Global e-commerce consultancy Salmon has predicted that this year’s Black Friday (November 25) will see mobile purchases dominate online sales.
Following its accurate prediction that Black Friday 2015 would be the UK’s first £1 billion online shopping day, it now anticipates it will extend beyond this to the first £5bn ‘Black Fiveday’ week (November 24-28).
Salmon has claimed it is imperative retailers ensure not only that they are prepared from an online perspective, but that they also have a strong mobile offering in place to manage the peak. Having the capacity and ability to manage this peak over the expected five days is crucial, it said.
It also advised retailers that they should now be in the final stages of testing and preparing their sites. Salmon’s head of managed services John Beechen has offered advice on three key things retailers can be doing to ensure they are prepared:
- Capacity testing: Retailers now have little time left to safeguard their sites and systems so that they are capable of functioning with increased levels of traffic over long periods of time. Rigorous testing will be essential, as well as using predictive analytics to certify that systems are able to cope with the levels of traffic expected and any surplus that may occur.
- Be mobile optimised: Mobile is going to take an even more prominent stake in Black Friday this year, with shoppers doing much of their browsing and purchasing on their mobile devices – during their commutes, for instance. So retailers need to verify that their sites are mobile-optimised and allow shoppers to browse and make purchases easily.
- Team alignment: One thing that is vital is communication. All departments – from marketing to the technical teams – must be briefed and fully aware of any peak trading plans. This includes making sure that the teams pricing and promotion strategies are consistent across online and off-line channels, as conflicting information across channels is likely to confuse and lose customers. That way, all elements of the business can align and work together. The business is going out with one cohesive message and maximising the opportunity Black Fiveday and the days that follow present.
“Black Friday is no longer about one single day, or week. Now it is an opportunity to create an ongoing experience that can help grow a retailer’s customer base and loyalty,” said Mr Beechen.
“Even those retailers who do not want to participate in Black Friday need to prepare themselves, as consumers will be in the mood to shop, so they are likely to see an increased uptake and conversion of sales, even if they aren’t offering deals and discounts.”