IMRG advises on smooth-sailing Black Friday

IMRG has today published a review outlining five recommendations to help retailers avoid logistical issues experienced around Black Friday 2014.

The UK’s industry association for online retail has worked with retailers, solution providers and logistics providers to identify key considerations for the industry to help ensure the discount event runs smoothly in 2015.

The report is expected to help online retailers handle a ‘delivery tsunami’ whereby a larger number of orders are made in a short period of time.

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IMRG head of e-logistics Andrew Starkey said: “The huge surge in demand on Black Friday 2014 was unprecedented and caught everyone in the industry by surprise. The exact form of it may evolve in 2015, but at least this time we have a precedent and time to develop strategies to ensure the Christmas peak runs as efficiently as possible."

The report, entitled Black Friday 2015 – managing the peak, lists the following recommendations:

Duration and management
– this will vary by retailer and it will be important to communicate detailed information about campaigns between retailers and logistics operators, as well as out to shoppers through the media.

Tactical and dynamic discounting – Black Friday can be very profitable for retailers who get it right, but discount rates will need to be rationalised and panic-discounting avoided.

Contingency and variable capacity – the increased volumes in activity affect everyone, even those that do not discount; forecasting, customer services and lead-times will need to be carefully planned to avoid frustrating customers.

Variable service promise – the delivery promise should be adapted quickly and a variable discount rate may even be employed to get the flow the fulfilment operation needs.

Multiple service channels – to help avoid exposure to bottlenecks, it is probably worth looking at multi-carrier solutions; click and collect may also have a big role to play in alleviating volume issues.

Download a copy of Black Friday 2015 – managing the peak here.

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