Preparing for Black Friday Weekend: An Online Retail Guide

Preparing for Black Friday Weekend: An Online Retail Guide

Over the last decade, preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday has been a firm priority for online retailers aiming to enjoy the most profitable year possible.

With Black Friday being on the 23rd November, retailers saw a 1.5% decline in sales compared with December 2017.

In the UK alone, an estimated £7.8 billion was spent over this four-day retail rush (that’s the equivalent of 13,021,702 iPhone 8s).

Black Friday Weekend’s International Reach

The birthplace of Black Friday Weekend is the U.S., a prime area for UK retailers to score strong sales: over $5 billion was spent online during Black Friday, while Cyber Monday estimates of $6.6 billion made it the largest online shopping day in the country’s history.

But North America is not the only area where online shoppers are bitten by the Black Friday bug:

  • In China, 140,000 brands participated in Black Friday sales in 2017, including 60,000 international brands
  • In Brazil, the average transaction value was predicted to be 1,180 Brazilian Real, the equivalent of £222.90
  • 78% of internet users in Denmark are aware of Black Friday sales, up from 52% in 2016
  • Other countries that saw significant spending over Black Friday Weekend include Germany (£5.7 billion), France (£4.7 billion), Italy (£2.6 billion) and Spain (£1.7 billion)

4 Key Concerns When Preparing for Black Friday Weekend


Establish Your Black Friday Ambitions

Pricing strategy – a fundamental aspect, consumers globally expect reductions during this period, so you need to carefully consider what discount rates you will run on what items, as well as the cost or free inclusion of extras and delivery.

Inventory requirements – do you need to build more stock on certain items? Which items sold well this time last year? Outlining your metrics and market trends will ensure you don’t oversupply (leading to fire-sales down the road) or are left understocked, disappointing customers.

Duration – it’s important to establish when and for how long you plan to offer discounted prices and expect increased sales activity during the Black Friday Shopping weekend. 

Brand awareness – if you aim to use Black Friday as a launching pad to sustained brand awareness, you should take time to consider the smoothness of your operations, the user friendliness of your online shopping experience, delivery to wider markets, and more.

Website Optimisation

Website Optimisation

Without good optimisation, the increased traffic from Black Friday shoppers could cause your website to run slowly or crashing completely, as was the case with Debenhams in 2017. If you believe online shopping on Black Friday could prove an issue, explore cloud servers that can manage traffic more effectively, and perform stress tests to ensure this volume doesn’t damage performance. Also, it’s increasingly important for e-commerce websites to be mobile optimised. Read our recent article on how online retailers can grow mobile for advice on how to achieve this.



A strong tactic to stand out in this field is a focus on personalisation. While this will be slightly subdued in 2018 as the impact of GDPR is felt, retailers can segment discounts and opportunities to customers based on their shopping preferences, locations and more. It is also recommended to extend this personalisation to your overall shopping experience. For instance, tailor your website to translate into different languages and currencies for global audiences, and present a range of delivery options with your customers’ familiar final mile service.

International Delivery Dangers

International Delivery Dangers

A refined international delivery service is a crucial component of Black Friday Weekend. In 2017 it was estimated a further 225 million parcels would be delivered than normal during this four-day rush. Set reasonable delivery times to areas around the globe and make customers aware of these, as well as think of adding benefits like free delivery over certain spending limits. Plus, consider your current linehaul and operations to see if updates need to be made for the marked rise in Black Friday shopping. Temporary staff may have to be brought on-board to manage this. In addition, a straightforward returns service is also important to handle those waking up with buyer’s remorse on Tuesday.

Finally, prepare for any eventuality by arranging a contingent carrier. With the sheer scale of deliveries taking place within and outside of the UK over Black Friday, many international delivery carriers can be stretched, delayed or unable to carry out additional work for your company. Having a dependable backup or support in place means your deliveries don’t slow down.

Preparing for Black Friday with P2P

With 2018’s Black Friday Weekend expected to be as hectic as ever, P2P offer innovative international delivery solutions that help retailers maximise the biggest dates on their calendar. 

We offer tracked, untracked and express delivery to over 220 countries and territories, breaking down the barriers of global trade and providing a platform to make the most of Black Friday’s online shopping bonanza.

We’re there at every stage of your parcels’ journey. If you are looking for an international delivery partner to handle your international delivery requirements, or a contingent carrier to help you prepare for key events like Black Friday Weekend, contact us today.