This year could see November overtake December as the year’s peak trading month, according to ecommerce consultancy Salmon. It believes that shoppers will spend a record £20 billion online. It follows predictions of a £7 billion spend over Black Friday Week (Monday 20 November – Monday 27 November) from IMRG.
With such new records being set efficient planning around delivery is vital, according to Salmon. “The traditional retail calendar has become well and truly disrupted, and this year we expect November to become the pre-eminent month for Christmas shopping,” said James Webster, head of managed services at Salmon and peak trading expert.
“Consumers are now used to services such as Amazon Prime, with same or next day delivery, which has grown them accustomed to speedy and high-quality services. If they’re presented with a slow or convoluted online experience they’ll find a better one a finger-tip away, so it is imperative that retailers have a strong contingency plan lined up during peak trading so as to avoid any reputational damage due to dissatisfied customers,” he said.
“It’s never too early to start planning for peak,” said Patrick Munden, head of retail at Salmon. “From beginning with the customer researching and viewing a product, to ordering it for delivery, retailers must prepare their operations for the high volume of orders. Home delivery is just one of the many facets that must all fit into place when it comes to events such as Christmas or Black Friday. While home delivery is undoubtedly a physical practice, the planning to ensure each online order is processed, managed and supplied will be the key to driving sales,” he said.
“Last year at Salmon we saw 28% more orders taken during the Black Friday period (22nd – 28th November) than Christmas (21st – 27th December). Our analysis also found that consumers are twice as likely to convert sales on Black Friday as they are on Boxing Day, and arguably, the most famous and traditional sales day, Boxing Day, has been overtaken by the online phenomenon Black Friday. If there is any lesson to be learnt it’s that Black Friday has grown into the biggest retailing event, and retailers must adjust their planning to meet this,” said Munden.
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