'Plan for this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday now', warns Fastlane International

Global courier firm believes online stores "need to learn from the lessons of last year."
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Global courier Fastlane International is urging online retailers to plan now for November's Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

The firm's David Jinks believes online stores "need to learn from the lessons of last year."

"Last Christmas saw a record £810million spent on Black Friday alone in the UK, creating 400,000 orders in one day," said Fastlane International spokesman David Jinks.

"This sounds great, but companies struggled to fulfil these orders, and there’s good evidence that the sales were at the expense of other trading days such as Boxing Day, which for the first time in seven years was no longer the peak e-commerce day of the year.

"Online retailers need to plan thoroughly for the whole of the Christmas sales period. Online retailers had difficulties after Black Friday replenishing the most in-demand items in time for Cyber Monday. This led to a smaller spend of £650m for the second big trading day, and there is good evidence sales were quieter than expected during the first weeks of December."

Jinks also claims that online stores looking to be successful over the period need to consider staggering offers.

"Successful retailers will be already be deep in planning for the 2015 Christmas season: ordering stock; ensuring warehouse and staffing capacity, and organising their logistics campaigns," added Jinks.

"But e-tailers need to think hard about their Christmas plans and perhaps consider staggering offers more. The hype surrounding Black Friday created a demand spike that strained the delivery infrastructure of many organisations, and dampened trading during the traditionally busy first weeks of December.

"While overall last Christmas was a success, many consumers were left frustrated by delivery issues which, notoriously, led one major UK courier to stop collecting parcels from retailers entirely for 72 hours as it struggled to deal with its Black Friday backlog.

"By staggering offers over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day, the logistics bottleneck will be eased and savvy customers will still get bargain online prices. Even Santa would find it tricky if everyone sent their Christmas lists to him on just one day."

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