Each year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are chalked out on the retail calendar. It’s a pre-seasonal time of immense opportunity for the retail sector and shoppers alike.
Compared to a normal day, the global average increase in sales is 663% – with much higher growth rates in some countries.
As well as opportunities, this surge in sales presents a number of challenges for retailers – whether they operate physical stores, e-commerce channels or both.
What is the best way retailers can prepare for this sudden peak in activity?
In this blog, we explore the six ways to help scale retail operations and guarantee sales associates and distribution center teams have the flexibility to fulfil orders this coming Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
1. Plan for the peak period
Waiting for the peak to begin is too late. Savvy shoppers will be researching deals early, and there will be a scramble across the retail sector to access finite resources.
Plan the following aspects of store operations as early as possible:
- Communicate special offers early and manage inventory accordingly.
- Ensure store associates have the flexibility to cope with the extra fulfilment demands.
- Opt for technology – like barcode scanning smartphones – that gives store associates flexibility and can be integrated quickly.
- If required, be in a position to onboard temporary staff quickly.
- If you use third-party shipping, ensure suppliers have additional capacity that you can tap into.
2. Stock up with smart data capture technology
Initially, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were limited to just two days. Now, the event is drawn out, with many retailers starting their sales early.
Be prepared for those early deal-hunters, so that orders can be fulfilled earlier than might be expected. Equally, some retailers are now extending their offers over weeks and even across November.
Choose the products for Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion well in advance – particularly if they have long sourcing lead times.
Increased demand places extra pressure on retailers to have more fulfilment capacity and stock available.
Adopting technology like Scandit’s barcode scanning on smartphones for store operations gives store associates complete transparency on stock availability anywhere in the store.
Employees can capture barcodes from multiple items on a shelf in a single scan with 100% accuracy and view real-time stock information on the device screen using MatrixScan AR.
3. Maximize staff resources with added flexibility
Extra capacity is one thing. But getting value from an existing store labour force is another.
Resources are often limited. So, getting more out of them is vital during peak seasons.
Smartphone scanning from Scandit gives every store associate a pocket assistant and the flexibility to do an array of tasks with one device. Employees on managing shelves can easily switch to order picking for example.
Scandit’s enterprise-grade software turns any smart camera-enabled device into a reliable high-performance barcode scanning tool, so staff can flexibly switch between daily tasks to meet fulfilment demands.
Because smartphone scanning can be used on an employee’s own mobile device (BYOD), it’s easier to enlist temporary staff, leveraging the gig economy.
Without needing to purchase additional scanning devices, any employee with a camera-enabled mobile device is ready to go, meaning you can scale-up quickly.
4. Offer additional fulfilment options
Not everyone wants to shop in-store or to have their goods delivered to them.
Offering a choice of delivery options might be the difference between a consumer choosing you over another retailer.
Whether curbside pickup (also known as BOPIS), same day delivery or click & collect, they all require an efficient customer pick-up service.
Retailers are turning to smartphone scanning with the addition of technology like Scandit’s MatrixScan AR to help.
Employees can scan multiple orders in one go and identify a customer’s order in seconds. See how quickly:
5. Consider pandemic best sellers
It’s obvious retailers will want to highlight their best-selling products during the seasonal peak.
But there are some goods that saw a huge uptick in demand during and since the pandemic.
Goods such as home office equipment, furniture, exercise equipment, leisure wear and beauty products are all trending since the pandemic lockdowns.
6. Add smartphone scanning well before Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Scaling up retail operations to meet demand in time for seasonal peaks is quick and simple with smartphone scanning from Scandit.
The Scandit SDK works in any lighting conditions, including the harsh glare typically found in a store and the low lighting found in distribution centers and back-of-house facilities. It also works on over 20,000 different smartphone models and can scan any barcode type including non barcoded items.
Integration of our Web SDK into an existing web app takes just a few hours. And to ensure thorough testing, user acceptance and widespread rollout, a store associate scanning application can be ready within a few weeks.
Scandit teams are also on hand to provide support.
If you want to get your retail operations ready in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, contact us today.