So are you geared up to handle Black Friday peak? New research from Royal Mail suggests that around one in five retailers are planning to take part in the annual sales event and more than three-quarters of those (78%) plan to slash prices by up to half.
Once again though discounting is unlikely to be restricted to the day itself with many expected to begin discounting items during the week leading up to Black Friday and extending into Cyber Week.
But it looks like when it comes to delivery retailers are holding back. Less than one in five said that they planned to offer free shipping on all online purchases with nearly a quarter saying that they will offer free gifts to shoppers spending over a certain amount.
The research, which was carried out by YouGov on behalf of Royal Mail and surveyed 409 senior decision makers in retail, also suggested that one in ten of retailers plan to discount brand new products, using the sales event to generate interest in new lines.
It looks like confidence in the event to drive sales though is waning. Just over a third (35%) of retailers said that they expected sales this year to equal that of last year. Only 12% said they believed sales will be higher and 6% said that they would be less.
The eDelivery.net view: The figures from the Royal Mail, as well as a number of other pre-Black Friday surveys out in the last few days suggests that interest in Black Friday from consumers and retailers alike is waning.
But for those that do take part they must, as ever, be prepared for the peak especially when it comes to delivery. Retailers must not be tempted to over-promise and under-deliver because with Christmas just around the corner they can’t afford to leave a bad taste in customers’ mouths simply because whilst they’ve slashed the price of goods they’ve messed up getting it to the customer.
The fact that the proportion of those offering free shipping is so low suggests that retailers are being a little more realistic in what they can acheive. Slashed prices means lower margins – and a reduced ability to absorb the cost of delivery.
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