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Editorial: Black Friday discounts start early but will it help delivery?


So it’s official. Black Friday offers have been in full swing all week, despite it still being another couple of days before Black Friday itself.
Many of those retailers that are taking part in the promotional event are trying to spread out their offers to better manage the operational, logistical and delivery nightmares that a more concentrated discount window can bring. Last year proved a delivery nightmare so this week’s, as in recent weeks, we have lots of advice for those that are daring to enter the promotional war that is Black Friday.

From Shutl we have Jason Tavaria, head of the delivery platform revealing his top 5 tips on how to cope, including being realistic and transparent.

From Kurt Salmon director Judy Blackburn goes into further depth about the lessons learnt from 2015 and how retailers can smooth out their delivery peaks. One poignant point she raises is the challenge of minimising split shipments for multi-category orders. In a study it did last year Kurt Salmon says one retailer delivered four items of clothing, one gift and one toy all in separate packages and all on the same day.

Delivery expectations are one of the biggest challenges retailers face. In an opinion piece from NetDespatch this week the company compares consumer research it has conducted over the last few year to reveal how fast and how dramatically customer expectations have changed around delivery. is working with NetDespatch on a whitepaper that looks at how retailers are reacting to such changes and if you want to get involved there’s more info at the end of this piece or click on the link above.

Of course Black Friday is just one part of peak and with Christmas following hot on its heels we have another opinion piece, this time from Descartes, which discusses five emerging practices that retailers are adopting in order to capitalise on the home delivery opportunity this Christmas.

But what does good delivery practice actually entail? One of its key elements is having a single view of stock yet new research suggests that half of retailers still don’t have a single view of their stock – with the resulting inventory inaccuracy affecting both sales and fulfilment.

Wider delivery options

This week has also seen two important retailer announcements. Morrisons has revealed the latest stage of its partnership with Amazon. The latest development will allow Prime customers in selected postcodes in London and Hertfordshire to get grocery items sourced from Morrisons stores in under 60 minutes.

Meanwhile Cancer Research UK is hoping to build its customer base with a new partnership with Doddle. The delivery specialist is to trial concessions within the charity stores in a three-pronged development that will widen its distribution base, raise money for the charity and introduce new customers into its stores.

Delivering a wow experience

At our focus is on delivery of product but what about the impact of when the customer physically unwraps that product? A new whitepaper produced in partnership with Smurfit Kappa looks at the power of bespoke packaging in boosting sales and brand affinity. Find out more by downloading the free whitepaper we produced.

Don’t forget you can also help us in producing our next whitepaper which will be published early next year. In partnership with NetDespatch we are looking at how retailers are reacting to customers’ expectations of deliveries. To take our survey and be in with a chance of winning an iPhone 7 click here. If you want to share your own views/experiences as a retailer in more detail please do email me on

See you on the other side!

Image credit: Fotolia

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