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The busiest time of the year is fast approaching, but the busiest shopping day of the year is closer still.

Millions of shoppers will be jumping online to bag a bargain in what promises to be the biggest Black Friday yet.

In fact, ecommerce consultancy Salmon predicts that £5bn will be spent online from Thursday November 24 through to Cyber Monday on the November 28, in what it has dubbed ‘Black Fiveday’.

The day itself is often associated with huge discounts at the major outlets but it also offers SMEs the perfect opportunity to start shifting stock ahead of peak.

To make the most of Black Friday weekend, and indeed ‘Black Fiveday, preparation will be key.

 

Research

It sounds obvious but you must look at last year’s Black Friday weekend - which companies did well and what products they discounted - Amazon and eBay are obvious places to start. Good research will tell you know what products to discount and by how much.

Margin is the key, so if you are going to sell on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon sell something you know you can sell at a competitive price and is not widely available – it is unlikely an SME will be able to compete with a large retailer.

A lot of people start and even complete their Christmas shopping over the Black Friday weekend, so make sure your Christmas stock is ready to go.

 

Stock

Product, discount and marketplace decided, getting the stock level right is vital. Not enough and you could be sold out at lunch time frustrated and thinking what could have been, but too much could lead to excess products clogging up your warehouse. Striking the right balance is vital. If you were trading last year look back.

 

IT

Make sure your website can hope. Double check your IT to ensure you can handle what will hopefully be a deluge of enquiries and orders. If your website doesn’t work the customer will just move on, with so many company’s taking part in the event, the customer will not hang around.

 

Staff

Whether it is dealing with customers face to face on the phone or in the site it is vital that you bring in enough support to handle the increase in traffic of the you’re your reputation is everything and providing poor service on a weekend as important as this could be disastrous for your business.

 

Fulfilment

You need to share your shipping plans with us at myHermes to ensure that the capacity is in place at our end. Reliability is vital and our first time delivery of 95% ensures that, while our bespoke packages ensure you will have a fully tracked service and collection at an excellent price.

 

*Don’t offer next day.

 

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