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3 Ways To Boost Your Holiday Sales in Africa

Updated: Sep 13

Based on a survey of over 3,500 consumers across Sub-Saharan Africa, our research explores the shopping behaviors and consumer trends which retailers and marketers need to be aware of to boost their sales this holiday season and beyond.

It’s the busiest time of the year in Africa: the holiday season and retail sales are expected to pick up. With an ever-changing consumer and fierce competition, it is the most challenging time for brands as they deploy marketing strategies to maximize their sales potential. To win in this competitive environment it is important for retailers and marketers to understand where, when and how consumers are spending over the holidays.

Be ready for the last-minute rush

Across markets, consumers are planning to shop for the holiday in December or later, it means that you should expect a last-minute rush to get the gifts and purchases.

Our research found that this year, 6 in 10 (59%) Africans will do their holiday shopping in December or later, up from 47% in 2018. This trend is sharpest in countries with slower economic growth, showing that consumers are becoming savvy shoppers, for example, 90% of South Africans said they will complete their holiday shopping in December or Later.

The last-minute rush can be a headache and a missed opportunity for marketers who are not prepared. To capitalize on this opportunity, marketers should provide a quick and efficient in-store shopping experience.

Here are a couple of ideas to help you be ready:

  • Hit the right price point

  • Intensify your sales and promotion close to December 20th

  • Train your staff on products so you can provide recommendation and advice

  • Add more cash registers to speed the payment process

Focus on offline marketing

Don’t get distracted with digital marketing, Africans are still shopping offline. Our research found that 6 in 10 (61%) consumers say they will spend over 60 percent of their holiday budget offline (in supermarkets, malls, and local markets), while 3 in 10 (34%) say they will spend over 60 percent of their budget online (mostly on mobile). Despite the benefits of online shopping, the reality is consumers are still going to stores during this holiday season.

Here are a couple of ideas to help you be ready:

  • Ensuring exceptional store experiences with helpful staff

  • Set up your in-store advertising and promotion

  • Enhance your product placement within the store to capture shoppers' attention

  • Provide a great in-store experience to encourage word of mouth marketing

Focus on relevance and quality

Consumers are spending on the people they care about the most this holiday season. Our research shows that this holiday season is a close family (especially Kids) affair in Africa. In fact, 4 in 10 consumers (39 percent) said they will buy gifts for kids or family only in 2019 compared to 3 in 10 (29 percent) in 2018.

Here are a couple of ideas to help you be ready:

  • In Africa, the holiday season is all about celebrating with loved ones, align communications and promotions to themes around family gatherings, gifting, and celebration

  • Toys remain the top gifting choice over the holidays, retailers must strengthen their toy offerings by keeping up with the latest trends amongst children and promoting the toys which create a sense of excitement and nostalgia e.g. movie tie-ins such as Frozen 2 or Toy Story 4 related toys, or those which allow kids to explore their scientific or creative sides

  • Gift cards are becoming more popular, they could be promoted as part of your brand’s essential holiday offering, they could be particularly handy for last-minute shoppers

As African shoppers delay the start of their shopping season, the holiday gift hunt is far from over which means there is still time to utilize these insights to fine-tune your promotional strategies, capture more sales and make this your merriest holiday.

#HolidaySeasonConsumerSpending #HolidaySeasonMarketingIdeas #MarketingduringtheHolidaySeason #MarketingIdeasthatMaximizeReturn #MarketResearchHolidaySeasonConsumerTrends 


Patience Muyambo

Director of Research at KASI


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