What can we learn from the recent Black Friday weekend?

Posted by Monika Ghita | Dec 06, 2017

Online Shopping

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become a global sensation over the past few years. For decades it has been a store-based American holiday and now, with the popularity of online shopping, it has taken over the world, with shoppers getting great deals from the convenience of their computer screens.

As shoppers chose to shop online rather than queue outside stores, UK online sales grew 6.5% in November. The Black Friday shopping extravaganza seems to have also extended to a full week of deals and, in some cases, even two weeks. As a result, even though this year has seen another 0.6% increase in sales during the Black Friday weekend, in-store sales declined by 3.7% in November according to data collected by the BRC and KPMG.

This popular shopping event is also becoming more and more popular in Ireland, with a 15% increase in transactions recorded by the Bank of Ireland this Black Friday weekend.

AnPost reported that parcel deliveries rose by 17% last week versus the same period a year ago. Also, courier usage of the Autoaddress App rose by 30% on Wednesday, 29 November, compared to the same day the previous week. Couriers used it 6140 times, entering an Eircode to get satnav directions direct to the customer’s door.

AA post Black Friday App usage

Autoaddress App Usage

The online side of Black Friday weekend sales still presents a significant challenge for the Irish retailers who have to battle with international/UK online giants, who have a much better online presence. According to Retail Ireland, 75% of trade originating with Irish shoppers is done on websites outside of Ireland.

AnPost reported that approximately 50% of the parcels delivered last week originated in Ireland, 30% in the UK and the remaining 20% came from Europe, the US and Asia.

There are three key things that both Irish and UK retailers can do to achieve record online sales in 2018:

  1. Improve the online experience by optimising the eCommerce checkout.
  2. Use error-proof address validation and autocompletion software.
  3. Have helpful shipping information available on the company website.

One in four shoppers abandon a shopping cart solely due to a too-long or complicated checkout process. Address autocomplete software can help eliminate checkout friction, speeding up address capture. However, retailers should ensure that the software used can cater equally well for both Ireland and the UK or the multiple countries being sold to. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than having selected all their desired items then seeing their address being refused at the checkout by flawed address validation software. Customers who experience this are very unlikely to return to the same website in the future.

Autoaddress can help you eliminate checkout friction

Using Autoaddress you can reduce shopping cart abandonment, boost mobile conversions and ensure that only complete and accurate address data comes from your checkout form!

You can improve your checkout in minutes with our jQuery Plugin, or you can build your own interface and call our API. Autoaddress Javascript control and CSS can be easily added to Magento and Shopify address forms or WordPress sites. Our custom Plugins contain functionality to provide an out-of-the-box Autoaddress solution that can be edited depending on your requirements.

Our control also works from both Irish and UK addresses. Additional countries can be added upon request.

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