How Distributors Can Prepare for a Successful Black Friday

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How Distributors Can Prepare for a Successful Black Friday

Author: Rieva Lesonsky | November 1, 2018

It’s early November! That means the biggest day of the year for your retail customers is almost here.

Once again, Black Friday is predicted to be busiest shopping day of the year, with nearly 1.5 times more shoppers than Monday’s busiest, Super Saturday (the Saturday before Christmas). In fact, 20% of consumers plan to shop most of their holiday on Black Friday, according to Natural details– up from 15% last year.

But it’s not just Black Friday that matters anymore. Cyber ​​Monday and Thanksgiving Day also earn their share of sales. For many retailers, the Sunday before Thanksgiving through the weekend Black Friday is the key shopping week of the year.

How can you ensure you and your customers have a successful Black Friday week? Here are 11 steps every distributor should take now.

1. Review last year’s data.

When do you have the greatest demand from your customers? Is there a particular product or manufacturer that has the most demand for it, and how will this year’s Black Friday compare? What problems have you encountered, such as weather problems, insufficient staff, or technology glitches? If so, how can you prepare for and prevent similar mishaps this year?

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2. Talk to your customers.

What kind of demand do they anticipate this year? What days do they think will be the busiest? What shipping time do they guarantee for ecommerce sales? What approach are they taking to inventory management? Are there certain products they will be promoting that need to be in stock at all times?

3. Get your website ready.

Allowing your customers to order online saves a lot of time for you, your team, and your customers. To make sure your site can handle sudden and heavier traffic than usual, conduct some stress tests. Make sure your website security is prepared to handle the latest cyber threats.

Review your website with a critical eye. Is it easy for customers to navigate? Does it provide the information and functionality that both old and new customers need to make a purchase?

Some of these features include:

  • Powerful search function to search and filter products by multiple description types, such as product type, manufacturer, product name, etc.
  • Ability to compare products side by side
  • Customer account/login to access discounts, re-orders, etc.
  • Possibility to request a quote
  • Multiple payment options, including credit cards, home accounts, etc.
  • Functions to highlight specific products, sales or discounts to help you move inventory

Is your website intuitive to use on both desktop and mobile? During this busy season, your customers will rely on smartphones to manage their stores and inventory, so make it easy for them to search and compare products, request a quote price or order by their phone.

4. Assess your staffing needs.

If you need To rent temporary employees or bringing back seasonal workers from last year, now is the time to start. Remember, it takes time to train new workers and get them up to speed on your system. You should also cross-train your team so employees can help on particularly busy days or take on each other’s roles when needed (like during the inevitable winter sick days).

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Finally, energize your team for the hard work to come by offering frequent breaks, plenty of praise, and rewards such as compounding time, gift cards, or bonuses to help them out. stress management.

5. Diversify your sourcing to reduce risk.

Are you relying on a product from one supplier for the majority of your holiday sales? Putting all your eggs in one basket puts you at risk. What if the supplier has an emergency or bad weather delays the shipment?

Find alternative product sources to cover all your facilities. Purchasing from a wide variety of manufacturers across the country can help you avoid weather delays.

6. See your inventory and your profits.

Know your costs and profit margins and keep a close eye on both. Inventory management software can categorize products into detailed categories and can help you drill down into specifics to see which products are the most profitable.

7. Focus on inventory turnover.

In addition to profitability and popularity, monitor inventory turnover and work to improve it. The more often you rotate your inventory, the more profits you realize. Regular rotation also helps you reduce the amount of working capital tied up in inventory.

8. Take advantage of technology.

Inventory management and warehouse management software can streamline your operations. Using RF barcodes and RFID systems, for example, greatly reduces the possibility of human error. The more you can automate, the more time you save and the more data you collect.

9. Streamline your physical processes.

Are your shipping and receiving, warehousing and packaging areas as efficient as possible? Talk to your frontline staff to gain insight into what speeds up the process. Simple changes in the way you organize your physical space, such as placing high-demand SKUs near the packing area, can save a lot of time.

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Reducing steps makes it easier for temporary workers to learn the skills to do the job — and make your team more productive.

10. Strengthen relationships with suppliers and customers.

Focus on ways you can bring value to both parties. How can you save your customers and suppliers time, save them money, or make their lives easier? For example, when you use Fundbox Pay, you can get paid instantly while offering net-60 terms to your approved customers.

Since retail customers need as much working capital as possible during the holidays, this can be a real selling point for your business.

11. Put your finances in the right place.

During mining, the last thing you need is cash flow. Plan ahead by looking at various ways to access capital before you really need it.

For example, you might want to research opening a business credit line. Another smart choice for distributors can be order sponsorship. If you get a large order, financing the order can provide the capital you need to fill that order, so you’ll never have to turn away customers again.

By following these steps, both you and your customers can make the most of Black Friday — and the rest of the holiday shopping season.

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