By : Steven Arthur
December 05, 2016 06:00 AM
Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally a holiday when people gather to spend time with family and friends – and in the retail industry, it signals the official kickoff of the peak holiday shopping season. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 2016 is off to a promising start, with 3 million more consumers shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend compared to the same timeframe in 2015 (154 million shoppers vs. 151 million in 2015).
Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw a healthy dose of online shopping, with eCommerce leading in-store purchases. But although 10 million more people shopped on the Web than in stores, brick-and-mortar also had a strong showing. 80% of all spending was captured by retailers with a physical presence, and an estimated 250,000 people did their Black Friday shopping at the Mall of America (the largest mall in the U.S.), making it the busiest day for the mall in at least the last decade.
Many forecasters are predicting record holiday spending this year – NRF projects a record-breaking $655.8 billionin sales this year over November and December, a 3.6% increase compared to 2015.
Within the NCR Payments team, we can already attest to the marked increase in traffic among our client base as we gear up for the holidays. In the 11-day period leading up to Cyber Monday (capturing the weekend before Thanksgiving, Black Friday weekend, and Cyber Monday itself) we successfully processed 41% more transactions through our Connected Payments solution than we did during the same period last year. At the same time, continuous system and procedural improvements enabled even faster processing speeds, and we maintained 100% system uptime.
With holiday shopping clearly well underway, it’s critically important to be prepared for these spikes in volume – to deliver a frictionless consumer experience while keeping commerce running seamlessly. The NCR Payments team is looking forward to working hand-in-hand with our clients to do both throughout remainder of the 2016 holiday season, and supporting retailers during their busiest time of the year.