Black Friday has become a shopping phenomenon. In 2014, UK shoppers are reported to have spent £810m.
This year, that figure is expected to rise to £1bn and according to one credit card provider, people in Scotland are some of the biggest participants is the chaotic scramble for the bargains.
Love it or hate it, Black Friday presents retailers with tremendous opportunity, but also significant risk. What if the till system fails?
While online traders will fret about logistics – consider Argos, which has just launched its same day delivery service – those store-based must be sure their point of sale payment systems can stand up to the exceptional level of demand.
This is a day like no other, the stakes are high and it is critical to be prepared. Any blip in service and the impact on the bottom line, customer satisfaction and loyalty could be devastating.
The solution, however, does not need to be a huge investment in electronic point of sale (EPOS) hardware and software. EPOS software is now available ‘as a service’ and there are market disruptors, such as Intelligent Point of Sale, which can provide sophisticated systems through simple iPads and card-readers at a fraction of the costs of a traditional system.
The best EPOS systems are also making it possible for a customer to enjoy the point of sale experience. They will speed up the sales process, keep the queues short, and avoid those painful lost sales opportunities. They can be pre-programmed so that sales can be made at the touch of a button, quickly and efficiently and they accept all contactless payments and Apple Pay, which in September this year were used for around 103.2m transactions.
Did you also know that you can allow customers to pay more than the £30 contactless payment limit when they use their smartphone?
On Black Friday, this could be the difference between a good day and a black day. Best be prepared. It’s not too late.
Robin Knox is the CEO and founder of Intelligent Point of Sale