Saturday 22nd Jul 2017 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Black Friday is an opportunity not a threat

It’s only six weeks away, so if you are not ready for it now, then you have a problem.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

Of course, I am talking about Black Friday, which this year is on Friday, 25th November.

And the prediction is that this year it will be bigger than ever, lasting for five days from Thursday, 24th November to Monday, 28th November.

E-commerce consultancy Salmon expects UK consumers to spend £5 billion over the five day period – and most, £2.55bn, will be made using mobile phones.

The challenges posed by Black Friday were tamed ( to some extent at least) last year. For example, Yodel handled more than 22 million parcels in the five weeks running up to Christmas (Sunday 22nd November to Thursday 24th December), which includes the cyber weekend period. And, it said, consumer feedback from eDigitalResearch showed customer satisfaction levels at a high with 83 per cent reporting a positive delivery experience.

One of the problems that arose in 2014 was the effort to maintain next day deliveries in the face of the massive spike in demand. Last year, most retailers and carriers sensibly abandoned that – and it paid dividends.

Given last year’s success, it might seem that there is nothing left the achieve this year – simply roll out last year’s solution again and everything will be hunky dory.

That would be to miss an opportunity. After all, £5 billion of consumer spending in five days should not simply be seen as a survival challenge, but a massive opportunity to build market share and improve margins on previous years.

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