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Editorial: Preparing for the Black Friday peak


So Black Friday is almost here. Although technically for many it began days – and for some even weeks – ago as retailers look to stretch out their deals. And despite record sales predictions it looks once again like it’s going to be a period of extended offers – rather than the frenzied one-day shopping event when it first arrived in the UK – as retailers and their carriers look to spread out spend and delivery to ensure they can better meet demand.
But the numbers are impressive, with IMRG predicting a £7bn plus spend and a new report outlining the logistical impacts of the promotion period. Our Black Friday predictions round-up gives you all you need to know.

Without a doubt the behaviour of shoppers is changing. They are looking for more bargains, earlier and more shrewdly, than they ever have before. And that in itself is having a big impact. Retailers and carriers have to manage that changing behaviour if they are to meet the delivery demands of this changing customer who, as Bruce Fair of MetaPack says in an opinion piece this week, is more powerful than ever.

As it looks to improve delivery of large items for its business French ecommerce retailer Cdiscount has announced the introduction of a new delivery platform to improve the experience for its shoppers.

Back home – but also looking to improve the customer experience, especially in the run-up to Black Friday – is Waitrose. The company has launched a self-service check-in service for John Lewis click and collect orders in 140 stores that should help to speed up customer collections and following a trial earlier this year.

Also improving the service for customer just in time for peak is lingerie and swimwear retailer Figleaves which has announced its first ever click and collect partnership with CollectPlus.

The best way of improve service of course is to get feedback and understand satisfaction with what you are already doing. The introduction of FarEye’s Delivery Happiness Platform therefore offers interesting opportunities for logistics and delivery companies to monitor what their customers think of what they are doing.

Those customers unlikely to be happy are those of the expected £1 billion on online deliveries over the Black Friday period that are likely to fail according to Sorted. The company believes this could land retailers with a £203 million returns bill. Perhaps Black Friday will come with a bitter sting in its tail after all.

Image credit: Fotolia

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