Consumers will expect a flawless experience

Patrick Munden, head of retail at global e-commerce consultancy Salmon, on how more shoppers are choosing online for their ‘Black Fiveday’ and that retailers who provide a flawless experience will reap the benefits


As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, high-street stores, shopping centres and online retailers will need to ensure they are prepared for the expected increase in peak sales.

Recent BRC stats pinpointed that online transactions in the three months running up to October grew by 11.1 per cent, with consumers eager to shift towards online services.

Salmon’s own research predicts ‘Black Fiveday’ sales will be spread across next week, with an overall record-breaking £5 billion sales and further £2.55bn purchases on mobile devices expected.

The recent Which? investigation might put off customers who are looking to strike a good bargain. However, China’s recent success in Singles’ Day, led by retailer Alibaba, reaffirmed the trend of vendors veering towards big shopping experiences.

To put Singles’ Day into perspective, the 24-hour online sale accumulated $17.8 billion (£14.3bn) in sales, which is more than Brazil’s entire projected yearly e-commerce sales.

Amazon joined in by launching its Black Friday sales early, across a two-week period. Clearly, shoppers turn out for peak and do so because there are genuine deals to be had.

Black Friday continues to grow in prominence, and retailers that have an online strategy, robust back-end systems and a clear supply chain in place will draw in the biggest reward.

Anticipation is half of the battle and customers shifting online will expect a flawless experience. Vendors that accomplish this will see the reputational and financial benefits instantly.