Retail Trends

6 key capabilities that retailers need for a successful Black Friday

3 min read

The increase in the number of orders during major sales peaks such as Black Friday or the Christmas campaign can create major problems for retailers if they are not adequately prepared.

During Black Friday in 2020, sales increases of 27% over 2019 were recorded and sales spiked by 58% in the days leading up to Christmas creating problems with shipments.

Will demand continue to increase at the same rate in 2021?

This year, the quintessential sales season is also facing supply issues that could very negatively impact sales forecasts

Ongoing production delays, product shortages and rising freight rates are creating a lot of stress for retailers who are looking more than ever to get their supply chain aligned. Beyond Black Friday, this is having alarming consequences. Thus, according to a recent McKinsey study analyzing the impact on retailers’ supply chains:

The current set of concurrent disruptions have the potential to decrease earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for retailers by 20 to 40 percent in the near term .”

Most of the annual turnover depends on this period and the margin for error is virtually zero.

The bad news for many retailers is that if they have not done their homework properly, it will already be very difficult for them to carry sufficient stock today. Products that have not yet been shipped from China, for example, will not reach European stores in time.

For those who have prepared adequately, there are still other challenges to ensure the success of Black Friday and, by extension, the Christmas campaign. Let us now review the six most important ones.

What can retailers do to be successful this Black Friday?

Detailed, real-time inventory visibility

The possibility of inventory shortages of certain products forces retailers to have accurate and detailed inventory information at each of their locations. This will avoid unnecessary lost sales in both physical stores and the online channel.

Agile and flexible order preparation

Delivery scenarios such as Click & Collect or Ship from Store allow retailers to offer greater convenience to their customers. To achieve this, it is essential to have well prepared physical stores as logistics hubs, ready to serve the needs of both the online channel and other physical stores.

Personalized offers

A detailed knowledge of customers and their previous purchases across all channels allows you to pass on offers that are more tailored to their needs, thus increasing conversion rates and sales. This will also ensure satisfied customers who will continue to visit your stores.

Good mobile experience

The increasing use of mobile devices for shopping requires retailers to offer a very satisfactory shopping experience through this channel. Content and navigability must be adapted to avoid customer abandonment.

Convenience and payment transparency

Options such as the possibility of payments in different installments are becoming more and more common, so offering customers greater comfort and convenience, both in online and in-store purchases. Especially when shopping online, customers particularly value transparency when it comes to payments

In stores, more and more customers are also opting for the mobile payment option, a possibility already offered by most retailers today.

Excellent in-store experience

Retailers today are facing a transformation process, accelerated by the consequences of the pandemic. They must not only develop new capabilities for order picking, but also provide a secure environment and excellent service.

To this end, it is important to equip employees with tools that allow, among other capabilities, access to detailed customer information, inventory visibility or product and service suggestions based on shoppers’ preferences.

The checkout process must be fast and secure, which is why we have seen an increase in the adoption of self-checkout terminals, especially in the wake of the pandemic.


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