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5 logistics tips for retailers amid impending Black Friday chaos


Black Friday is already in full swing so will we see a repeat of last year’s problems? In this piece Jason Tavaria, head of delivery platform Shutl, reveals his top 5 tips on how to cope and avoid delivery disappointment.jason-tavaria-shutl
Black Friday madness has begun. Following the will we/won’t we debate if you’re a retailer that’s planning on getting in on the act, there’s still time to avoid last year’s logistical chaos.

And avoid it you must. Black Friday can indeed leave a very bad taste in retailer’s mouth – and instore queuing debacles aside, sheer traffic volumes online can lead to issues stretching from end to end operations.

Put simply, retailers just aren’t equipped to cope with huge order volumes for such a concentrated period – as they generate enormous backlogs. From a delivery perspective, we know that adding more support (carriers in particular for us) around this time of year is one way to prepare, but volumes are so high that it simply isn’t enough to meet order demands and very often retailers struggle to fulfil orders. This can significantly impact customer satisfaction, as well as the bottom line months after the event.

So what to do? Here’s my 5 top tips:

  1. Spread your offers out – like several retailers did last year, steer clear of concentrated sales timeslots to ease the pressure.
  2. Communicate well across all of your channels and set customer expectations early – just like Tesco did last year. Issue warnings if high traffic volumes are expected. Shoppers like to be kept informed.
  3. Be realistic and transparent about potential transactions and delivery issues from the outset.
  4. Develop a great relationship with your carrier network and share out what capacity there is for the busiest times.
  5. Finally, don’t panic! Not getting involved is also an option – you might ‘miss out’ on some additional new custom, but by continuing to provide a high standard of service that meets customer expectations, you’re also preserving your current customer base and likely to be attracting new business based on your reputation for meeting demand.

Jason Tavaria is head of delivery platform Shutl

Image credit: Fotolia

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