In just a few years, Black Friday has become a major date in the pre-Christmas shopping calendar, for retailers and consumers alike.
In just a few years, Black Friday has become a major date in the pre-Christmas shopping calendar, for retailers and consumers alike. While reports suggest this year will be a more subdued affair as shoppers rein in spending, that’s all the more reason for merchants to think creatively in order to maximise their takings.
One thing that is sometimes ignored in the rush is a focus on making sure your payments set-up is as smooth, seamless and robust as possible. So with that, we’ve come up with a few tips on how to make sure this Black Friday is the best ever for your business.
Black Friday means business
There’s no doubt that Black Friday is big business these days. Consumers in the US spent $6.2 billion (£4.8bn) over on the Friday alone last year, with UK shoppers splurging a more modest £1.23billion on bargains. Online sales are an increasingly important component. It used to be that the Friday of the weekend was focused on bricks and mortar shopping while “Cyber Monday” was when you saw the main online bargains. But in recent years the two have started to merge as more consumers demand unified shopping experiences. On that note, last year’s Black Friday was the first day in its relatively short history to see more than $2 billion in smartphone-based sales in the US.
This year, thanks to the shadow of Brexit and other macro-economic factors, UK consumer spending may be tighter than usual. Retail group IMRG has predicted growth of 2-3% over the eight days from 25 November to 2 December, but admitted that there’s a real possibility it could be flat. If anything, that should give retailers an even bigger motivation to pull in sales this coming weekend.
Getting payments right
The chances are you’ve stress-tested your web infrastructure and hired extra staff to man the tills and guard the doors this weekend. So why ignore payments? They remain one of the most important parts of the customer shopping experience —with the power to make or break your Black Friday. Here are a few suggestions to make sure you get payments right:
- Find a Payment Service Provider (PSP) you trust, that has a reputation for reliability and comprehensive, helpful support at the end of the line in case something goes wrong
- Make sure you have enough card terminals to hand and have confidence that back-end payments systems can cope with heavy demand online and in-store
- Speed up queues with contactless and mobile wallet payments for hassle-free tap-and pay transactions. Over half (53%) of consumers say convenience is their top priority when shopping in stores
- Use a solution such as axept® GO on the A920 to take the heat of assistants on the tills. This Android based device can empower staff by enabling them to roam the store when serving customers, checking stock and completing sales
- Don’t let security be an afterthought. Make sure you have effective anti-fraud capabilities, as scammers may look to sneak fraudulent transactions through amidst the increased online traffic. Payments infrastructure that supports the PCI’s P2PE v2 standard can also improve your security by encrypting card details as they are entered into terminals in-store
- Omnichannel is crucial: coordinate retail efforts to support a seamless experience so consumers can research online and buy in-store or vice versa. This is easier said than done, and if you haven’t started yet, it’s probably too late for this year. But put it on the to-do list for next year: it’s been proven that omnichannel customers spend more
- To support omnichannel efforts, look for payments providers that offer tokenisation capabilities. These allow retailers to gain a single view of the customer across multiple channels — supporting one-click purchases, hassle-free returns, and improved insight for marketing and promotions
To find out more about Optomany and how we can support your business, call us on 0208 102 8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.