November the 24th, 2014, otherwise known as Black Friday 2014 will be remembered by many retail and supply chain professionals. This was the year that chains like Asda saw riots over the bargain price of items such as TVs and a huge number of shoppers foregoing the chaos to shop online. Many retailers saw record sales, a then record of £810 million in online sales alone. However, this sheer volume of orders created a backlog that had a knock on effect on overloaded courier networks that led into the following Cyber Monday, and the online shopping event.
For retailers, the mass of sales was great, however the same couldn’t be said for IT and Logistics teams, having to manage £810 million of goods moving through the supply chain at the same time. This led to a number of warehousing, web and final mile delivery issues and causing disruption to delivery networks. The e-commerce leader, Amazon still used Royal Mail for all of their courier services. It was the disruption that was caused during this period that pushed the company to invest in their logistics arm, and now delivers 7% of all UK packages.
ParcelHero has said that although 2014 was a challenge, lessons have been learnt from the challenges that were faced that Christmas. Now companies like M&S that had one of the works Christmas periods in 2014 are now among the best for gathering their Black Friday offerings. M&S launched their offers a number of days before Black Friday last year in order to avoid a sudden influx of visitors to their site and create a steadier trickle of offers. ParcelHero feel that retailers need to plan certain key dates more carefully and ensure that all retailers of all sizes plan their discounts with these delivery dates in mind to avoid a repeat of the struggles in 2014.