Like it or not, Black Friday looks like it’s here to stay and has quickly become as entrenched in the British calendar as summer holidays and the January sales. But how much about this huge shopping frenzy do you know about?
Originating in America (where else?), Black Friday takes place on the final Friday in November, which is also the day after Thanksgiving, when traders look to sell-off surplus stock as they prepare for the run-up to Christmas.
A relatively new phenomenon in the UK, Black Friday has been adopted by the British in recent years, with scenes of shoppers fighting for products that have been hugely discounted dominating the front pages and 24 hour news channels.
So how can business owners prepare for this latest celebration of consumerism and is your warehouse ready for the predicted deluge in online sales which could soon be coming your way?
WHAT IS BLACK FRIDAY?
Black Friday became a shopping sensation in the US due to the fact that many Americans would take the day after Thanksgiving (which always falls on a Thursday) off work to have a long holiday weekend and enjoy a little pre-Christmas retail therapy.
Retailers therefore cut prices on this Friday to get consumers into their stores and kick-start the Christmas shopping season. In more recent years retailers have noticed that consumers have been continuing their shopping online from home or at their office computers.
WHEN IS IT?
Black Friday falls on the first Friday after Thanksgiving in America, which takes place on the fourth Thursday in November (got all that?).
So this year, Black Friday is on November 25th.
HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM CYBER MONDAY?
Because online shopping has become such a common way for people to shop, the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday has blurred somewhat.
In 2014, online sales on Black Friday surpassed Cyber Monday spend for the first time in the UK, when consumers parted with £810m, compared to £720m on Cyber Monday.
Put simply, most retailers will offer a range of deals throughout Black Friday, but you’re more likely to find online only discounts on Cyber Monday.
WHY IS IT CALLED BLACK FRIDAY?
Nobody’s entirely sure, but most suggestions surround how businesses and retailers detail their finances. Many shops see the biggest profits of the year on Black Friday. Many businesses will detail their gains in black ink (and losses in red ink), hence the name.
ARE YOU PREPARED?
If you are an online retailer you need to take black Friday seriously, and fast.
The figures alone show how much people are now spending on this day, despite it being something of a new creation. So if you run a warehouse you need to be prepared for the onslaught that may be around the corner.
Time spent picking, packing and dispatching through various different couriers is time that could be spent fulfilling more online orders and achieving greater customer fulfilment.
Have you Considered WMS?
A bespoke warehouse management system is easy to implement, simple to use, and suitable for just about any type of warehouse. Whether you’re involved in 3PL Warehousing, transport, co-packing, fulfilment or e-commerce, or perhaps simply store your own goods, Optima’s WMS software can help you to run your warehouse more efficiently, more accurately and ultimately more cost effectively, particularly during some of the busiest times of the year.