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How to Avoid Black Friday Shipping Delays

Time to read: 6 minutes

Black Friday is famously known as the “Biggest Shopping Day of the Year.” Originally observed on the day after Thanksgiving in the US, it is now “celebrated” worldwide.  There’s also Cyber Monday, which we will get to later. These “global” holidays are one of the most important shopping days, and customers expect the biggest deals to be available during this period.  Online merchants must prepare their businesses for the increased demand. After all, you wouldn’t want your potential consumers to miss some of the biggest deals Black Friday and Cyber Monday have to offer. 

Black Friday is known to be a massive shopping event and bargain day. It became synonymous with enormous discounts and can’t-miss deals. Online businesses have a once-a-year chance to employ unique eCommerce strategies that build buzz, increase brand recognition, foster customer loyalty, and increase revenue.

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But more than potential sales, customer experience is crucial. If you provide poor service, customers will simply shop elsewhere, no matter how many alluring deals you provide.

Initially, Cyber Monday was exclusively for eCommerce and third-party marketplaces. Black Friday deals were only available in physical retail stores. But growing popularity has blurred the lines between these two days, leading to earlier, cheaper online offerings. Additionally, the rapid rise of online shopping caused an increase in shipping demands. In 2022, 69% of Black Friday purchases were made online.

Logistics is critical to Black Friday’s success, given its rising significance in the retail and eCommerce industries. Effective inventory management, fast shipping, and customer service management have become indispensable to this global shopping event’s incredible demand.

How Important is Black Friday Shipping to eCommerce?

Black Friday is a mix of excitement and concern for warehouse managers, online merchants, and logistics. Black Friday has always provided retailers with a huge revenue boost. According to Adobe Analytics, customers spent a record-breaking $9.2 billion online in 2022 while visiting many physical stores.

Black Friday Consumer Behavior and the Changing Dynamics of Shopper Trends (

While the historic sales figures are a welcome development, there’s a lot of work and challenges to achieve it.  The allure of enormous discounts causes customers to overcrowd stores, overwhelming employees. This creates an environment vulnerable to theft due to all the confusion. 

Furthermore, retailers must maintain strict control over their inventory because it continues to be a source of inconvenience. A delicate balance between providing just enough to satisfy the rising demand and not too little must be struck.

The Black Friday weekend is also an essential period for warehouse managers. The run-up to Black Friday is a critical time in the logistics industry, especially for warehouse managers. These are the people who must manage increased inventory with limited space. Planning is crucial to ensuring that your warehouse and allocated areas don’t end up with trucks that can’t be unloaded due to a lack of space. Of course, the inventory arriving and leaving also means increased workloads for your staff. You may even need to consider hiring temporary workers to remain efficient. 

During this time, warehouse managers are pressured to ensure orders are dispatched quickly and accurately for on-time delivery. Increased order volumes are more prone to error when people are under constant pressure. You’ll need to implement stringent quality control measures to minimize mistakes.

Pressure to Deliver On Time

When there is a massive demand for retail products, courier and shipping services must handle the increased workload. During the week between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, UPS expects the global delivery of more than 32 million items daily. When you consider the strain fulfillment teams face to deliver packages on schedule, you might notice an increase in local traffic.

Last-mile Delivery Performance

During Black Friday, last-mile delivery, the final stretch to your customer’s doorstep, becomes more difficult. Logistics companies must rely on cutting-edge technology to ensure deliveries reach the correct address on time. Using digital tools, online merchants can adjust to rising order volumes, expedited delivery requirements, and congested roads.

Reliable Returns

Inevitably, there will be customers who suddenly have a reality check after Black Friday. Some shoppers may end up with buyer’s regret, having gotten carried away by unending discounts and amazing offers. Expect many product returns, so you’ll need to have effective reverse logistics procedures in place. 

Clear Communications

Effective communication becomes essential when dealing with higher order quantities, potential delays, and high expectations for on-time deliveries. Retailers and logistics providers must work closely to create and carry out logistics plans during this peak shopping season. 

To better manage client expectations, eCommerce businesses must be prepared with precise tracking information and updates.

Labor Shortage

Logistics companies must increase their temporary workforce to meet the surge in demand, especially in warehousing. To start preparing for the Black Friday shopping rush, you‘ll need the help of software engineers and data analytics professionals. You must have dependable deliverymen, drivers, customer service representatives, and warehouse employees.  Reliable ship operators and forklift drivers are also required for physical labor and on-the-ground operations. Your operations can be streamlined if they are all equipped and trained in technology and automation.

