This year, many local retailers opted to extend the sale weekend into a week- or month-long affair, possibly to secure spend from those consumers whose payday only falls in the week after Black Friday.

Below are some of the retailers that have confirmed participation in Black Friday 2018:

@home
@home will offer discounts across categories on Black Friday. Deals include R3000 off a Smeg Mixer, R7000 off couches, up to R1,000 off pot sets, and further deals on kitchen, dining, décor, bedding and furniture ranges.

American Swiss and Sterns
TFG-owned jewellery stores American Swiss and Sterns will be offering in-store specials of up to 50% off selected jewellery and watches.

Clicks
Clicks is holding an online only Pre-Black Friday Extravaganza from 16 November to 22 November, that continues over the Black Friday weekend, in stores and online, and concludes with Cyber Week from 25 November to 2 December (online only). The deals are exclusive to ClubCard members.
The retailer has promised the following specials: Up to 70% off technology and accessories, up to 50% off beauty products, up to 50% off electrical products, up to 50% off household products, up to 40% off health products, up to 30% off baby products.

Dion Wired
Starting on 22 November at midnight, right through to 23 November, Dion Wired shoppers can save up to 53% on a variety of brands both in-store and online.

Faithful to Nature
Faithful to Nature is running its Black5Day Sale on its site from 19 to 23 November. Each day reveals new specials with savings of between 40% to 50% on wellness and eco-friendly brands like Wazoogles, Back2Nature, Bee Natural and Triple Orange.
The retailer will also donate a portion of their turnover from the Black5Day Sale to Endangered Wildlife Trust to support them in their animal protection movements, from poaching to climate change, habitat destruction and pollution.

FirstShop
FirstShop will run Black Friday deals from 21-27 November, with discounts across categories including laptops, desktops, monitors, hard drives, PC components, headphones, speakers, and PC peripherals.

Foschini
Shoppers can get access to Foschini’s best Black Friday deals by signing up to TFG Rewards to qualify for an exclusive preview taking place in stores nationwide on Thursday 22 November at 4pm. For extra offers and more info around the sale, customers are urged to sign up to Foschini’s newsletter.

Game
Game launched deals as early as 7 November to build up momentum for the main shopping event on Black Friday. The retailer promises discounts across all categories at all its 145 stores in South Africa and Africa on the day, and some stores will be opening several hours earlier than normal – some as early as midnight on 22 November – to accommodate the rush.
Additionally, on Cyber Monday shoppers will be able to pick up “phenomenal deals” on a variety of tech products including laptops, tablets, smartphones and digital accessories.

Makro
Makro is running a 5-day Black Friday promotion from 21-25 November 2018, with price cuts on over 26,000 products. Mobile POS systems will be rolled out during the sale, letting customers purchasing a small number of items pay while standing in a queue. In-store trading hours have also been extended for the period.
Interestingly, the retailer has partnered with Uber to offer a R50 discount on rides to and from Makro outlets in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth. The voucher code MAKRO5DAY can be used twice per rider.

Markham
Markham is giving shoppers up to 50% off its fashion sale goods. The ‘Make your Mark’ Black Friday offer is also available in its Relay Jeans stores and on both online sites.
myTFGworld.com
Black Friday deals from TFG’s new marketplace include box sets of family favourites from Reader’s Warehouse at 20% off, fresh flowers and bouquets from Bloomable at 20% off, and a free retro phone with any Pylones purchase.

Pick n Pay
Pick n Pay got a head start on Black Friday, announcing online deals as early as 5 November. Online customers can expect discounts of up to 50% across various categories on the Pick n Pay’s online shop, including liquor, food, toiletries and household products. Deals have also been launched for select appliances. Deals will run weekly from 5 to 25 November.

Pricecheck
On Black Friday, price comparison site PriceCheck will have a list of curated Black Friday deals, encompassing all site-wide deals either above 30% or equal to R2,000 or more in saving. PriceCheck’s Black Friday deals will run from 19 November to 26 November, with category specials running daily in the build-up to Black Friday.

RunwaySale
Online fashion retailer RunwaySale will be running a week-long promotion, starting at 5am on 19 November and ending at midnight on 25 November.
Daily escalating discounts will be available on thousands of designer fashion and accessory brands, culminating in up to 80% off. There will also be exclusive offers for VIP shoppers, early launch sales and other daily pop-up specials.

Shoprite
Shoprite is promising “lower prices than ever” with up to 50% off on selected products on Black Friday. All deals are valid on 23 November 2018 while stocks last.

Sportscene
Sportscene Shoppers can score up to 75% off selected sneakers and shop a curated selection of streetwear apparel and accessories at up to 50% off.

Superbalist
Superbalist is running various Black Friday specials for five days, from 23 to 27 November, with new deals unlocked each day. These deals will be revealed via email, on the mobile app and via a Facebook event. Superbalist has also super-sized their 2018 Black Friday sale to run for five days.

Takealot
Takealot’s famous Blue Dot Sale will run for five days with discounts of up to 60% on Black Friday, throughout the weekend as well as on Cyber Monday and Takealot Tuesday. Download the Takealot.com app for access to pre-Black Friday sales, app-only deals and sneak previews.

Teljoy
South African online retailer for electronics, furniture and household goods, if offering Black Friday discounts for a whole week, from 19 November to Cyber Monday on 26 November. Brands on sales include Hisense, Panasonic, Huawei, HP, Mecer and Defy.

The Fix
Fashion retailer The Fix will have buy-one-get-one-free offers both in-store and online this Black Friday. TFG Rewards customers get exclusive access to Black Friday offers at The Fix all day on Thursday, 22 November.

The Gadget Shop
The Gadget Shop will run a Black Friday sale from 23-25 November, with 20% off all products except for DJI drones, and up to 50% off selected products. There will also be buy-one-get-one-free specials on selected products. The Gadget Shop will also run Cyber Monday online-only deals.

Toys R Us
Toy retailer Toys R Us says it will be running Black Friday deals on its top brands with up to 70% off.

Zando
Zando is offering up to 90% across categories on its site, including on major brands like Adidas and Puma. Beginning at 00:01 on Friday, 23 November the Zando Black Friday sale will run over the entire weekend including Cyber Monday.

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