Following the impact of Black Friday 2014 and the surge in sales it caused for the UK’s online retailers, global digital commerce consultancy Salmon has today predicted that Black Friday 2015 (27th November) will lead to the UK’s first £1bn online shopping day.
The £1bn milestone will be driven by the growth of online shopping generally, alongside an increased awareness of Black Friday and the deals available. Four times (30 per cent) as many UK shoppers plan to buy online during this year’s Black Friday compared to 2014 (8 per cent)(eDigitalResearch, July 2015: ‘What Prime day means for retailers’ ). Salmon’s experts also expect demand to surge before Friday 27th November with shoppers increasingly savvy to retailers listing sale items early.
While Black Friday should be a positive day for retailers, they must ensure they are prepared from back-end to front-end. Whilst focus has often been centred on the strain on logistics, the surge in demand will create pressure on everything from website performance to ordering systems. To combat this, Salmon has created ‘The Black Friday and Peak Trading Ecommerce Operations Playbook’, a guide based on Salmon’s experience in supporting the peak operations of several leading UK retailers. It urges retailers to:
- Estimate volume of orders and site visitors
- Undergo capacity testing in advance
- Communicate full marketing plan across the business
- Agree operational roles and responsibilities
- Develop contingencies for volume surges
Glen Burson, Chief Technology officers at Salmon commented: “Black Friday 2014 was bigger than any UK retailer could have anticipated and whilst they forecasted a spike on the peak trading day, many back-end systems weren’t ready to cope with this new phenomenon. This caused websites to crash, orders to be lost and other similar issues. With three months to go, retailers need to address their online operations as a priority in a bid to avoid site outages, slow browsing and queuing; anything which could damage the customer experience and results in lost sales.”
Salmon will also be continuing the ‘Peak operations service’ that was successfully run for retailers in 2014 which included performance testing, readiness planning, and a 24 hour operations centre to monitor and detect site issues before they impact the customer:
- Black Friday 2015 gets its own Record Store Day
- Slowdown in UK internet sales may signal online shopping peak
- How retailers can make Black Friday pay
Salmon is a global digital commerce consultancy that has been at the forefront of ecommerce development in the UK for over 25 years. Salmon designs, delivers and manages some of the world’s largest digital commerce installations. Clients include: Argos, Audi UK, DFS, Game, Halfords, Sainsbury’s and Selfridges.