Gemma Tomlinson, Marketing Manager at Exact Abacus, the e commerce specialists, spoke to The Grocery Trader.

Black Friday is becoming one of the major shopping events in the calendar year, originally coming over from the United States, Britain has adopted the event and many use this to kickstart their Christmas shopping.

Black Friday is just the beginning of the sales bonanza and in the world of e-commerce it has turned into a full weekend with Cyber Monday being thrown into the mix. The savviest retailers jump on the opportunity to cash in on the craze, offering the extended sales to bargain-hungry consumers.

The impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in e-commerce over the last few years has been astronomical, so it makes sense that retailers would look to increase the scope of their offering.

To make sense of Black Friday, we need to understand the key points. First of all, the event has been increasing in popularity every year and it is expected to see even more e-commerce retailers offering great deals over the iconic shopping weekend this time round.

Next, it has become an established period for producing record sales and many e-commerce retailers will be on the lookout to capitalise on this in 2017. Small online businesses need to have a slick ordering process to manage the increase in sales. Create a game plan early on and explore the opportunity of outsourcing fulfilment to manage increased demand over the busy period.

Another point is that social selling is on the rise. Selling products through social media is nothing new. More and more brands are beginning to invest heavily in the major social platforms making it a more viable selling platform for retailers.

However, this should only be an extension of the selling capabilities rather than a replacement of conventional online selling channels. More retailers are likely to be using social media to promote their Black Friday deals.

On top of this, there is the growth in predictive analytics, which is becoming increasingly popular in e-commerce with technological advancements in automation. This means that powerful e-commerce software can track orders and raise flags when more stock is needed to mirror buyer behaviour, as well as assessing demand based on previous trends. This year is set to bring an even bigger emphasis on the use of these analytics making it possible to predict what a consumer’s next purchase is likely to be.

Finally, people are getting used to buying online on their mobiles. This may seem like its stating the obvious but mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic for the first time this year. This meanst is a crucial time for online retailers to ensure stores are optimised for mobile devices.

The fact that Black Friday is going to have more participants this time round means that there’s going to be a wealth of options for savvy consumers. What’s more, shoppers do not accept anything less than perfection when it comes to user experience.

E-commerce companies will need to have a slick user experience with the simplicity that the modern shopper has come to expect. For more information on predictive analytical software and fulfilment, please visit



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