Are you ready for Black Friday 2016?

Are you ready for Black Friday 2016?

Black Friday is always an exciting time for retailers. In one day they can generate tremendous sales, but they also have to deal with lots of traffic, nagging customers and overworked employees. For this year, ecommerce consultancy Salmon predicts not just Black Friday, but a Black Fiveday week. In the coming 100 days until this event, you should prepare your online business. Here’s how.

Black Friday hit the £1billion mark last year, but for this year’s edition Salmon thinks consumers in the UK will spend over 5 billion pound (5.78 billion euros) online from November 24 until November 28 (Cyber Monday). Black Friday will become a five-day shopping event, which asks a lot of effort from online retailers.

What to achieve over the 100 days in order to be truly ready? John Beechen, head of managed services at Salmon, gives these five tips:

Test rigorously

“Retailers should be undertaking performance tests of their systems up to peak loads in order to see where their break points are. Through simulating a major incident to understand how watertight their contingency plan is will enable retailers to understand how they will cope with a “dam burst” scenario if faced with an unexpected influx of traffic on the day.”

Stagger your marketing activities

“Retailers will benefit from feeding customer deals gradually thought the week which will keep consumers shopping during the peak and on Cyber Monday, whilst reducing strain on infrastructure and fulfilment teams.”

Prepare the business

“Now is the time to ensure every department is au fait with the plan for peak trading on 25 November – not just in silo but across the entire business. In particular, being aware of all marketing campaigns and promotions in advance will enable teams to map out when they expect to see the biggest surges of traffic so they can prepare accordingly.”

Have a contingency plan

“Put some basic functionality in place. For example, adding a queuing system whereby customers are placed in a waiting line to access the website will help to control the surge and reduce the chances of the site crashing.”

Ensure your staffing plans are set

“Retailers need to ensure that their staffing plans and shifts are set, with everyone involved in peak operations (including their vendors and suppliers) are aware of their role and responsibility during the period. Shifts should be in place for both Black Friday and the weekend, and contact details published.”

Checklist for Black Friday 2016

Checklist for Black Friday 2016
A Black Friday checklist, from Salmon’s Black Friday 2016 Ecommerce Operations Playbook.