What started out as a post-Thanksgiving retail celebration has over time evolved into one of the biggest commercial events in the world. Now, in an increasingly digital, pandemic-ridden age characterized by its move towards online activity, Black Friday – and all its branches – is slowly but surely establishing itself as an exclusively e-based event. And, as we all know, with high demands on e-commerce comes even higher demands on logistics. Prime Penguin has dug deep into what you can expect from Black Friday in terms of logistical management (and damage control), and how your e-store should prepare in order to reap the benefits.
This year, the highly anticipated and disputed sales event Black Friday occurs on Friday the 26th of November, but the commercial world started preparing and gearing up for the holiday way back in the summer. In order for consumers to enjoy a seamless customer experience during the Black Week celebrations, there are many logistical challenges to be dealt with behind the scenes. If you’re in the e-tail industry and planning on partaking in the Black Friday celebrations, we believe that you’d be wise to consider implementing some (or all) of the strategies we’ve listed below – for an effortless and prosperous Black Friday sale.
The History Behind the Sales Craze
Having originated in the city of Philadelphia, USA, Black Friday dates back as far as the 1950s. The day after Thanksgiving, Philadelphians would – quite literally – storm retailers for some highly anticipated holiday shopping. It was here that the rather sinister name was coined, with police officers referring to the event as ‘Black Friday’ due to the number of forces needed to subdue the craze. Eventually, the event lost its negative connotation; by the 1980s, American retailers had picked up on the possibility of turning this day of intense holiday shopping into a superior sales opportunity. Little by little, word of the vending fest spread across the states – and, eventually, the world – and was soon established as a fixed holiday dedicated to significant spending, generous discounts, and the unofficial beginning of the Christmas holiday season.
Naturally, the invention of one sales-related holiday inspired a whole range of other days dedicated to various consumer behaviors, the most well-known being Cyber Monday. Initially founded to encourage customers to move their shopping habits online, Cyber Monday has gradually (in tandem with global digitalization) merged into an extension of Black Friday, resulting in a weekend-long discounted shopping spree.
The Importance of Seamless Logistics
As the global presence of Black Friday continues to evolve and grow, so do the demands on supply chains and backstage logistics that support the complex operation. For someone who is new to the trade or has very little experience with or knowledge of logistics management, it may be difficult to grasp just how much work and effort goes into the operation. For a product to be handled effectively and delivered to distribution centers and retailers on time, especially during a global sales event, expert consultation – or, ideally, direct supervision – is crucial. With this in mind, the easiest (and best) option is to involve a third-party logistics provider, more commonly known as a 3PL. Now, you may be thinking that this sounds complicated, perhaps not even necessary – maybe you’re doing just fine as it is and are not looking to change the procedures within your business. Still, we encourage you to take a minute and consider your options before deciding on keeping everything inhouse – during Black Friday, and beyond.
While we always encourage e-commerce businesses to outsource their logistics to a 3PL, we find that it is especially important to (at the very least) look over your logistics management during sales events such as Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday. It is during events like these that the expertise of a 3PL really comes into play, and its positive benefits can be decidedly detected. After all, being able to successfully manage a large-scale logistical operation during times of high demand (in this case, Black Friday) requires a team of truly competent and experienced experts. So, make sure to ask your 3PL – that is, once you’ve acquired one – if they’re able to offer any additional services or support during the sales holidays, such as “temporary multi-client warehousing services to manage higher stock”, or even “customized value-added services”. Furthermore, most 3PL companies will be able to provide you with valuable data gathered through their WMS (Warehouse Management System). By analyzing trends and numbers from previous years, you’ll be able to use this data during future sales events to your advantage and make sure that every step along the way is streamlined to your unique needs.
When it comes to mapping out the logistics of your supply chain, especially if your e-store is operating on an international level, perhaps the most important decision is the choice of how many warehouses you need and where in the world they should be located. We believe that the best option is to utilize the power of omnichannel logistics, the likes of which you’ll get access to through your Prime Penguin subscription. With a digital platform and a powerful software system, the omnichannel helps you “synchronize your inventory, logistics, and distribution across sales channels to meet consumer demand”. By leveraging a set of carefully selected global warehouses, you will save a great deal of time and transportation fees, ensuring happy customers and a seamless fulfillment process that is both affordable as well as sustainable.
Whether or not Black Friday or Cyber Monday are ideal sales opportunities for you and your business, we believe that improving upon the logistical procedures of your business is beneficial for any and all e-commerce companies. Establishing a reliable 3PL partnership, working with data obtained through a WMS, and streamlining your supply chain with the help of an omnichannel are simple and affordable steps you can take to boost your business. Besides providing your business with some added revenue and exposure, Black Friday might just be the ultimate test to see if your logistics management is up to par. Still, while it may be tempting to dive right into the sales craze without reservation, we urge you to take a step back and consider the implications of a heightened level of material consumption. At Prime Penguin, we believe that it is up to the e-commerce industry – and all its participatory stakeholders – to always take into consideration the “benefits and broader societal costs of different shopping and delivery options”. Simply put, it is our duty to persistently work towards finding the very best and most sustainable solutions, congruent with our mission to cut out carbon emissions and drastically slow down global warming.
How Can Prime Penguin Help Your E-Store?
How does Prime Penguin fit into the struggles of running an e-store during Black Friday or any other high-pressure commercial event that affects your business? The answer is simple: Prime Penguin provides e-commerce businesses with a cost-efficient and effortless solution to connect their e-stores with warehouses and marketplaces worldwide. We help you procure, outsource, and control all your logistical proceedings in a digital and cloud-based interface. By leveraging a network of pre-integrated logistics partners and market-leading integration technology, with headliners such as Shopify and WooCommerce as part of our grapevine, the Prime Penguin Platform makes sure that your commercial data is flowing between the sales channels and the warehouse management system (WMS).
Are you looking to expand your e-commerce business with external 3PL suppliers? Do you want to ensure that your e-store is primed for global sales events and brand growth with the right integrations? Prime Penguin would love to help you locate and connect with trusted experts in the industry and streamline your fulfillment process from start to finish. Read more about our unique logistics solution and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation!