What are your despatch plans for the Black Friday weekend?

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How will you be dealing with the Black Friday weekend from a logistics perspective?

Even if you’re not directly participating as a retailer with specific deals, the experience is that online sellers on the marketplaces enjoy a halo effect from the marketing efforts and hype that surrounds Black Friday. Media attention mounts each and every year too.

But the concentration on this particular period also increases delivery expectations and marketplace sellers can hardly approach it with ‘business as usual’.

Black Friday emerged from the US tradition of the Christmas shopping rush that came after the Thursday of Thanksgiving. As a retail event it began with deep discounts and bargains in malls and Main Street. It still has that aspect but has developed into an online phenomenon and even crossed the pond.

As we’ve seen this year, Black Friday has become an event with a long run up and, in past years the whole weekend, including what is now called Cyber Monday, has turned it into an intense marketing frenzy.

Yodel boss Dick Stead (for one) has noted that the marketing budgets and plans to chivvy up demand far exceed many business’s capabilities to fulfil the orders in a timely manner. And that can lead to dissatisfied shoppers.

The simple truth is that, for most online retailers, there couldn’t be a worse day to choose for what they hope will be the biggest selling day of the year than a Friday. Advances have been made but weekend despatch is still not the norm.

So how, dear Tamebay readers, will you be dealing with the event? Perhaps you will be processing orders on Friday as best you can and waiting until Monday to deal with the shoppers’ orders who come in over the weekend.

Or maybe you’ll be in over the weekend to cope with peak demand. Will your carriers and couriers collect over the weekend? You may just be picking and packing ready for a bumper Monday mailbag.

Or maybe it’s of no impact whatsoever and the Black Friday weekend is like any other. Some businesses will be entirely unaffected.

It would be fascinating to hear your experiences and expectations and what you’re doing to plan. Is Black Friday heaven or hell?

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