Here’s how to beat the Black Friday online queues on 29 November – and you can start now

Business Insider SA
Photo Jay Caboz
The Black Friday 2018 queue outside Game in Century City, Cape Town.. Photo Jay Caboz
  • A little preparation can save you a lot of time when shopping online this Black Friday – when the best deals pull in huge crowds, leading to sites crashing and virtual shelves running empty.
  • We asked retail experts how we should prepare for 29 November 2019 to not miss out on the discounts we really want.
  • Here is their cheat sheet, including things you can start doing straight away.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.  

Black Friday, which falls on November 29 2019, is promising to hit like a grocery-laden freight train this year. From the preparations retailers are making, they at least expect a bumper discount day, with big crowds eager to grab the best deals.

Although online retailers are better prepared than ever, really big sale events are notorious for crashed websites, special virtual queuing systems, and limited-stock deals that run out all too soon.

We asked a group of retail experts for their best advice on how to prepare for Black Friday 2019, to get the stuff we want.

Here is what the experts say we can start doing now to make the best of Black Friday 2019, on 29 November.

Know the layout and payment processes of websites you want to use.

First time online buyers, and not-so-seasoned Black Friday shoppers, should get familiar with the layout of online stores before the day to avoid performance anxiety says Matthew Leighton, spokesperson at OneDayOnly.

“On a normal day, it takes around three minutes for the average consumer to select a product and check out but on Black Friday 2018 it took on average seven minutes and 40 seconds once a user landed on the website to check out,” said Leighton.

While everyone else is trying to figure out where to find the stuff they want and seal the deal, you can be long gone – if you familiarise yourself with the details beforehand.

Pre-load your payment and delivery details.

You should update your online profile before Black Friday deals go live, and make very sure your delivery address is correct, advises John Bradshaw, retail executive for marketing at Pick n Pay. 

Also check that you know your password, and that any loyalty memberships you might want to use (like FNB eBucks or Discovery Miles accounts) are loaded correctly. You don’t want to deal with this admin on the day when you could be shopping.

“For new shoppers, it is advisable to create a profile and load a credit card to the site. This will ensure a quick and painless check out process on the day. For existing online users, make sure you know your password, and reset if needed, to avoid any delays when placing your Black Friday order.”

Know what you want – and check the price now.

It’s a good idea to start comparing products and prices online to see which retailer has the best deal for your chosen item, says comparison site PriceCheck's CEO Chloe Gojon-Lötter. You'll also want an idea of the brands and products you're interested in before Black Friday.

Having a sense of what a normal good price is can come in handy – and you may also find good deals released before 29 November. 

Build a wish list.

Setting up a wish list now will save you some serious time on the day looking for discounts, says Nathalie Schooling, CEO of nlighten, a customer experiences company.

“Think about the items you really need or have coveted for a long time and prepare a wish list ahead of the day. This way if you come across an attractive deal, you have already considered your buying decision ahead of time. Give thought to how much you would like to pay and what you would be willing to pay, which features are must-haves and which you could live without,” says Schooling.

Any decent website will synchronise your pre-prepared wish list or shopping cart with the special prices on the day, which means you can just check out rather than hunt around. 

For more tips try: Black Friday isn’t charity. Here’s how retailers want to trick you into spending more than you should, buying things you shouldn’t

For more deals try: Black Friday: Here are the retailers that will offer discounts this year and here’s what we know so far about those deals 

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