Topic of the week – Black Friday Focus and How You Can Handle the Rush
As I am sure you would have seen Black Friday ads are cropping up on television and offer emails from your favourite brands are flooding inboxes. This is no surprise as we are exactly two weeks away from the infamous ‘day’ of sales. Why did I emphasise the word day? Well, in years gone by Black Friday was exactly that, one singular day of sales. However, in the current market, brands and companies alike are competing with each other constantly, to promote the best deals and make sure that they are at the forefront of the eCommerce holiday. Therefore, Black Friday is no longer one day, but often a full week of sales and in some cases, the whole month! Black Friday has turned into such a phenomenon that it is now a saga of sales offers, and with that comes an influx of orders for retailers, carriers and all who reside within the eCommerce stratosphere. It can provide a real test for some, but if you are prepared, you should fare just fine.
Obviously, having a slick and streamlined website and checkout service is key. If your site is not easy to use, no matter how good your deals are, people will get frustrated and abandon their carts. Remember on Black Friday, time is scarce for consumers, so everything needs to be fast. This leads me on to the first hurdle that many face on Black Friday, which is having a robust and reliable delivery service, with multiple options for your customers. Delivery reliability and speed can act as a litmus test for customers and can greatly impact satisfaction depending on whether delivery is good or bad. You will need to have a supply chain that can handle the influx of orders that you will receive, and if you have the ability to offer next day shipping or other methods, like collection points or parcel lockers, this can be a huge help.
How do you know what to prepare for though? Using data and analytics is an extremely useful tool for forecasting. If you can analyse the trends in your data from past years, you will be able to make an informed forecast of the volumes, inventory, and even customer behaviours and trends that you can expect. Having a solid database platform and even automation through AI, can not only mean that you are well-stocked and prepared but can also improve communication between you and your suppliers if anything goes wrong.
More orders, means more deliveries, and more deliveries means more customer issues. Lets hope that that is not always the case, but more often than not, customers will complain. Fingers crossed that complaints remain at a minimum, but you should always be prepared for the worst. Making sure that you have a clear route of communication between all teams and sides within the supply chain is integral to dealing with customer complaints and queries. If you can fix a delayed delivery or replace a faulty product as fast as possible, you can mitigate any loss in sales. This also include returns. You will often find that when people rush to snap up as many deals as they can, they may want to return a few things. Therefore you want to ensure that you have a simple, clear and fair returns policy in place that makes returning items a doddle. If you can make returning items as fast and easy as the initial delivery you will make a good impression on your customers. Tracking returns data is also a great way to prepare for next year.
In other news
In order to provide greater accessibility to those with disability other accessibility needs, Royal Mail has now introduced a way for households to state their accessibility needs when having parcels delivered or collecting them from pick up points. In the Royal Mail app, customers will now be able to request that those delivering the parcel can knock louder for those who are hard of hearing, or even wait longer at the door for those who may take longer to answer the door. As part of this you can now set a preference for your safe delivery space, which you may have see before on previous deliveries. This is a great implementation that means eCommerce delivery is now a more viable option for everyone no matter their ability or needs.
eCommerce Market Stats
See some statistics relating to this week’s topics in the eCommerce market below.
Black Friday Stats
- 58% of GenZ shoppers depend on Black Friday offers for buying holiday gifts
- 31% of shoppers start their Black Friday purchases between 5AM - 10AM
- In 2022 40% of revenue over the peak period came from mobile platforms
- 15% of Global orders consist of cross-border sales
Black Friday Customer Preferences
- 49% of shoppers in 2022 Black Friday sales were primarily influenced by shipping costs
- 79% of shoppers expect replies to their queries within 24 hours, while 40% expect a response within the hour
- 80% of consumers prefer to buy from sites that provide a personalized shopping experience
- 60% of shoppers experienced buyers remorse during Black Friday leading to heightened returns
That’s all for this week…
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