Not long now. Not long at all.
On Friday, along with some of my colleagues from both eDelivery and InternetRetailing, I’ll be monitoring some of the retailers from the InternetRetailing Top500 to see how Black Friday is affecting things like site performance, availability of delivery options, and plenty more besides.
We’ll even keep it up for Cyber Monday too.
One way or another, for all of us I expect, it’s going to be a busy few days. To say the least.
Last year, Yodel had 600,000 more parcels put into its network than anticipated. This year it said it will cap the amount of next-day Black Friday business it will accept. At the time, I described that as a brave move – and I wasn’t the only one. Will fortune favour the brave? I guess we might be about to find out.
That there will be problems is inevitable. The scale and depth of them is impossible to predict; much like the £1bn that may – or may not – be spent on Friday in the UK, only time will tell. This time last year, few could have predicted the imminent demise of City Link. I’ve been musing on whether or not I expect to see another calamity like that as a result of this year’s peak.
As far as retailers’ performance around delivery, collection and returns is concerned, in the pages of eDelivery Magazine, we’ve run a few retailer reviews. I’ve been rummaging around in the archive and have dusted off a review of Amazon from earlier this year. A lot’s changed in a year, but it still makes for interesting reading.
Elsewhere on eDelivery, we have a guest-authored piece from Matt Guffey of UPS who reflects on the high rewards and high risks facing retailers at this time of year – how to protect yourself from one and take advantage of the other.
We take a look at some research from NetDespatch, looking at customer attitudes toward returns and at a prediction from Clear Returns, which says there’ll be £160m worth of returns generated on Friday, and that 12 December will see stock shortages as a result of so many returns clogging up the entire retail logistics network.
And we return to Asda’s Black Friday u-turn one last time to consider why it came about and hear from a small selection of the eDelivery readers who have been in touch to share their views on the subject, and you can read their thoughts here.
If all of this peak talk has been making you feel a bit, well… peaky, you could always chuck it all in and become a lorry driver, you know.
As always, if you haven’t subscribed to eDelivery yet we’d love it if you did. You’ll get a weekly newsletter summarising the main stories we’ve covered, and we’ll keep you informed of other big announcements. But we won’t spam you – no one’s liked spam since the 1940s, have they? You’ll find details on subscribing here.