Black Friday seems like a long time away for most of the year doesn’t it?
In the world of supply chains and stock planning, it rolls around all too quickly. Retail operations start ramping up for Black Friday and ‘peak season’ by planning early in the year to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Black Friday and the following Cyber Monday’s supply chains and planning are the workhorse behind a smooth operation. It’s not flashy but without a robust supply chain, each sale made can soon turn into a disgruntled review and potentially a chargeback.
The impact in the UK
Black Friday’s introduction to the UK was mainly down to Amazon in 2010. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 2013, when ASDA actively participated in the event, that we truly embraced the concept of Black Friday. The years that followed saw a surge in retailer participation, leading to the expansion of Black Friday’s presence and influence across the UK.
For various reasons, Black Friday 2022 was expected to be a day that can only be described as hectic. This was predominantly down to COVID-19 restrictions being eased, meaning more people were willing to go out and shop! However, with inflation on the rise in the UK there were question marks over whether consumers would have much disposable income for Black Friday, or if they would be more inclined to seek a bargain to save money over the Christmas period.
Although many predicted that 2022’s Black Friday would not be as successful as previous ones, it turned out to be the biggest day for online sales with many retailers receiving record-breaking revenue.
Early bird catches the worm
The only way to get around supply chain problems this Black Friday is to start planning well in advance and order early. In the past, most retail businesses, particularly small businesses, ordered around this time of year, August, to fulfil the Cyber weekend needs. In 2022, many retailers began ordering in April, especially those who sell online.
Pairing with a reliable logistics provider can prove to be a competitive advantage during the chaos that can be Black Friday. The expertise and resources offered by a seasoned logistics partner can help businesses conquer the challenges that accompany the surge in demand.
By offloading logistical complexities onto a dedicated partner, businesses can focus their energy on trying to maximise sales and delivering real value to their customers, making the most out of the shopping event.
Preparation is sea
Strategic planning and using sea freight emerge as allies for those businesses looking to navigate the demand of Black Friday 2023.
Planning well in advance allows businesses to secure space on vessels and really optimise shipping schedules, ensuring that inventory arrives in a timely manner to meet the surge in customer orders.
By opting for sea freight, businesses can benefit from its cost-effectiveness, especially for larger shipments or products that don’t require rapid delivery.
The other benefit to make the most of is the capacity for handling massive volumes as it can provide an advantage for those looking to make the most of the heightened demand but still maintaining a steady supply chain.
Share space, share costs
Our Consolidate solution is perfect for smaller businesses gearing up for the bustling chaos of Black Friday, harnessing the power of groupage and Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipments.
Groupage, which consolidates smaller shipments into a single container, and LTL, which allows businesses to share truck space with other shippers, offer cost-effective solutions tailored to the needs of smaller inventory volumes. By leveraging these approaches, businesses can access competitive shipping rates that would otherwise be out of reach for individual shipments.
Take to the skies
In years gone by, online or brick and mortar stores have used our Aviate (air freight) option only in exceptional circumstances – for example, when they must have goods right away, or in situations where the shipping cost is less of a factor because the products are lightweight and high-margin.
Using Aviate can have a significant effect on your financial outcomes. However, these approaches might initially appear as unforeseen expenditures. It’s crucial to carefully assess these expenses in comparison to the potential consequences of running out of stock, which could lead to lost sales and a negative impact on your customers’ overall experience.
A powerful combination of solutions
While it is only one day, it can often be a day that is talked about for a variety of reasons afterward.
Each component, from Aviate‘s rapid responsiveness to Consolidate and LTL loads’ cost-effective versatility, as well as the strategic use of the foresight of Navigate, plays a unique role in ensuring a well-rounded logistical performance.
When combined, these solutions make the most of efficiency and resilience, ready to tackle the challenges posed by the rapid increase of orders.
The balance of smooth order processing, precise inventory management, and optimised route planning, facilitated by a trusted logistics provider, guarantees that products reach eager customers promptly and intact.
One example we’ve seen in recent trends is retailers utilising the speed of air freight to obtain small portions of their inventory to keep orders flowing in the short term but using sea freight to receive the remainder of the stock to fulfil orders long term.
The interplay of these solutions empowers businesses, both large and small, to thrive in the chaotic yet lucrative arena of Black Friday.
Do you need help preparing for the biggest shopping event of 2023? Get in touch with one of our experts today.