The communications platform Gnatta is reporting a shift towards webchat in customer queries to its retailer partners, including ASOS, AO and Missguided, during Black Friday week.

Gnatta says it processes more than two million conversations a month across its platform, which pulls together various channels a company uses to communicate with customers – including email SMS, social media, webchat, telephone, review sites or email.

Increasing numbers of these interactions happened across webchat (38%), a shift from last year when social media accounted for nearly 50% of all queries and webchat for 26%, says Gnatta. Social media accounted for 37% of queries this year. This points to a shift towards faster resolution, as customers increasingly expect to receive an immediate response.

Initial estimates indicate that this year’s Black Friday was set to beat all records, with IMRG predicting that sales would be up 9% on 2016.

Gnatta’s figures indicate that final sales tallies will be even higher as customer interactions have increased by 47% over last year.

Jack Barmby, founder and CEO of Gnatta said: “The way customers communicate with retailers is changing. People expect an instant response on any channel. They want a retailer to know about previous conversations they’ve had, and to be able to connect the dots across channels. A good retailer will be able to deliver that. Great customer experience differentiates a brand. If you’re going to sell more products, you need to be able to handle more customer queries, too. And you need to be ready to deal with customers seamlessly across multiple channel – phone, social media, messenger, webchat, email, the lot.”