Preparing for Xmas in July

With a little planning small and medium retailers can get ahead of the biggest shopping season of the year.

As an online retailer you are probably starting to prepare for what’s tipped to be the UK’s biggest ever online spending splurge: Black Friday 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 a blogger Money Saving Girl AKA Martyna Sroka-Lalewicz. Here’s our take on what it takes to make seasonal sales this Xmas a big success for online retailers. 

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

Winter success is achieved but not created at Christmas. The time to act is now. Here’s 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.

Download the ebook and the infographic to learn more


Sangeetha Narasimhan / Regional Marketing Director, EMEA / Ingenico Retail SMB

Sangeetha leads the marketing function at Ingenico across Europe for the small and medium businesses division. Sangeetha brings a combination of marketing, payments and eCommerce expertise to Ingenico. She focusses extensively on helping build thought leadership and expert guidance to online businesses on International expansion, mobile payment experience, checkout conversion, fraud prevention and other aspects of payments that can help businesses grow further. In her current role, she is passionate about using data and customer insights to help small and medium retailers grow their business. 

Sangeetha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Communication from Loyola College, India and a Masters in International Business & Management from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. She can be found on twitter @sangeethacn and on Linkedin here where you can find her discussing best practices in marketing, payments, ecommerce as well as cricket, football, books, gender diversity and inclusiveness .