This year's Thanksgiving weekend promises to be a huge gain for online retailers. From Black Friday until Cyber Monday, engaged shoppers will be looking for and comparing deals across multiple marketplaces, promising a huge spike in orders to be shipped or returned. Only the ready-retailers can reap the rewards of Black Friday e-commerce while providing an excellent customer experience.
- In 2016, 108.5 million Americans shopped online on the Friday after Thanksgiving, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). That compares to only 99.1 million in-store shoppers.
- But many sellers struggle to capitalize on all opportunities as well as reliably fulfill purchases, especially online. These problems reduce margins and damage customer loyalty. IHL estimated that out-of-stocks ($634.1 billion) and overstocks ($471.9 billion) cost retailers over $1 trillion annually; returns bring the total to $1.75 trillion.
- Accordingly, it’s crucial to have a clear, consistent returns policy and dependable inventory management. UPS once reported more than 1 million returns per day in January, while the NRF estimated 22 percent of shoppers backed out of purchases due to inconvenient returns policies.
- Similarly, 47 percent of shoppers have abandoned a retailer because of poor order transparency during fulfillment, according to Dotcom Distribution. Almost 90 percent also said delivery time would influence whether they came back to a seller.
- Glitches in listings and inventory monitoring can ruin the allure of Black Friday’s biggest draw - its promotions. An infamous Black Friday deal erroneously listed a MacBook for only $131 with free shipping, while a major retailer once failed to stock enough Black Friday inventory - and didn’t notify shoppers until weeks later.
- Shipping software helps solve these challenges: Sellers surveyed by Software Advice cited quicker batching and shipping (27 percent), easier order automation (23 percent) and cheaper fulfillment (20 percent) as its greatest benefits.
Are you ready for Black Friday? Try a demo of Jazva to see how you can prepare your multichannel ecommerce operations for the holiday rush.