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Black Friday 2020, Retail's Perfect Storm

This year, businesses have lost revenue due to Covid-19 shutdowns. Many of them also experienced unprecedented peak volumes online. If your platform survived the peaks, your teams might think it is also ready for Black Friday, however, this year will be different than any other.


The 3 characteristics that make Black Friday, Retail's Perfect Storm

  1. Increase in digital customers

  2. Drastic changes in customer behaviour

  3. Fewer staff


1. Increase in digital customers

According to Forbes, during the lockdown, e-commerce experienced a 49% increase in sales (1). This shift is unprecedented and it’s believed that customer behaviour is likely to never reverse.

In previous years, Black Friday volumes were easy to predict based on past data, however, volumes across many retailers have been higher during lockdown. With some retailers reporting daily volumes surging to previous Black Friday numbers.

Will Black Friday 2020 see a continued uplift? Google reports online shopping represented 30% of April retail sales in the UK and that “consumers will continue to shop more online” (2).


2. Drastic changes in customers behaviour

There are lots of new customers in the digital space this year and it will be their first time buying online during Black Friday. They will be less tolerant of slowdowns, especially if they have older and slower devices. Old customers are adopting new behaviours that are likely to continue after the Covid-19 shutdowns.

According to McKinsey (3) some customers are going to websites they never visited previously to buy the basics (14%); shopping at new grocery stores (20%) and adopting curbside restaurant and store pickups.

You will need the right methodology and data from a wide range of sources to uncover and cluster anomalous user behaviour.


3. Fewer staff

Unfortunately, plenty of businesses in this industry are still affected by the shutdowns. Between layoffs and furloughed staff, new undetected constraints may have crept in. They may not be picked up by your existing Black Friday process. Your teams will have fewer hands on deck to deal with the peak when it comes.

The available staff will be preoccupied dealing with the most pressing issues to keep the business going.

Preparing for the peak will reduce the burden on key staff.


Don't leave it too late

Act now. Take advantage of Black Friday and increase returns with our help and without the headaches and sleepless nights. Even though you cannot predict the exact peak volumes during Black Friday this year, you can measure what your platform can handle and work to increase it.

See how we can work together with our Black Friday Assurance Programme.


(1) https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/05/12/onlinecommerce-eating-offline-retail-as-e-commerce-jumps-49-black-friday-inapril/#1360aa951baf

(2) https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/covid-accelerateddigital-adoption/

(3) https://cmo.adobe.com/articles/2020/4/mckinsey-research--how-covid-19-is-impacting-consumer-behavior.html#gs.bd509z


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