Black Friday is around the corner, and shoppers are already planning their purchases and preparing their wishlists. From Black Friday on November 24 till Cyber Monday on November 27,  Brits are expected to spend an estimated £3 billion, making it a very important occasion for every retailer.

To prepare, here are 6 tips that will help you navigate through this shopping holiday successfully.

1. Start Early with Inventory Assessment

Before Black Friday begins the holiday shopping season, make sure to conduct a thorough inventory assessment. Identify the slow-moving products, the best-selling items, what will be popular as gifts, etc. Consider moving excess stock to stores located in main shopping centers or hot spots.

Make sure all stores have the expected stock amount, no stockouts, and even safety stock in case sales are higher than expected. This is one of retail’s peak times and you don’t won’t to lose potential sales.

2. Online Presence

Black Friday is very popular among online shoppers. In fact, in 2022, 61% of the UK’s Black Friday spent was online! And this year, 2023, online sales are expected to account for 63% of all Black Friday spending. This means if you’re not on top of your online presence and availability, you must get going now.

Make sure you have your full stock available online with its full range of sizes or types, and make sure to include all the necessary details to allow customers to decide and buy quickly. The online space can also be used to sell previous excess inventory from past seasons.

The huge advantage of selling online is that you can get a greater reach to clients compared to brick-and-mortar stores. Many shoppers simply don’t like to shop in crowded environments and feeling they are fighting over items. Also, allowing clients to shop online can reduce the clutter in stores. Therefore, consider providing special offers online or free shipping to make more sales while reducing the mess in stores.

3. Offer Special Deals

This may sound obvious, I mean it’s Black Friday, but these days the competition is higher than ever. Make sure you have great deals to offer, try to think out of the box, and provide a unique shopping experience that will attract clients to your business.

Since competition is so high, a small percentage of discount may not be enough, so consider offering additional benefits. For example, a buy now and get an extended period on the return policy. So gifts can be purchased now without worrying you won't be able to change it because it's been too long since the purchase.

4. Staffing and Training

Make sure you’re properly staffed for Black Friday and the holiday season. These times require extra labor to ensure smooth operations. To successfully navigate through this period, don’t wait until the last minute to hire;  it’s better to bear the extra cost of holding employees before the season to properly train them, instead of having many unprepared employees walking around clueless.

You can also hire extra employees only to take care of inventory, making sure that store availability is always at its best and replenishments are done on time.

5. Plan for Post-Black Friday Inventory Management

Don’t think that once Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over everything will immediately go back to normal. You can expect many customers to come back returning items due to impulse purchases, incorrect sizes, online purchases that arrived different as expected, etc…

In addition to the expected returns in stores and online, prepare to take care of all the excess inventory in-store and replenish what is sold out as soon as possible.

6. Analyze Sales Data for Future Planning

One of the most important things to do during Black Friday and the shopping season is collecting data. Draw conclusions. Identify bottlenecks, errors, and mistakes, and make sure to remember those when preparing next year's strategy.

If you don’t have an inventory tracking system to automate all of these, you should consider one. With software such as Chainlane, you can track your inventory from end to end throughout your entire supply chain. Automate inventory counts and validation to reduce labor costs. Automatically collect data for better decision-making, and build a flawless omnichannel for best online performance.

In conclusion, Black Friday in the UK is a crucial sales event, with an estimated £3 billion in spending. These six tips will help you navigate this shopping holiday successfully, from early inventory assessment to online presence, special promotions, staffing, post-Black Friday inventory management, and data analysis. Use this opportunity not only to boost sales but also to gather insights for long-term retail success. Happy selling!