Get ready for a record-breaking ‘Black Fiveday’

Global e-commerce consultancy Salmon has predicted another ‘Black Fiveday’ with ‘record-breaking’ sales.

Last year’s Black Friday saw online sales of over £1 billion, but Salmon has said that this year will be even bigger, with an estimated £5bn to be spent online from November 24 through to Cyber Monday (28).

Salmon’s head of managed services John Beechen said: “Retailers should think about peak trading as a crisis that they know will happen in advance. Preparation is vital, and retailers need to consider their business and operational plans for the period. Retailers must also ensure that they have laid out clear contingency plans for their teams to respond to issues during the week.”

To help capitalise on the event, Mr Beechen has offered five top tips for retailers selling online.

  • Rigorous testing – retailers should be undertaking performance tests of their systems up to peak loads in order to see where their break points are.
  • Stagger your marketing activities – retailers would benefit from feeding customer deals gradually through the week, which will keep customers shopping during the peak and on Cyber Monday, while reducing strain on infrastructure and fulfilment teams.
  • Prepare the business – it is important to ensure the whole business is aligned in the lead-up to and on Black Friday, establishing constant communication between technical operations and the wider business.
  • Have a contingency plan – regardless of how prepared you are, it is difficult to make Black Friday 100 per cent fail-proof. Identify the risks that may arise and create a list of solutions so action can be taken by the corresponding department.
  • Ensure your staffing plans are set – everyone involved in peak operations should be aware of their role and responsibility during the period.

Mr Beechen concluded: “The Black Friday week is an excellent opportunity for retailers to win new customers and grow their customer following and ultimately increase sales. The retailers who were as prepared as possible, from front-end to back-end, have been the ones to see success.”

  • A copy of ‘The Black Friday and Peak Trading E-commerce Operations Playbook’ guide can be downloaded from the company website here.