What started as an American post-Thanksgiving ritual of racing out to retail stores the day after turkey was consumed to snap up the best deals on Christmas gifts, has now well and truly spread overseas. And while the “Black Friday creep” has been going on for some time now — with Black Friday retail giants offering online deals earlier and earlier — this year it seems like there’s a new and different dynamic to the event.
The US-inspired discount day is expected to set UK shoppers back by £10bn in 2017 according to The Guardian, meaning the spread of the mass discount hype has made the November/December seasonal peak even more crucial for revenue generation. This means that businesses hoping to cope with the mad rush of Black Friday and high volumes of shoppers, both online and in-store, must look for longer lasting and more robust solutions to mind the influx of sales.
Black Friday is now the starting gun for the Christmas shopping season and it’s famous for what retailers call ‘doorbusters’ – deals so good that eager shoppers will try and break down the doors of stores to get at them. Whilst on the face of this it seems like a great way of promoting quick and easy sales, without a prudent strategy in place businesses can quickly find themselves overwhelmed with orders. Add to this a lack of organisation and no structured despatch management, the results are unsatisfied shoppers and a detrimental effect on customer service expectations.
What Steps Are You Taking To Help Alleviate The Demand From Black Friday?
To battle this, retailers have begun in recent years to introduce “Black November”, with offers running over a monthly period rather than a single day to help ease the strain on fulfilment operations. This switch has been reflected in consumer spending habits too, with only 35% of people planning to do most of their shopping on Black Friday itself this year according to retail accounting firm PwC. That said, spreading orders across November is just the first step – to really get a handle on the large volume of orders coming in during the Black Friday/Christmas rush, companies really need to make sure their internal processes are fully up to speed.
With this long-lasting increase in festive purchasing across multiple platforms, it is important for businesses to both maximise multi-channel trading opportunities and ensure a connected approach across the various channels available, both online and in-store. Therefore, businesses should strive to meet both the in-store purchasing and order-to-collect demands of today’s consumers, including cross-platform returns policies, in order to help them maintain and improve customer loyalty by interacting with them through various channels.
Make Black November Profitable With Streamlined Despatch
However, while it is vital to have a good system in place on the front-end, it is equally important to have efficient processes in place from within the warehouse during this peak period. When despatching large quantity orders, finding a fast, cost-effective method of handling the picking and packing process can be difficult. In many cases when the orders are for hundreds or even thousands of individual items, businesses will need to split these orders down into multiple parcels and pallets.
To avoid order bottlenecks and subsequent delays, implementing software that has functionality to manage quicker processes when shipping large quantity orders ensures businesses are always capable of maximum efficiency in the warehouse with quick, stress-free picking, packing and order fulfilment.
So in conclusion, although Black Friday is steadily shifting into a month-long event as online competition sees retailers play one-upmanship with their offers, businesses shouldn’t just rely on the greater spread of time. In order to fully maximise on the profitability Black Friday and Black November is able to deliver, businesses should look to streamline their internal processes so that they can reduce costs and get orders out the door as swiftly as possible.