After weeks of familiar hype and build up, Black Friday is finally here. The biggest shopping day of the year where the pressure is on retailers to deliver in more ways than one.
As well as having to focus on network security more than ever and deal with the increased threat of cyber attacks, retailers will also have to be prepared for a growing prevalence of mobile payments through smartphones and mobile devices.
For online retailers specifically, dealing with heightened levels of web traffic will be the primary concern, as John Rakowski, director of technology strategy at AppDynamics, highlights: “Even for those retailers that are not hosting their own Black Friday offerings on their online properties, they still need to be prepared for increased traffic as an influx of buyers flock to their website to compare prices with competitors.
"The key to success will come to those retailers that prepare appropriately for the added pressure online, not only from the UK, but around the world.”
And then we come to the shoppers themselves, who are more savvy now than ever before. “We are seeing two key trends emerge this year," said Dom Joseph, CEO and Co-Founder of Captify. "Firstly, more and more retailers, both online and offline, have offered discounts well ahead of Black Friday. Amazon launched its ‘35 days of Black Friday’ , while UK companies, such as Argos and Tesco, have also offered deals ahead of the day, in order to capture as many consumers as possible. Retailers know the heightened expectations that consumers have for Black Friday, which is why we’ve seen such growth in discounts before the event itself.”
“Secondly, people are now monitoring the prices of products they want to buy, months in advance of Black Friday, and researching information as early as August. Not only this, based on the analysis of 15 billion online searches, there was actually an 11 per cent jump last month of UK consumers researching product prices related to Black Friday, compared to last year."
So, after months of planning and preparation, the pressure is well and truly on. Black Friday is a shopping day like no other and, with more and more consumers opting to buy online, IT infrastructures across the UK will be put to the test.
Image source: Shutterstock/MIKHAIL GRACHIKOV