Five Tips to Succeed at Black Friday Shipping

Many consider Black Friday the year’s largest shopping day. After all, what better time to buy gifts and presents for the holidays? Your business must take advantage of the greatest offers during the next season.

Getting ready early can help maximize revenue and improve client satisfaction. 

78 Black Friday Statistics You Must Read: 2023 Market Share & Data Analysis –

Plan Ahead of Black Friday

During peak shopping seasons, supply chain and delivery issues are bound to happen. Assess your inventory levels before Black Friday comes around. Ensure you have enough best-selling items to take full advantage of Black Friday. Set clear objectives for what needs to be accomplished. Create a timeline so that everything is received and delivered on time. Forecast your inventory needs so you can restock as needed without any delays. 

Online merchants need to ensure they can fulfill the surge in demand by planning ahead of time and collaborating with shipping partners and suppliers. Early planning also helps companies acquire and train workers as needed. Testing and optimizing technological systems before the shopping rush is paramount. These steps all help to ensure a well-managed and successful Black Friday operation.

Holistic Inventory Management

To effectively estimate demand during the Black Friday season, inventory management requires closely analyzing historical sales data and market trends. Keeping a safety stock buffer on hand is essential for managing unforeseen surges in demand. Timely replacement is guaranteed when you communicate your needs to suppliers earlier. One important tactic to avoid shortages is prioritizing high-demand items while replenishing inventories. Achieving the ideal balance is crucial. You want to carry just enough products to satisfy consumer demand without wasting space, labor, and time on trendy or seasonal items.  

Shipping Preparation

Working closely with shipping companies is necessary to prepare for Black Friday shipping demands. Ensure your fulfillment providers are ready for the influx of orders and increased demand. They should also provide advance information on shipping charges and delivery schedules. Evaluate carrier options and negotiate for favorable terms, such as lower delivery costs during busy times of the year. Have strong parcel tracking and return management systems in place to improve consumer satisfaction during this hectic shopping season.

Efficient Resource Allocation

Allocating resources is essential to preparing for Black Friday shipping. It’s important to plan for workforce requirements to manage the anticipated spike in demand. Assess the capacity of your current workforce and proactively determine whether hiring more staff members or temporary workers will be required. By carefully considering staff augmentation, you can make sure that your team is ready to handle the demands of this busy shopping event.

If you need temporary workers, utilize staffing companies specializing in seasonal retail staff. These skilled workers need less time for training. They can immediately support your operations during this crucial sales period.

Logistics Technology Integration

Leveraging technology and automation to streamline key processes like order processing and inventory management is crucial for enhancing efficiency. 

Warehouse management software provides a digital platform for connecting shippers and carriers seamlessly. Using digital tools can optimize their logistics operations by efficiently matching their shipping needs with qualified carriers. By maximizing efficiency, online merchants reduce lead times and enhance order fulfillment. This innovative approach expedites logistics processes and offers a cost-effective and transparent solution for peak periods like Black Friday.

Constant Monitoring and Adjustment

Monitoring and improving your operations aren’t just limited to Black Friday. Online merchants must be vigilant on the days leading up to it and during the Christmas shopping season. Once you start getting ready for Black Friday until it’s done, it’s crucial to monitor your logistics procedures closely. This extended observation period enables you to identify possible issues and respond quickly. Having complete visibility guarantees that your logistics run smoothly during this peak shopping season.

The eCommerce industry will always be impacted by the peak holiday shopping season, which starts on Black Friday. Possible effects on the industry include labor shortages, over- or understocked facilities, equipment failure, and higher delivery expectations. 

eCommerce businesses can use a wide range of technology to forecast labor requirements, prevent inaccurate inventory estimations, and improve delivery routes. More warehouse and logistics management teams are operating seamlessly with the help of digital logistics solutions. Black Friday shipping is easy when you have automation and technology.

 ZhenHub is your reliable partner when it comes to dealing with the Black Friday shipping rush. Get connected to our vast network of fulfillment centers to bring your products closer to your customers. You can accurately track where each order goes, giving your customers peace of mind. Sign up and get access to our eCommerce-optimized dashboard.

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