By Lee Jones, Director of Sales and Business Development at Ingenico Enterprise Retail
Preparing for the peak sales season is crucial for retailers of all sizes. Black Friday is notorious for big sales and even bigger spends, and it’s important that merchants have all their ducks in a row to make the most of this opportune annual sales day.
Evaluating key statistics during this period can really help retailers spot market trends and allow them to adapt for the sales season. Once businesses’ systems are optimised to provide the best customer experience and cope with the higher-than-usual transaction volumes, it’ll put them in prime position to perform on peak sales days all year round.
Black Friday 2018 was worth £7billion
Every retailer knows that getting Black Friday right can be extremely lucrative for all involved. In total, last year’s Black Friday profits yielded an impressive £7 billion for the British retail sector, with a large amount of sales taking place online. That isn’t to say that in-store is without its place in the peak season, but many shoppers choose the convenience of an online basket rather than an in-store one.
Yet, despite the many measures that ecommerce stores put into place, website crashes still occurred among many high-profile enterprise-level brands. Failing to cope with Black Friday traffic is always a devastating occurrence – customers are impatient and competition is high so hundreds of pounds worth of sales can be lost in an instant. Making sure payments systems are optimised is essential to avoid losing out.
In-store took its fair share
Ecommerce has been on the rise for years, but the Highstreet certainly isn’t dead yet. Between 23rd and 25th November (Black Friday weekend) last year, Ingenico gathered key data from its large retail customers in Europe covering in-store and online activities, and found that while ecommerce sales created an impressive €573.21 million in sales (approx. £507.27 million) the in-store purchases totalled a staggering €2.17 billion (approx. £1.92 billion).
Having said this, online still outdid in-store on average basket spends, averaging €92.60 compared to in-store’s €50.95. To soar on peak sales days, retailers should therefore optimise systems across all channels to ensure a
mCommerce continues to rise
Consumers are increasingly after the most convenient and seamless customer experience, and as the pace of life continues to quicken, it’s no surprise that shoppers are turning to mobile to bag their bargains. Based on 2018 data, Bloomreach is predicting that more than 50% of ecommerce sales will come from mobile devices. 2018 saw UK mobile traffic spike by over 1 million searches on the week of Black Friday, with desktop only seeing an increase of just over 100,000.
Last year mobile sales were responsible for 50% of all transactions in the UK in this period, with purchases made from desktop and tablet devices making up the rest. As payment preferences broaden, retailers need to ensure they provide an omnichannel experience to cater to consumers however they wish to shop.
1 million transactions were processed by 6.33am
Black Friday shoppers start early. Very early, in fact. Payments giant Ingenico hit £1millon transactions by 6.33am, and processed in excess of 23 million in-store transactions last year. Retailers need to ensure that they have a capable payments provider, one that can operate below the required transaction volumes so that customers have the capability to ‘shop till they drop’.
Getting it wrong on arguably the biggest shopping day of the year can be a disaster, hindering sales and damaging customer confidence. People are time poor these days, if things are taking too long, or payments are delayed and causing too many issues, they will look elsewhere. It’s up to retailers to ensure their systems are optimised so shoppers choose to shop with them over anyone else.