Black Friday is coming up soon and with it an increase in web traffic and orders online:
Last year, 2017, Black Friday saw record sales, with the US spending $7.9 billion, 18% more than the year before.
The combination of high order value but lower average spending means there are more people shopping and therefore more deliveries to be made.
Surveys carried out during the sales weekend found that 82% of consumers were happy with the eCommerce delivery service they received. While this is high, there is still room for improvement and that can start with your fulfillment team.
So how can your fulfillment team prepare for Black Friday and make it a resounding success?
1. Give The Consumer Options
In the past, consumers would look at whether an item was ranged, available and affordable in their final decision about purchasing an item online.
This trend has changed:
66% of consumers are now making the final purchasing decision on the delivery and return options.
UK research has found that 46% of consumers have abandoned carts because the delivery options weren’t suitable. Therefore, offer delivery options that are simple, convenient and fit in with consumer lifestyles.
If you are able to have a fulfillment program that can match all of these, then you will not only increase sales but also improve customer churn. Research has found that when customers find delivery and returns ‘easy’ there’s a 40% less chance that they will look elsewhere.
Black Friday is not like your normal day:
There are going to be floods of people coming to your website to buy products that are on deals. These could be current brand advocates, new customers or lapsed customers. There is so much that can go wrong on these days that it is good not to be too strict in your fulfillment plan.
You might need to increase your warehouse so it is operating on a 24 hour basis for two or three days, pay overtime for staff or perhaps move staff around so that an effective process can be maintained. It isn’t just your warehouse staff either. Consider other areas like sales and ensure they have the resources and knowledge to serve your customers better.
3. Prepare Outgoing Stock In Advance
If you are offering a few selected items for sale over Black Friday, these are likely to be the best sellers. All staff should know in advance where these products are, which packaging is most suitable for them and have the packaging close by and accessible.
To make this easier, ensure that your marketing and warehouse teams are talking to each other before Black Friday. When your warehouse team know what is coming, they will be faster to respond.
4. Check With Partners
Check with your couriers that they are capable of receiving the extra shipping loads that you will be sending out. They might have several companies in the area that use them and they might go to them first. This will limit the quantity you can send out.
By warning them, they are likely to add resources to the area and help you move orders out of your warehouse faster. This doesn’t just help get the orders to the customer quicker, it also helps you keep the warehouse clear, something that can affect the efficiency of your fulfillment team.
5. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Up until the point of delivery you must ensure that your customer service team are communicating with your customers. Send them regular updates on the position of their order throughout the fulfillment process. This helps to increase confidence and reassure customers that their order is coming.
This can be done automatically if you have the right systems in place to monitor and process your orders.
6. Be Ready For Boomerang Thursday
Black Friday might be over but Boomerang Thursday is just around the corner:
Typically this is the day when eRetailers will see a high volume of returns coming back to the warehouse. By processing return items quickly, you can prevent customer churn and improve your corporate reputation.
Be sure that you are ready for Black Friday with an efficient and effective fulfillment strategy.
Train and prepare staff for the big day and communicate with partners and customers to help the fulfillment go smoothly.
What are your top tips for a successful day? Have you learnt any lessons from past experiences?
- Brief staff on the Black Friday deals.
- Prepare stock for quick movement.
- Converse with couriers over the expected order level