Counting down to Black Friday – Preparing your supply chain

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One of many popular US traditions adopted by the UK, Black Friday (and now Cyber Monday) marks one of the biggest dates in the retail calendar. With prices slashed and seasonal deals on offer, pressure on retailers mounts as the surge in sales combines with increasing demand from customers.

Figures from 2017 revealed a shift away from the high street during Black Friday, with consumers instead choosing to spend their money online; IMRG reported that on Friday 24th November 2017, online sales soared by 11.7%. Meanwhile Springboard released figures showing high street footfall was down by 4.2%.

The figures are reflective of the continuing shift in retail away from the high street. It’s vital that online retailers have robust infrastructure in place and stress-tested long before Black Friday is upon us once again.

PCA Predict estimated that the average cost to a retailer of a failed delivery sits at £14.35 – while sales may be up, the impact of discounted goods means that margins are tighter and the financial impact of any mistakes will be harder felt.

In fact, the strain felt by retailers on days like Black Friday has seen sales periods extended; what started life as a one-day event quickly became four-days and now it isn’t uncommon to see sales being held over a week. In the lead-up to and during busy periods like Black Friday, retailers will be stretched. It’s truly all hands on deck, which is why it’s vital for retailers to work with supply chain partners that can help to eliminate pain points, while also creating opportunities.

Robust supply chain planning is essential for a successful Black Friday. A business could have record sales, but if there’s just one weak link in the chain it will all fall apart. Customers expect the same experience as on any other day of the year, which, as we all know, is only moving in one direction – faster, better, cheaper.

At ASCG, we’re committed to championing innovation within the supply chain – we’re pioneers in bringing faster, more accurate and more reliable solutions to market. Black Friday is always an exciting time, with the increase in volume challenging our solutions to work harder for clients, enabling huge gains in terms of efficiency and accuracy. Planning should begin now, with robust procedures stress tested and fine-tuned.

Experienced logistics partners are there to help drive efficiencies, with omni-channel solutions streamlining processes and maximising sales. At ASCG, we believe a collaborative approach is key– we work with our clients to understand their challenges, designing bespoke, technology-led logistics solutions that add real value.

With six-months to go until Black Friday, the countdown is on.

Our global network and experienced team are here to help retailers to successfully leverage what is one of the busiest periods in the retail calendar.

 

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