The extension of Black Friday campaigns over multiple days previously has diluted some of the impulse “buy now” deals – driving sales volumes higher on the day before Black Friday itself, according to earlier retail research.
As seasonal shopping becomes increasingly global, these once US-specific milestones are gaining more traction and popularity in the UK. We’re now seeing more retailers extend these milestones from just one day into longer promotional periods, to better manage the volume of orders received. In the 2016 season, UPS expects to deliver more than 700 million packages globally over the Black Friday and Christmas shopping periods alone, up 14 per cent from the peak delivery period in 2015 during which saw 630 million packages delivered.
What UPS expects for Peak 2016
UPS expects this year’s volume to exceed in the same period in 2015 – this of course has many drivers, some in relation to new product roll-outs and changes in the eCommerce market. During this year’s peak delivery week, December 19-23, globally UPS expects to exceed 30 million packages daily, which is 12 million more than a typical non-peak day.
To help meet the needs of this year’s festive season, we have enhanced our Worldwide Express Plus® service to more places around the world, with earlier delivery to 28 countries. In addition, we will be implementing additional weekend operations to manage key volume surges as well as monitoring predicted vs. real volume so plans can be adjusted quickly.
In terms of driver helpers, we are hiring 1,300 seasonal employees to help with the anticipated surge in package volume. At UPS facilities across the world, everyone gets involved – employees and management alike are called on to sort and deliver packages, helping to ensure a smooth operation during the significant increase in activity.”
Impact of Brexit on retail milestones
Thus far, UPS has not seen a slowdown – in fact, we reported a Q3 export volume growth of more than 15 per cent over the same period last year. It is possible this growth is due to the exchange rates that have made UK goods cheaper recently.
The future of retail milestones such as Black Friday
We have seen these holidays grow exponentially as a consumer market, and they are only going to get bigger. Peak impacts began as early as 2009, and ever since then we’ve had large growth in volumes. Retailers are going to seize the opportunity of Black Friday and other campaign periods to move inventory and make more revenue. And now with more retail holidays increasing in popularity in the UK – such as Singles Day, retailers will look to take advantage of the potential boost.