If you’re an experienced eCommerce seller, you’ve been through your fair share of Black Fridays. You’re well-acquainted with the surge in demand and the excitement that this peak sales season brings. But even seasoned professionals can sometimes trip up. In this blog, we explore some common mistakes that even the most experienced sellers might make during Black Friday – and more importantly, how to avoid them.
Problem: Insufficient Inventory
Mistake: Running out of popular items too soon, leading to missed sales.
Example: Imagine you sell gaming accessories. During Black Friday, demand skyrockets for a specific controller due to a new game release, but your inventory is exhausted within hours of the sale’s start. Customers who visit your website hoping to purchase the item are disappointed.
Solution: Implement demand forecasting using historical data and market trends, keeping an eye on related products and how they’re selling in the lead-up to the event. Set reorder triggers to replenish stock automatically when it reaches predefined levels.
Problem: Inaccurate Product Listings
Mistake: Listing the wrong products or incorrect quantities, causing customer dissatisfaction.
Example: Your webstore displays a popular, high-end camera at a discount during the Black Friday sale. You’ve bundled this camera with related accessories, hoping to move clearance stock along with it. However, due to an inventory error, you’ve already sold out of the camera, and struggle to sell the clearance stock on it’s own.
Solution: Regularly audit product listings, ensuring they align with your actual inventory. Ensure your inventory management checks goods at every touchpoint, to ensure your stock levels are accurate. Use inventory management software, which updates product availability in real-time.
Problem: Shipping Delays
Mistake: Failing to meet delivery deadlines, leading to disgruntled customers.
Example: A customer purchases a perfume gift set on Black Friday, expecting it to arrive in time for a birthday celebration a week later. However, the shipping delay causes the gift to arrive late, upsetting the customer and impacting their experience. They leave a negative review.
Solution: Opt for reliable carriers with a history of on-time deliveries. Offer various shipping options, including expedited and standard. Implement real-time package tracking to keep customers informed.
Problem: Slow returns management
Mistake: The operational process of returning and reintegrating items into stock is slow, affecting inventory levels and sales opportunities.
Example: During Black Friday, customers purchase multiple sizes of the same item, looking to return whichever ones don’t fit. However, these items take several weeks to go through the returns process. In the meantime, you run out of stock for those sizes online. By the time they are reintegrated into your sales stock, your peak web traffic has died down and you struggle to sell the stock. This leads to lost sales opportunities.
Solution: Optimise your returns management and stock reintegration process to reduce the time it takes for returned items to become available for sale again. Consider using dedicated return processing and real-time inventory management systems to expedite this. By improving the efficiency of your returns management, you ensure that items are quickly assessed, repackaged, and reintegrated into stock.
Problem: Inefficient Order Processing
Mistake: Delays in order processing and fulfilment.
Example: On Black Friday, the influx of orders overwhelms your current order processing system. As a result, there are delays in getting items ready for shipment. Some customers even receive the incorrect item due to processing errors, leading to negative reviews and an increase in returns.
Solution: Streamline order processing workflows and employ technology integration with order management software for faster, more accurate processing. Consider an order management system or fulfilment provider that integrates with your eCommerce platform.
As you prepare for this Black Friday, remember that even experienced eCommerce professionals can benefit from reviewing these potential pitfalls and solutions. The eCommerce landscape is ever-evolving, and addressing these challenges proactively can make a significant difference in ensuring a smooth and successful Black Friday for both you and your customers.
And, if you ever find yourself in need of a partner who understands your business, our team at Fidelity Fulfilment is here to help. Our scalable solutions and advanced software are designed to streamline your eCommerce fulfilment This allows you to focus on your core business functions while ensuring a seamless shopping experience for your customers. Whether it’s Black Friday, the holiday season, or any other peak sales period, effective fulfilment is essential for eCommerce success.