With Black Friday last year breaking the £1bn online shopping day mark, this year, Salmon is this year predicting that Black Friday will indeed become a ‘Black FiveDay’ and see a record breaking £5 billion spent online from Thursday 24th November through to Cyber Monday on the 28th.
The digital commerce firm correctly predicted the first £1 billion online shopping day for Black Friday 2015 now predicts an extension to the traditional Black Friday rush with a record breaking £5 billion spent online from Thursday 24th November through to Cyber Monday on the 28th.
Last year, despite the retail industry anticipating the Black Friday rush, digitally-led sales were even higher than predicted. In the US retailers saw a tipping point, as online sales outnumbered offline sales for the first time ever. In the UK, some retailers reportedly suffered website outages due to the high volumes of traffic, while on some sites customers sat in online waiting rooms. This year the heightened shopping period is set to run from Thursday 24th November through to Cyber Monday on the 28th, and retailers should begin planning their online operations during the peak period now.
John Beechen, Head of Managed Services at Salmon, said, “Retailers should think about peak trading as a crisis that they know will happen in advance. Preparation is vital, and retailers should already be considering their business and operational plans for the period. Retailers must also consider contingency plans to respond to issues during the week. At Salmon, we run a cross-client peak operations centre throughout the period to monitor and detect issues before outages and fix problems in real-time. Retailers should be ready to take advantage of the heightened consumer interest during peak trading – and avoid long term damage to the brand through poor customer experience.”
Salmon will share its insights on how to prepare for peak trading at the IMRG’s Managing Peak Performance Connect Conference on Wednesday 15 June. John Beechen, Head of Managed Services at Salmon, will present a speech outlining how retailers should prepare for heightened demand during the busy online period. Salmon will also launch the Black Friday 2016 Playbook at the event, to support retailers in their planning. Through advanced preparations involving the business and operations teams, businesses can cope with the influx of web traffic and protect customer experience.
Following the launch of Salmon’s Black Friday 2016 playbook, Juha Mattsson, CMO at Walkbase, said: “Last year it was revealed that UK consumers spent over £1bn online on Black Friday – and the fact that it’s already been pipped to be even bigger than before highlights why retailers need to look at how all the different channels can play their part to deliver the perfect shopping experience.
“While digital-savvy shoppers are predicted to lead the way, retailers should not only start preparing for the digital rush but also thinking about how to convert additional sales in-store when customers collect their purchases. Black Friday will produce a huge spike in sales for many stores so it is also vital that retailers plan, hire additional staff and find extra ways to drive revenues. By preparing and understanding their data, retailers will be able to make their in-store experience as smart of their online.”
Rupal Karia, Managing Director of Retail and Hospitality, UK and Ireland at Fujitsu:“The prediction that this year’s Black Friday will in actual fact be a £5 billion Black Friday week isn’t surprising after the success we saw last year. In 2015, instead of hitting the high-street, digitally-savvy shoppers opted to browse in the comfort of their homes or workplace. This shift in behaviour from 2014 was a game changer, as it demonstrated that retailers needed to look ahead, rather than what had worked previously when shoppers flocked to stores. Consumers prefer the convenience online offers, as our Digital Inside Out research highlighted that nearly two-thirds of consumers see online shopping as the most valued digital service.
“With Black Friday shopping spread over five days, retailers can capitalise even further by choosing to stagger their deals over the week. This will avoid focusing all of their resources into a single day and overwhelming their systems with online traffic. Retailers need to look at how their different channels can work together to deliver a truly excellent customer experience. Only by putting consumers at the heart of the business, personalising the shopping experience and simplifying the buying process, can retailers hope to win the battle for consumers’ hearts – whether that’s in-store or online.”