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Home |About Us | Blog | Black Friday Means Big Sales In-Store, If You Get Payments Right

Black Friday has risen from a US-centric non-event in the UK to a hotly anticipated period in the retail calendar. This year is no different, with UK high street stores forecast to take billions as consumers rush to pick up bargains. At these peak times every part of your retail infrastructure will be tested to the limit, and none more so than your payments systems.

This is where modern, flexible and robust omnichannel systems come into their own, allowing you to maximise sales, empower staff and maintain a pleasant shopping experience amidst the spending frenzy.

A multi-billion pound bonanza

It might have only been with us for a few years, but Black Friday is already well established, and keenly anticipated. Despite inflation, interest rate rises and economic uncertainty this year, UK consumers are still prepared to spend when there are bargains to be had. One analyst claims the Black Friday period — defined as 19-26 November inclusive — will grow 3% on 2017, with shoppers expected to spend a whopping £10.4bn.

Many retailers will have been planning for months to maximise their takings during the period. This could involve everything from hiring extra staff, to working out discounting strategies, stock management, and creating displays and other visual merchandising elements to tempt shoppers. With all this extra effort, the last thing you want is to fall flat at the till. That’s why payments are so important.

Focus on payments

At peak times like these, you need a payments system you can trust: one that’s robust enough to support the speedy processing of huge volumes of sales. Any downtime could severely impact takings and cause lengthy queues which will dampen shoppers’ enthusiasm for returning. There are things you can do to speed up service: contactless terminals and support for mobile (Apple Pay, Android Pay etc) payments will help. Also consider mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems to empower staff to take payments away from the till, further cutting queues and enhancing the payments experience.

Don’t forget security in the rush to drive profits. While it’s important to process as many payments as quickly as possible, it’s also vital that you do so securely. Point to Point Encryption (P2PE v2) will help here, by ensuring card details are scrambled the moment they’re entered into your card machines, minimising your risk exposure and PCI compliance costs.

It’s not all about in-store payments, of course. An estimated £2.5bn will be made online during the Black Friday period this year. For retailers with a presence in both, omnichannel payments become a necessity: ensuring a connected, seamless shopping experience in-store and online for the customer which will help drive sales. Tokenisation capabilities — like those provided by Optomany — enable retailers to gain a single view of the customer, supporting one-click purchases, hassle-free returns, and improved insight for marketing and promotions.

Black Friday is a great opportunity, but it’s just the start of what will hopefully be a successful festive shopping season. So make sure you’re set-up to maximise growth with the right payment solutions.

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