By Matthew Furneaux, Director of Retail at GBG 

Black Friday weekend kicks off the busiest retail season for consumers and business alike – raking in $2.1bn (£1.6bn) last year alone. And with sales continuing to increase to £5.8bn this year, businesses need to make sure they’re ready for the flood of consumers looking to get the most bang for their buck.

In addition to the booming market, our recent International Retail Index found that businesses also have to contend with the rise of retail giants from the east – like Alibaba – who are increasingly moving into the global e-commerce space.

With such opportunity and competition, how can smaller independent players ensure their online offering is up to the incoming Black Friday traffic? Here are five companies powering the online shopping surge ahead of the holiday season, enabling businesses to reach consumers whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they’re shopping on.

1 – TransferWise

Better known for its domination in the fintech world, TransferWise is now making a play for the B2B tech space. Their newest offering means that businesses can operate across currencies and locations, enabling the global retail market to capitalise on Black Friday and beyond.

Claiming a rate that is 19x cheaper than some of their leading competitors – and with smart new solutions being added all the time, like its recurring payments feature recently launched with GoCardless – implementing TransferWise into your tech offering is sure to boost your retail holiday ROI.

2 – GBG

Now a £1bn tech company with a 30 year history in tech, GBG supplies a combination of location, fraud and identity tech that helps retailers reach more customers, securely.

Specifically, our Loqate solution ensures that packages from thousands of retailers – from ASOS to Gymshark – reach their end destinations. With a third of staff still involved in R&D, we pride ourselves on cutting-edge tech like geolocation, machine learning (ML) and data triangulation to keep end-customers happy and help retailers avoid the costs of failed deliveries – currently estimated to be £200,000 per year, per retailer.

3 – Checkout.com

With a reputation for helping businesses like Virgin, Adidas, and Samsung to go global, Checkout.com supports customers across a range of payments functions.

Using their proprietary technology, Checkout.com ensures businesses are able to operate and trade internationally, while providing seamless online experience and ensuring that businesses are able to meet the demands of their users, globally.

4 – ClearPay

Built around shifting attitudes toward spending, ClearPay – as well as its parent company AfterPay – was developed to provide an alternative to credit options.

The ClearPay model allows shoppers to pay in interest-free instalments, which means that consumers looking to get the most bang for their buck on Black Friday and into the holiday season can more easily tick off their shopping lists without having to worry about budgets or credit card fees.

5 – Stripe

Stripe has long been a player in the global retail and e-commerce space, but one feature of note is their machine learning product ‘Radar’, which not only monitors for fraudulent activity, but enables businesses to customise and adapt to shifting patterns across industries.

That means that companies can keep an eye on activity across the busy holiday season, and remain vigilant to protect their customers and themselves from fraud.

As retail businesses gear up to take on this year’s Black Friday influx of seasonal shopping, and with more and more companies entering the e-commerce sector, retailers need any edge they can get.

Implementing any one of these tech supports will make sure that consumers have a seamless shopping experience across their devices, and that ultimately the business is protecting its bottom line.