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Black Into Gold

29th November 2019

With another Black Friday upon us, how can we smooth the path for sellers and buyers across the globe?

Late November news reports are quick to emphasise the commercial potential of “Black Friday” for British and American retailers. What began as an exclusively American Thanksgiving tradition has now been embraced far more widely.

In recent years we’ve seen the websites of UK retailers such as Argos, Currys, Tesco Direct and John Lewis almost grind to a halt on the day after Thanksgiving, with buyers stuck in endless virtual queues.

But the biggest lesson of November 29th won’t be how long people have to wait in virtual queues but how many of them are lining up to do it. Retail analysts are forecasting that year on year online trade will increase by as much as 500%.

Of the 512 million people currently living in the EU, 312 million are active online shoppers, and with both the United States and Britain increasingly multilingual and with retailers reaching out to new markets in all corners of the globe, how can we smooth the path for sellers and buyers?

The key element of any transactional relationship is trust, and shoppers are increasingly alert to security issues, aware of competing vendors offering similar services and eager to read and understand the “small print”. Is your website designed to foster consumer trust and confidence in the langauges of your target audience?

While ecommerce revenue continues to soar, today is also a reminder that traditional retail still has its place. Many high streets and shopping malls have Black Friday anecdotes of customers flooding their premises as doors are kept open until midnight. Conversis Project Manager Jack Garner embraces ecommerce as a consumer and a service provider, but he also sees evidence of traditional retail thriving.

“Just a few miles from our Head Office, Bicester Village offers a vibrant retail outlet with over 160 boutiques. Prestigious brands are sold in huge quantities, attracting over seven million visitors a year. Bicester Village has attracted as many Chinese tourists in 2019 as Buckingham Palace. If a provincial shopping centre can attract this kind of footfall and generate this kind of revenue, surely there’s a lesson for the wider retail sector?”

We believe the lesson is that identifying your audience, communicating clearly and engagingly with them and offering a high quality, immersive shopping experience is what makes the difference, for both online and physical retail.

It’s what turns possible into profitable.

It’s what turns Black Friday into gold.


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