We share our top tips for retailers on last-minute preparation for this year and looking beyond 2015 to the changing nature of peak trading.

Are we ready? This is the question on many retailers’ lips as we enter the weekend of discounting, Sales and promotions that starts with Black Friday.

It’s not too late to make changes for the peak season this year, but it’s also vital to be considering even now how to improve the experience in the future.

Here are some last-minute tips for preparing for peak in 2015:

  • Manage consumer expectations in an open and transparent way, both around products that will be discounted and fulfilment
  • Don’t attempt to offer discounts, free delivery and free returns all at once on Black Friday – choose a strategy and stick with it
  • Be prepared for all eventualities
  • Understand customer ‘pulse’ socially and respond – how is the experience for them?
  • Be realistic about the fulfilment capabilities available to you and work towards them, even if that means increasing the order-to-delivery cycle

And for the future:

  • Invest in your IT infrastructure early to ensure it is scalable
  • Ensure your back-end operations are watertight before offering any extra fulfilment options
  • Work closely with your supply chain to understand how and when you’ve reached capacity, and how to deal with it
  • Stress test your website capabilities and point-of-sale systems well in advance
  • Use real-time visibility of stock as much as possible across all operations

For more insights into preparing for peak, 2015 and beyond, download our interactive guide on the subject here.