Black Friday lessons from 2015

Black Friday lessons from 2015UPDATE-01

In the aftermath of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers are taking stock and reflecting on some of the lessons learned from this year’s retail phenomenon, which saw an astounding £3.3billion spent over the course of the discounted weekend.

The highly-anticipated retail event appears to be a retailer’s dream, as reflected in the sale figures, but below the surface it also presents an opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of unpredictable customer spending patterns and astronomical spikes in online visits – making it eminently harder for merchants to spot fraudulent transactions.

According to Experian-IMRG, shoppers spent £1.1billion online on Black Friday alone in the UK in 2015 – an increase of 36% on 2014 – highlighting the increasing rise of shoppers migrating online. As well as detracting from brick and mortar sales, the surge in shoppers online caused a number of websites to crash as they struggled to cope with the demand. At least 15 websites suffered from some form of service issues, reportedly including some big retail names including Argos, John Lewis, and Tesco, showing that it is not small retailers who are effected.

Yet web traffic is arguable of less concern to many retailers than what comes hidden among this increased web-traffic: fraudsters hoping to blend in with genuine customers. Worryingly, a recent report found that only 20% of merchants feel confident about their ability to manage fraud threats, citing that their multichannel approach to retail makes it more and more difficult to prevent fraud, with 76% of those surveyed stating that it made them more vulnerable to fraud attacks.

While the dust begins to settle on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the festive spending season continues apace, keeping the platform alive for fraudsters, making it essential that UK merchants learn from their Black Friday and Cyber Monday experiences and are prepared to deal with the rising risks of fraud. Check out our blogs for four top tips for e-tailers to stay safe online this holiday season, and make sure you don’t provide a Christmas payday for online criminals.