I love online shopping. I wish I had a pound for every hour I’ve ever spent browsing shopping apps or online stores, looking for deals or unique items; I’d spend those pounds on more shopping.
We are now less than a month away from Black Friday, the busiest shopping event of the year where millions of Brits will be jumping online to snap up limited-time-only offers.
In 2016, shopping addicts across the UK spent £6.45bn over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period. That’s almost £100 for every person in the UK!
And here at Experian our stats look the same. At peak during Black Friday in 2016, we were validating over 29,000 addresses per minute or almost 500 per second through our cloud-based data capture tool. This is 2-3 times as many as usual – that’s a lot of online shoppers!
It’s clear that we love to shop at this time of year, but we also want this shopping experience to be quick and easy. From filling up our cart, checking out, entering shipping details and receiving our packages, as a consumer we remember those experiences that are easy.
Once I find a retailer who ticks these boxes, I’ll be their biggest fan for life.
So in our digital world, what’s the best way to ensure this happens?
Having accurate data. Or more specifically, making sure the data you already have is accurate and up to date and that the new data you’re collecting – address, email and mobile – is captured accurately.
And it’s even more important during this holiday period…
You also want your customer to be able to enter their details quickly to prevent them abandoning the cart part way through the checkout process.
Around 75% of shopping carts worldwide are abandoned – strangely this happens at the highest rate between 8-9pm, and mostly on a Thursday! 
One of the top reasons for abandonment , other than price, is that the process takes too long or is too complicated.
Our intuitive real-time address validation means your customers can fill out their details faster and with less typing. For each key stroke, a list of possible addresses will be intuitively suggested so your customer can easily select theirs from the list – and get to that all important payment as quickly as possible.
As your customer goes through the checkout process and fills in their address details you want to be sure they’ve entered that correctly. If not, imagine the consequences - their package won’t reach them, they won’t be happy, there will be added stress on your teams to resolve the issue, you may need to re-send the item meaning a loss of inventory, the list goes on.
This all could be prevented by ensuring that address is entered accurately.
So your package has made it to your customer and they’ve been amazed at how quick and easy the whole process was… now what? You want to make sure you can continue to build on that relationship and send them information about your offers, sales or new products.
For that you need to make sure that the email address and mobile number they entered was correct – don’t waste the opportunity you have to get this right first time.
And once you’re confident you’ve got the right details, Experian also has a range of marketing solutions to enhance your data so you can get better insight into your customers and target them better.
For online retailers, the Black Friday period in 2016 saw 27% more traffic than peak  Christmas trading. This holiday shopping period is expected to see further growth. Based on our average growth year-on-year, we're expecting to validate around 40 million addresses on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
It’s not too late to take full advantage of the opportunity this increased traffic offers by ensuring that your customers’ address, email and mobile data is correct. Our validation tools are quick and simple to add and you can be up and running in well under an hour.
We’ve got a video showing you how address validation works if you want more information.
Just in time for the holiday season, we’ve also launched a free trial of this tool. You can test our real-time address, email and mobile validation free for 14 days and be confident you have the clean data you need to support billing, shipping, marketing and everything in between.
A smooth end-to-end customer experience will help you find those loyal customers who will be your friend for life – I know that’s what I’ll be looking for!
 - http://insights.ecommerceexpo.co.uk/infographic-the-latest-cart-abandonment-statistics/
 - https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Three-Quarters-of-Worlds-Shopping-Carts-Abandoned/1013966
 - https://www.salmon.com/en/what-we-think/press-releases/christmas-sales-blitzed-black-friday-bargains/