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5 tips to Avoid Black Friday Madness

Words of wisdom | October 22 2020

Everybody remembers those appalling images of greedy consumers pushing and shoving each other to get their hands on the latest plasma screen TV during the aptly named “Black Friday” sales event. Such scenes are dreadful to behold at any time, but during a pandemic they are simply unthinkable – they just cannot happen. This year, more than ever, stores are interested in holding this annual event on their digital platforms and encouraging more online shopping. Here are a few tips that could help make this event run smoothly for your business.

Friday ... Saturday, Sunday and Monday

To avoid a sudden run on your inventory, why not spread the event over several days or even a week, giving customers more than just one day to make their purchases. In Québec, we are starting to become more familiar with “Cyber Monday”, a slightly newer concept first popularized south of the border.

Plan quantities

More than 50% of retail sales are made in the last three months of the year. Before announcing your Black Friday event, make sure your forecasts and demand estimates are solid. You don't want to run out of stock at this key time of the year.

Organize your deliveries

With the strange year we've had, some carriers are turning down new customers because of the huge increase in demand for deliveries. But there are solutions: several comparison platforms allow you to do business with more than one carrier at a time. In addition, some local delivery companies have been launched in the Montréal area since 2020 and offer very competitive prices. And several options can be offered to buyers: why not give your customers a few choices of delivery times, depending on the price they are willing to pay? Some see no problem waiting. Also, be sure to consolidate orders from the same buyer to avoid multiple shipments.

Simplify your website

It is even easier for customers to compare you to your competitors online. One click takes them to the competitor's site. To get the most out of your website, make sure it is attractive and easy to navigate. Display prices clearly, avoiding errors. Implement a returns process that makes things easy for your customers.

Watch your packaging

Even if purchases are made online, it is still very important to provide a strong brand experience, which should remain consistent from the first click until the package is received. Think about personalizing shipments and adding some love to the packaging, since for some buyers, this will be their first contact with your company. And this is a great time of year to gain new customers. Also, keep in mind that many Black Friday purchases will be Christmas gifts – so it's important that both the package design AND the unpacking experience are enjoyable. Use your imagination while remembering to avoid excess packaging. In 2020, nobody wants to receive unnecessary extra wrapping that is bad for the environment.

Need help?

If this is your first Black Friday online selling experience, you might have questions, concerns, or feel you need to optimize your logistics to make the event a success. If so, feel free to contact Souad Laidi and Alexandre Skerlj, experts in e-commerce logistics at PME MTL. They helped put together this article.

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