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Managing Black Friday, or how to make the most of your November sales in two days

Our latest report on peak season (analysing data from 2013-15 in the month leading up to Black Friday weekend) has revealed a lot of valuable market intelligence. For example, one Volo customer made 28% of their sales in just two days (Black Friday & Cyber Monday). Consumers are also extending their online shopping sprees later into the evening with 8pm being the peak hour on Cyber Monday.

It couldn’t be any clearer, the Black Friday weekend is transforming the retail year. In the beginning, there was Christmas, followed swiftly by New Year. Now, retailers have 3 months of ‘Peak’ to contend with. This year, Black Friday is predicted to steal most of the Christmas spend seen around early December with only 2.6% of us planning to do their Christmas shopping in the days leading up to the 25th December.

So, what do retailers need to be aware of this year when faced with the challenges the Black Friday weekend will inevitably bring?

Keep up to speed with delivery options

Speed is of the essence when it comes to delivery times. Consumers expect their products to come with next day delivery, according to an LCP study. LCP predicts that next-day deliveries will be 20% up on last year, with 7.5m parcels expected to be delivered the following day. Click & Collect also saw a rise. We’ve already seen retailers like John Lewis offering deals for those using the service. Sellers need to remember that consumers increasingly expect more delivery options and will happily go elsewhere if there is a better option available.

Give yourself time

Creating the right deals and promotions shouldn’t be at the last minute. To get the most out of this shopping period, feature products across the entire week, building up to the main day. From our report, we found that order values decreased on Black Friday weekend, but sales and revenues dramatically went up.

Make the buying process mobile friendly

A top priority is to make sure your online store is optimised to be smartphone or tablet friendly, especially as more than two thirds of traffic will pass through here. Your customers want a smooth buying journey without any slip ups. Being able to navigate from product information to pay screen easily makes all the difference.

Which products?

Select your best-selling products before planning your inventory and ask yourself what might generate a high demand. With Volo Vision, you can forecast your sales based on prior year volumes and evaluate whether your overall sales have grown since then. Our stock forecast report also lets you see (down to SKU level) how many days of stock you left, the supplier lead time for reordering the stock, and the days until you to re-order the stock.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great opportunities for retailers to increase sales, but running your business smoothly during this period can be tricky. You’ll need to prepare for a potential avalanche of sales. Make plans for the increased demand, start early, and keep an eye on your competition. We wish you the best of luck this peak season.

If you’d like to discuss your peak period challenges with us, contact us here.

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