Stuart Rivett, managing director of B2C Europe - a company that specialises in ecommerce cross border logistics - comments on Black Friday:
"Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not simply isolated days of the year. What we will really be seeing is “Black Friday Week”, with the more savvy retailers extending the discounts and various offers across the entire week to help spread the burden on their operations.
"Every year we are seeing higher volumes of sales during Black Friday and this year we expect the volumes of sales to be significantly greater.
"It is inevitable that suppliers will encounter problems as there is simply not enough capacity in the UK distribution networks to handle the volume of orders. It will pay to be as prepared as possible for the delays as well as the possibility of customer complaints and inquiries.
"Retailers that have traded below expectations during the summer are “throwing” everything at Black Friday Week in an attempt to get the sales back on track. This is a good opportunity to do so but they need to make sure they are able to handle the customer demand when it comes to the logistics. We recommend that retailers create a strategic logistics operation and work with multiple carriers, rather than expecting one carrier to handle the influx of orders. It is important to set customer expectations correctly. Do not over promise on delivery timescales and be realistic when it comes to estimated arrival times.
"It is also recommended that retailers offer consumers a drop-off-point delivery option, such as delivery to a local shop or pick-up point. If retailers can be encouraging consumers to choose these options it will drastically help to ease the pressures on the delivery networks, as well as increasing the delivery options for consumers."