Christmas shopping has changed!

Christmas tree and gift boxes against burning fireplace

The way we shop for presents at Christmas has changed

Preparing for Peak in 2016

Gone are the days of promoting your wares in December and your customers buying up your perfectly packaged products at full price to put under the Christmas tree.

Now we have Black Friday! Black Friday started as a sales day before thanksgiving in the US and has gradually made it into the hearts of UK shoppers in the last few years. First there was chaos on Black Friday 2014 as people pushed and shoved their way into the shops and news reports everywhere- not necessarily in a good way.

Followed by Black Friday week/month/period in 2015. Retailers managed to prevent the purchasing aggravation of 2014, by spreading Black Friday promotions over a longer period. This worked brilliantly for retailers. Unfortunately retailers hadn’t entirely communicated their plans with carriers, who taken on extra staff for a surge that never came, but that is another matter.

In 2015, £1.1 billion was spent in the UK on Black Friday, £1.2 billion over the weekend culminating with a further £968 million on Cyber Monday. Over the four days it works out to be a spending rate of £570,000 a minute.

So where are we for 2016? 

Well it looks like we will be ‘all in’. A report by the IMRG covers many interesting aspects of Peak 2016, but ultimately, the conclusion is that the majority of retailers need to take part in Black Friday promotions to compete in the market place.

So we have Black Friday (26th November 2016) and Cyber Monday (28th November 2016), plus the usual Christmas Eve panic but hey! We all live to tell the tale each year, and are all hopefully a little wiser as a consequence!

This would be a good time to review what worked well, but also to investigate how you can improve things for your business this year.

Check list for Peak 2016

  • Did you have sufficient stocks or did you sell out too soon?
  • Were your systems robust enough to cope with the upsurge?
  • Did you have sufficient staff to cope with volumes?
  • Did you hit your daily shipping targets?
  • Was your customer service at a good level?
  • Did you communicate data/intelligence with your carrier/distribution service so they they could up/lower their capacity at certain times?
  • Are you marketing promotions aimed to fit in with your distribution networks?
  • Could you spread out promotions over a longer period to allow more/better delivery options for your customers

Delivery as the keystone

Delivery options really are the key these days. If you offer the delivery option your customer wants, they will buy from you, if you don’t they won’t. And you have no way of knowing exactly which option they want in advance- so this means offering as many delivery options as you can to make life more convenient for your customer.

Now is your chance to learn any lessons from the past and plan for the inevitable madness of Peak /Christmas 2016.  It will be here before you know it!

 

Make life easier though DMC

DMC offers a full range of services at competitive rates, we can quickly put a costing proposal together based on your requirements.

Integration between your online shopping platform and our Warehouse Management System is now a smooth process, allowing for automated order processing to be set up quickly and in time for the rush.

We have contract rates with Royal Mail, DPD, YODEL, APC, NEP, and DHL and many more. We can provide boxes, bags, infill and padded envelopes to suit your shipping needs. We will even gift wrap your products if needed to add another service to your shoppers.

If you are still haunted by the memory of your overloaded order handling from last Christmas, why not give us a call?  DMC could take the headache out of your fulfilment needs.

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