Press Release - Patrick Munden, Nov 24 2016

​Black Friday Current Trends Alert - International orders up likely due to weak pound; retailers hit by ‘Basket Bandits’

​Black Friday Current Trends Alert - International orders up likely due to weak pound; retailers hit by ‘Basket Bandits’

Global ecommerce consultancy Wunderman Thompson Commerce warns retailers to expect spike in overseas shoppers, likely due to weak pound in wake of Brexit vote

London, UK: November 24, 2016: Global ecommerce consultancy Wunderman Thompson Commerce has announced that the UK retail sector can expect to see a rise in international orders during Black Fiveday, the five-day period around and including Black Friday. Wunderman Thompson Commerce believes this is likely due to the weaker pound following a year of political turbulence, such as the results of the EU Referendum. Early results from Wunderman Thompson Commerce's analytics hub demonstrate a spike in oversees shoppers, despite Black Friday itself yet to hit.

Another trend being observed by Wunderman Thompson Commerce is the rise of the “Basket Bandit.” These are shoppers who identify items ahead of Black Friday weekend and place them in their online shopping baskets, ready to click ‘buy’ as soon as items are discounted. This is because these savvy consumers are aware of possible time limitations on Black Friday deals.

While it’s not yet completely clear how much impact these sales-savvy shoppers are having, Wunderman Thompson Commerce is warning retailers to be aware and make sure they maximise revenue by continually checking their automated basket emptying in the run up to Black Friday.

“Black Friday is well and truly entrenched in the consumer psyche,” said Patrick Munden, Global Head of Retail & Marketing at Wunderman Thompson Commerce. “Online shoppers are shrewder than ever and are prepared in advance to take advantage of the best deals Black Friday has to offer. They know the position the pound is in and they therefore know there are great deals to be had with their own currencies being stronger. The rise of the ‘Basket Bandits’ is further indication of how savvy shoppers now are to these sales. While we admit we have a begrudging respect for those kind of smarts, our advice to retailers is to make sure they don’t empty shoppers’ baskets during the period or risk limiting revenue.”

The year’s Black Friday period is set to be the most successful to date for UK retail – due to hit £5 billion online sales over five days. Wunderman Thompson Commerce also predicts it will be the first time mobile sales will outstrip desktop sales - with a total of £2.55 billion Black Fiveday purchases made via mobile. By this point, retailers should have completed their final check lists for the biggest shopping event of the year including capacity tests, contingency plans and business alignment if they are to reap its rewards.

Commenting on the annual event, Wunderman Thompson Commerce's Head of Managed Services, John Beechen, advises: “Whether retailers wish to participate in Black Friday or not, they need to have prepared their systems and their businesses for the increase in levels of traffic this week. Preparing, sustaining and managing the back-end systems will be mission critical for retailers if they are to match the desire for consumers to land a tidy bargain.”