Global ecommerce consultancy Salmon has advised retailers to start preparing for five days of peak trading in November. The digital commerce expert that correctly predicted the first £1bn online shopping day for Black Friday 2015 now predicts an extension to the traditional Black Friday rush with a record breaking £5bn spent online from Thursday 24 November through to Cyber Monday on the 28 November.
Last year, despite the retail industry anticipating the Black Friday rush, digitally-led sales were even higher than predicted. In the US retailers saw a tipping point, as online sales outnumbered offline sales for the first time ever. In the UK, some retailers reportedly suffered website outages due to the high volumes of traffic, while on some sites customers sat in online waiting rooms. This year the heightened shopping period is set to run from Thursday 24 November through to Cyber Monday on the 28th, and retailers should begin planning their online operations during the peak period now.
John Beechen, head of managed Services at Salmon, said: “Retailers should think about peak trading as a crisis that they know will happen in advance. Preparation is vital, and retailers should already be considering their business and operational plans for the period. Retailers must also consider contingency plans to respond to issues during the week. At Salmon, we run a cross-client peak operations centre throughout the period to monitor and detect issues before outages and fix problems in real-time. Retailers should be ready to take advantage of the heightened consumer interest during peak trading – and avoid long term damage to the brand through poor customer experience.”
Salmon will share its insights on how to prepare for peak trading at the IMRG’s Managing Peak Performance Connect Conference on Wednesday 15 June. Beechen will present a speech outlining how retailers should prepare for heightened demand during the busy online period. Salmon will also launch the Black Friday 2016 Playbook at the event, to support retailers in their planning. Through advanced preparations involving the business and operations teams, businesses can cope with the influx of web traffic and protect customer experience.