Spoiler alert: It’s gonna be BIG!

No one can predict the future but we can plan for this year’s Black Friday based on what we do know about the current trajectory of eCommerce and the high street. Scurri have dug into the facts and figures to their predictions and, more importantly, to put together tips on how best to prepare for this year’s Peak period. 

70% of Britons are uncomfortable going into shops.

What not to expect

Looking ahead to this year’s Black Friday week, we have to take into consideration how Covid 19 has transformed the retail and the present eCommerce landscape. The high street is no longer the go-to place for shopping, store closures caused by the pandemic forced shoppers to shift their behaviour online, and it’s not going to turn back again. 

Shops may be Covid compliant, but this is not a positive transformation in terms of the customer experience. Black Friday crowds in-store, like the picture below, just won’t be possible this year, and without a vaccine or a cure for the virus, they certainly wouldn’t be safe.

When it comes to Black Friday 2020, retailers should take physical stores largely out of the equation and focus their attention on their online strategy.

20 per cent of shoppers say they will never return to bricks-and-mortar stores after lockdown has been lifted

Black Friday week in perspective

Black Friday was already growing, last years Black Friday was 17% bigger than 2018. Taking into account the growth of online since the virus began is at an all-time high, eCommerce now accounts for 30% of all retail. Amazon’s biggest ever shopping day in its history was Cyber Monday 2019, clocking up $9.2 billion in sales in 1 day, this is nearly three times as much as ASOS sells in one year!

We expect that this year’s Black Friday period will be twice as big as last year…at least! Let’s look at the factors at play.

Two-thirds of UK consumers will only shop with strict safety measures are in place.

What we think Peak will look like and why.

The term ‘post-pandemic’ is, let’s face it, premature. Without a vaccine, the virus is still present and as infectious as ever. After one week of non-essential shops reopening, Leicester was forced back into lockdown after cases spiked.  It is inevitable that the Covid-19 will have consecutive waves and may well be something that we will be living with long term. So what will this mean for online this Christmas (and maybe future Christmases)?
If non-essential shops are open in the run-up to Christmas, consumer confidence is still low about entering them. If lockdown measures are reintroduced around the country, people won’t be able to travel to see their loved ones at Christmas to exchange gifts and will order them online to be delivered directly. We’ve already seen all demographics moving online, and that’s in the summer months, couple this with everyone gifting at the same time. Black Friday week is when people do their Christmas shopping… online is going to be colossal.

Peak orders mean Peak delivery!!

How to prepare for the biggest ever Peak period online.

You couldn’t have anticipated the Pandemic but you CAN plan for this year’s Peak. Assume the majority of Peak sales will be online and focus on your online strategy primarily.  Planning ahead for the worst-case scenario is how to be best prepared and now is the time to get everything into place to ensure continuity and no disruption to sales. 

Prepare to fulfil huge order volumes. Assess your ability to expand capacity to deliver volumes beyond last year and under pandemic conditions.

Keep delivery flowing.

  • Implement warehouse safety measures now to prevent disruption, like sending staff home. Adopt tech to aid social distancing e.g. wearable sensors for staff.
  • Implement a delivery management solution with a multi-carrier network that allows for ultimate flexibility
  • If drivers get ill and demand is increased it would be impossible to deliver without having access to multiple carriers.
  • Talk to carriers who are investing in resources now as adding new carriers last-minute won’t be an option during Peak.
  • Be upfront with customers about delivery times and delays. Reliability is just as important as speed, more so in fact.
  • Only offer delivery options you can fulfil on time. People will be relying on delivery more than ever for Christmas gifting.
  • Enable Tracking data, boost customer trust with regular updates & relieve customer service queries by always knowing the status of your deliveries.
  • Use the learnings from retailers that thrived during Covid-19
  • Start NOW!

Author: Laura Roche, Marketing Coordinator, Scurri. Find out more about how Scurri connects commerce and optimises your online ordering, shipping and delivery to be simple, effective and adaptable to your needs. Check out their blog at www.scurri.com.