Guest Blog: Tips to prepare for Black Friday and Christmas 2018

Guest Blog: Tips to prepare for Black Friday and Christmas 2018

Sangeetha Narasimhan, EMEA Marketing Director at our partner, Ingenico Payments, shares how with a little planning this summer, small and medium retailers can get ahead of the biggest shopping season of the year.

Online retailers all over the UK are preparing for what’s tipped to be the UK’s biggest ever online spending splurge – Black Friday and Christmas 2018. At Ingenico, we looked at trends in our own payment transaction data, did a consumer survey on how consumers plan to shop on Black Friday during the last sales season, and engaged with blogger Money Saving Girl AKA Martyna Sroka-Lalewicz to find out how retailers can benefit from looking at trends.

Whether your preparations are well underway or have just started, here are our insights on what it takes to make seasonal sales this Christmas a big success for online retailers:

The busiest online shopping days of 2017

In 2017, consumers spent a huge 515% more online than the average Friday, according to our  payment data, with the Wednesday through to Monday recorded as the six busiest shopping days of the year.

Customers don’t buy into the bargains

But despite its evident popularity, a survey of 600+ UK consumers has revealed a deep-rooted scepticism of how much shoppers really save. 55% believe the discounts are false and even among those who actively shop on Black Friday, 40% believe they are being misled.

Dispelling the ‘dodgy discount’ myth will be key to taking Black Friday campaigns up a gear this year. For retailers, clear and open communication on the discount value needs to be a top priority in 2018.

Almost two-thirds of Black Friday customers report actively researching prices before the seasonal sales. The majority prefer to shop via their laptops, suggesting a systematic, calculated process, rather than idle mobile browsing.

The seasonal sales also present an opportunity to establish an online presence and build a customer base. While brand loyalty to high street retailers remains high, 38% of consumers will buy anywhere they see an enticing deal; this presents a good opportunity for small businesses to establish brand presence this Christmas.

The same principal applies for retailers looking to overseas markets; Europe’s Black Friday spending surge was three times that of the US’s in 2017. Tailoring the customer journey to match local shopping preferences is key to success, particularly when it comes to payment. Offering a simple, familiar checkout in the customer’s own language and currency will be key to building trust and boosting conversion.

7 things to implement before Black Friday Sales

Winter success is achieved, but not created at Christmas. The time to act is now. Here are a few tips from our ebook to help you get ahead:

  1. Consider offering exclusive items rather than short-lived discounts.
  2. Inform your payments provider of your sales promotion period so you can handle demand.
  3. Offer local payment methods for key international markets.
  4. Step up capacity to handle returns and refunds before Christmas.
  5. Ensure your fraud rules are tuned to allow conversion.
  6. Bolster your customer service availability and delivery processes to reduce chargebacks.
  7. Offer local language support and payment pages for international shoppers.

To find out more, download our eBook. 

Many thanks to Sangeetha

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