Click & Collect: How To Prepare For Black Friday

10th November 22

On 25th November, just one month before Christmas day, Black Friday will be taking place. As an American import that marks the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has grown increasingly popular in the UK. 

From early days with scenes of customers fighting over TVs, it has since become an established part of the retail calendar, marking the start of the Christmas shopping season by offering tempting deals and discounts. Nowadays, it also runs longer than the one day, even extending over the weekend until Cyber Monday.

As we face various financial pressures this year – including the cost of living crisis – many consumers are expected to search for bargains and spend money on all-important gifts sooner, whilst they can afford to shop. 

Product buys will have been planned and margin forecasts studied for many months now. Advertising spend will be set meaning all the marketing work is done too. As the sales come in, now is the time for logistics and operations teams to swing into action.

In 2021, Black Friday spend was up by 1/5th compared to 2020 and many predict a similar jump this year – with the majority coming from online sales. Subsequently, Click & Collect volumes are likely to go through the roof.

There’s still time to make a difference

Most retailers have set routines specifically designed to manage Christmas peak volumes; this means they are ready for extra Black Friday stock. But are you as ready for the online Click & Collect sales as you could be? 

Here are our tips for efficient Click & Collect pick up – for Black Friday and beyond…

  • Reduce walking time – Set up a secure storage space that’s as close as possible to the parcel pick-up point
  • Create plenty of storage space – This will keep things organised and prevent a jumbled pile of mess that colleagues would then have to rummage through in order to find the right order
  • Create an organised system – That way, everyone will know where parcels should be stored and retrieved
  • Remove unnecessary admin – Unless it’s essential, don’t waste your time
  • Consider using headsets – If volumes are high, colleagues at the desk can pass information to those in the storage room. Communicating this way will reduce travel time and prevent colleagues from bumping into one another
  • Ensure auto-alert orders are ready to go – One of our department store clients triggered a text as soon as the online orders wagon reached the store. This meant that customers reached the desk before the parcels, and colleagues subsequently had a long journey ahead to try and retrieve the parcel. And asking customers to come back later is not an option!
  • Be slick with your handouts – Allow customers a little more time to browse in store as many will buy additional items whilst collecting their parcel 

Our benchmarking shows that, after speaking to a colleague, the average time for a customer to obtain their parcel is 1 minute, 30 seconds. This is longer than a typical till transaction and will only continue to increase if colleagues struggle to find the correct order. To date, the best we’ve measured is an average of 27 seconds. What’s your best time?

If you want to find out – or to discover how our business improvement consultants can help your overall operations run more efficiently during busy retail seasons – give our team a call.