Despite the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown that saw an initial decline in revenues for many South African businesses, 26 industry sectors showed positive signs of sales-revenue recovery in the first half of this year.

Aggregated monthly sales data from over 600 South African companies indicates that 20 business sectors outperformed the pre-Covid first quarter of 2020, with many business sectors reporting an increase in order volumes as consumer confidence grew amidst the pandemic.

This is according to the data presented by the Skynamo Industry Thermometer, a free to access resource provides data on the status of the economy, enabling businesses to measure themselves. This South African field sales tech company secured a $30 million investment in 2020 from US software investment firm, Five Elms Capital, to accelerate adoption of its field sales app in the US, UK and South Africa.

To successfully navigate the next quarter, Sam Clarke, CEO of Skynamo says that it is vital for businesses to remain optimistic whilst making sure they rely on uncluttered processes, available data and informed teams to make pivotal decisions going forward.

Indicator of industry’s health

The Skynamo Industry Thermometer provides monthly sector reporting on average order values and volumes from over 500 South African manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors using the Skynamo field sales app to capture sales orders. The data is aggregated from field-sales operations in South Africa dating back to January 2020. In total, 26 industry sectors are tracked.

“When Covid-19 hit last year, there was an initial knee-jerk reaction that sent everyone indoors,” says Clarke. “Buying-trust was shaky as consumers and businesses tried to manage their overheads in the face of uncertainty.”

Impact of the pandemic

“You can see a vast difference over time as lockdown levels dropped and restrictions eased on business and social gatherings – businesses started receiving higher value orders once again,” says Clarke. “That’s a good sign: it shows that confidence in the marketplace is returning. The recovery that we’re witnessing now is positive, and our industry data tells us good news about the healthy growth in buying behaviour.” Twenty of the 26 sectors monitored showed an increase in average order value for the period Jan to March 2021 vs the same three-month period in 2020, before the pandemic struck.

Reflecting the uncertainties of the pandemic may take some time to stabilise to a point of reliability. However, these severe shifts can be attributed to lockdown measures implemented to mitigate the spread of new virus strains. “This has a ripple effect on supply and demand which leads to inconsistent order behaviours from companies that even operate in the same industry. However, despite these inconsistencies, we recorded increased spend in June 2021 year-on-year, but it is hard to predict whether this positive trajectory will continue going forward.”

“We’re always looking at ways to help our customers make better sales decisions and increase sales. Our Industry Thermometer provides our customers – and the overall market – with a month-on-month view of the state of health of a cross-section of industries that can expose them to trends and help them in their decision-making process and sales planning,” Clarke concludes.

To view the Skynamo Industry Thermometer, please visit:

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