Black Friday: five lessons retailers learned this year

Black Friday: five lessons retailers learned this year

Creating the right customer experience is crucial to staying on top of evolving consumer expectations

Black Friday is hardly a new phenomenon. It’s been a staple part of the global retail calendar for over a decade. So at first glance, it might appear as if there’s nothing more for retailers and web shops to learn about making the most of the shopping bonanza.

But in recent years, the day of deals and discounts has thrown up more than its share of surprises.

In 2020, shoppers flocked online as social distancing requirements kept them away from the high street. A year later, a release of pent-up consumer spending fuelled a Black Friday boom.

This year’s discount season, including Singles’ Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday left brands and retailers facing a new set of challenges. The global cost-of-living crisis has caused cash-strapped shoppers to continually hunt for a bargain. The days when Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales simply lasted for 24 hours are gone. This year, some stores launched their deals a month before the day itself.

Here are five things that retailers and web shops tell us they’ve learned this year.

  1. Discount deliveries - shoppers are not just trying to bag a bargain when it comes to their purchases. Many are also seeking cheaper delivery options. While speed continues to be paramount for some, cheaper delivery options – which have always been popular - are becoming even more popular
  2. Staying on top of stock – with deals lasting for longer, it’s crucial that websites and checkouts accurately reflect what is in stock, whether a deal is still live and what the realistic delivery time is for a product. Any errors risk drastically undermining the customer experience. Online retailers need to use checkout software that can quickly communicate with warehouse management systems
  3. Keep communication relevant – there’s nothing new about shoppers wanting updates on their deliveries. But retailers that simply send email updates increasingly risk irrelevance to digital natives who expect notifications on a range of social channels and apps
  4. Make returns easy – if it’s not clear to a consumer how easily they can return a purchase, they are less likely to buy it. The process needs to be clear.  And it has to convince shoppers that sending something back is not going to become a laborious experience
  5. Remaining resilient – at busy times of year, shipment services can be under stress. But this is exactly the time that retailers need to ensure real resilience across the transport network. Being able to use multiple carriers for shipments, instead of relying on just one, can help ensure timely delivery

Learning lessons from this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday can help retailers stay ahead of the game and deliver more for consumers next year.New call-to-action

At the heart of getting it right, is the ability to shape a shopping experience that works for the customer. And that means providing the right delivery options, keeping customers updated and making returns simple.

Read more about how we can help retailers and web shops build their brand with deliveries.

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