27 listopada 2020

We all know this scene: crushed shoppers who are out of breath grabbing the same unbelievable offer - console, TV, toy or bra. Lots of crown and competition. These images of Black Friday shopping frenzy have certainly caused fear in the minds of retailers, employees, and public health officials.


But 2020 is different.


Black Friday plus Covid19 is a critical time for retailers. The largest retailers across the country are taking precautions - hand sanitizer stations, regular surface cleaning, face masks, and a controlled number of customers in the store.


Because Friday, November 27 is a key date in the sales calendar of every retailer.


Consumers want to take advantage of thousands of Black Friday discounts. Although the name was traditionally used in the United States on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the trade event has gained prominence in Europe in recent years as the biggest selling day of the year. The event also expanded over the weekend to become also so called Cyber ​​Monday.


Covid19: Game changer or game over?


The situation on the market was changed by Covid19 and now no one is surprised by the increase in the sales value of the e-commerce market. Customers stayed at home, which translated into the search for new ways of shopping. Before the pandemic in e-commerce, the most popular categories were clothing and footwear - currently we can observe a dynamic increase in the sale of food products, usually purchased in traditional stores.

As customers move to the internet to buy what they need, many retailers offer discounts and sales throughout the year in an effort to attract consumers in this highly competitive market.

To show the scale of this phenomenon, let's use the example from the British market. According to global marketing communications company Wunderman Thompson, in 2020 alone, Amazon will account for 65% of all Black Friday spending, and at least 67% of UK consumers will abandon traditional stores to purchase online.

Interestingly, since restrictions on the commercial space were introduced in response to COVID-19, as much as 35% of UK spending went to Amazon. On the other hand, in our home market, Allegro.pl, one of the most famous Polish e-commerce websites, has recorded an average increase in traffic of 20% since the introduction of pandemic restrictions. In turn, the owners of stores operating on the Shoper platform in June this year, recorded sales 110% higher than in June 2019. Experts predict that this trend will permanently change consumer habits across Europe and the USA.


Online shopping and what's next?


While online shopping and home deliveries are increasingly used by shoppers, the delivery system, especially „last mile”, has not kept pace with changes to be able to manage the huge number of online orders expected in the run-up to Christmas. In short - there is not enough logistics infrastructure to handle this increased demand.

Additionally, many major retailers continue to place enormous emphasis on their physical stores, which means internet giants such as Amazon and Allegro can benefit more from their sales. Not only on Black Friday.

The data also shows that retailers also have another cause for concern. According to a September Accenture survey, more than half of US shoppers said they would not buy again from the store if they were not satisfied with the delivery.


Click & Collect, drive-thru shopping


Therefore, companies should be prepared for the flood of buyers picking up orders, both inside stores and in parking lots. In this model, customers can choose the necessary products from the network's assortment at any time and pick them up from a selected point in a convenient time. Therefore, suppliers of devices with automatic lockers for storing parcels are noting an increased interest in their products.

Adobe Analytics analysts expect pickup times to be extended as Christmas approaches, and the use of click&collect option will increase by 40% compared to last year, surpassing Standard Mail Delivery as the most popular purchase option.

At the same time, higher levels of e-commerce will put a burden on traditional carriers, whose retailers fear they may limit shipping options from stores as orders increase. Opting to pick up your purchases at a point of sale or at vending machines is the best way to avoid any delays in delivery, told USA TODAY Sara Skirboll, an expert on purchasing and trends at RetailMeNot, adding that her research found that more than half of retailers plan to offer click&collect this season "to ease the stress of holiday shopping".

Marc Gorlin, CEO of Roadie, a public last mile delivery platform that works with companies like Walmart, Home Depot Inc. and Tractor Supply Co., emphasizes that only after the period from Black Friday to Christmas it will be possible to tell how many gaps there are in the entire system. "Now this burden is on the sellers," he added.

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