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The Black Friday Low-Down.

December 14, 2015

In our previous post we looked at how Black Friday may affect return rates. Although we won't be able to find out the true impact the weekend has had on sales versus returns until the New Year, we have a few observations...

Black Friday

It seems that lessons were learnt from the madness and mayhem of 2014. Many retailers combated the influx of traffic by discounting early on in the week, rather than just concentrating on Black Friday itself. IMRG reported that Black Friday weekend saw an enormous £3.3billion being spent across the four days, with Black Friday single-handedly hitting a sales figure of £1.1billion in one day.

How did this impact deliveries though?

We saw many retailers adjusting shoppers delivery expectations to avoid disapointment but with a 78% increase in parcel volumes from the weekend previous to Black Friday, we saw some of the busiest days NetDespatch has ever recorded. Cyber Monday was reportedly the busiest day NetDespatch had ever seen – it had 14% higher volumes than Black Friday.

Moreover, data from the MetaPack platform confirms that 92% of deliveries on Cyber Monday were on time, compared to 73% on the same day a year ago - Now thats a huge improvement which makes for much happier customers.

Amazon dominated the online world on Black Friday, shipping over 7.4 million items in a single day, up 35% over last year. Whereas Argos had a shocking setback, as their well-publicised 'Fast Track' delivery service failed to do just that. Argos customer service were ripped apart online as customers shared their disappointment.

What does this mean for returns?

In contrast to the days following Christmas where a large number of retailers prevent returns being brought back during the winter sales, the good news is that the likes of M&S, Argos, John Lewis and Tesco are allowing customers to return Black Friday purchases in store soon after purchase. This is so long as the consumer has followed the correct procedure to return, and has not unwrapped or used the item in question. Many others have extended their returns policy to cover the festive season so returns aren't all received back at the warehouse at once.

However, with the lengthy frame many customers have over the festive season, it is very unlikely we will be able to see the true extent and impact of the holiday discount days until the end of January.