As the holiday season approaches, retailers and wholesalers in the United Kingdom gear up for one of the busiest shopping days of the year: Black Friday. The surge in customer demand and sales can be a double-edged sword if not managed effectively. In this article, we delve into the significance of preparedness and scalability for businesses, with a specific focus on the need to increase temporary staff and deploy rugged devices for efficient pick and packing operations.
The Black Friday Phenomenon
Black Friday has evolved from being a mere American tradition to a global shopping extravaganza. In the UK, retailers and wholesalers experience an unprecedented influx of customers both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. The pressure to meet customer expectations, offer enticing deals, and ensure smooth operations can be overwhelming.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday is one of the biggest shopping events in the UK, with retailers offering huge discounts and consumers hunting for bargains. Although the volume of sales has reduced over the last three years, the impact to the bottom line cannot be undervalued. In 2022, Brits plan to spend an estimated £3.95 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases, with an average spend of £189.59 per person.
Christmas and New Years
The holiday season, spanning from late November to early January, is one of the most significant peak periods for UK retailers. Shoppers are actively seeking gifts, decorations, and festive essentials, leading to a surge in sales both online and in physical stores.
It should be noted that In 2022, retail sales volumes fell by 1.0% in December, following a fall of 0.7% in November; sales volumes were 1.8% higher than their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels. In fact, the total value of seasonal sales in the UK was forecast to amount to approximately £82 billion in 2022.
To ensure a successful peak festive season, retailers must be prepared in terms of staffing, logistics, and technology.
Preparedness: A Cornerstone of Success
Successful Friday operations are built on a solid foundation of preparation. For retailers and wholesalers, this entails implementing a comprehensive strategy that includes effective inventory management, supply chain optimization, and strategic workforce planning. By being well-prepared, businesses can not only meet the heightened demand but also deliver exceptional customer experiences, ensuring a successful and profitable Black Friday.
Effective Inventory Management: A crucial component of being prepared is ensuring optimal inventory levels. Retailers and wholesalers alike must accurately anticipate demand and proactively stock popular items to avoid stockouts. Leveraging data analytics and historical sales trends can aid in identifying the most in-demand products.
Efficient Supply Chain Management: A well-coordinated supply chain, with seamless collaboration and communication between suppliers, distributors, and logistics partners, is absolutely critical for the timely delivery of products. By fostering strong relationships and implementing effective processes, businesses can streamline operations, minimise bottlenecks, and significantly reduce unnecessary delays, leading to increased customer satisfaction and improved bottom line
Scalability: The Art of Flexibility
Scalability is closely tied to preparedness. It refers to a business’s ability to quickly adapt to evolving demands while upholding quality. During the peak shopping season, like Black Friday, scalability becomes paramount as businesses must scale up their operations to handle the surge in orders.
- Temporary Staff: The influx of orders during Black Friday necessitates expanding the workforce. Hiring temporary staff can alleviate the strain on existing employees and ensure timely order fulfilment. These additional hands can assist in various tasks, including packing, shipping, and customer service. According to a survey by Indeed, 42% of UK employers planned to hire temporary staff for the peak season in 2021, up from 35% in 2020.
- Rugged Devices for Efficient Operations: A crucial aspect of scalability is leveraging technology to enhance efficiency. Rugged devices, such as handheld barcode scanners, PDAs, tablets, and laptops, play a pivotal role in optimising pick and packing operations. These devices enable real-time tracking, accurate inventory management, and seamless communication among teams. In fact, 86% of UK retailers planned to increase their investment in rugged mobile devices for their frontline workers.
The Role of Rugged Devices
Rugged devices are essential tools that empower retailers and wholesalers to streamline operations during high-demand periods like Black Friday. These devices offer numerous benefits:
- Durability: withstand harsh environments, rugged devices reduce the risk of damage and downtime. They can handle drops, spills, and extreme temperatures, ensuring uninterrupted operations.
- Real-time Data: With rugged devices, employees have access to real-time data on inventory levels, order status, and customer preferences. This enables swift decision-making and prevents errors in order fulfilment.
- Efficient Communication: Rugged devices facilitate seamless communication among teams, ensuring everyone is on the same page. This leads to quicker issue resolution and improved collaboration.
Black Friday presents both opportunities and challenges for retailers and wholesalers in the UK. Success during this bustling period hinges on preparedness and scalability. By strategically increasing temporary staff and deploying rugged devices, businesses can navigate the frenzy of Black Friday with ease. A well-prepared and scalable approach not only boosts operational efficiency but also enhances customer satisfaction, setting the stage for a successful holiday season.
How can Conker help?
In the highly competitive world of retail, staying ahead of the competition is essential for success. With new competition popping up all the time, an established business needs to continuously innovate and improve their operations to keep up.
With rugged devices, you can streamline inventory management, increase mobility and efficiency, improve customer service, enhance security, and reduce downtime and maintenance costs.
Top Rugged Device Picks for Retailers and Wholesalers:
- Conker SX50 – 5″ Android Touch Computer with 2D Barcode Scanner
- Conker BG2L – Wearable Long Range 2D Barcode Scanner
- Conker SW9 – 2.8″ Rugged Android Smart Watch
A model to Suit your Influx
At Conker, we understand the challenges businesses face when it comes to scaling and managing IT projects, especially during the busy festive season. Our customer-driven approach aims to remove the hassle from the equation.
Our skilled and knowledgeable Project Managers are here to guide you and explore how our solutions can help optimise your operations.
Don’t let IT projects hold you back during the busiest times. Get in touch with Conker today for a hassle-free IT experience!
- Reduced Total Cost of Ownership: The hallmark of successful IT projects are reduced costs and increased productivity. Purchasing rugged devices needn’t be a significant financial commitment. Conker has helped hundreds of companies build sound business cases which demonstrate the investment return rugged devices can deliver through assessing the true rugged device cost of owning tablets and phones. Try calculating your TCO with your current devices.
- Customizable Rental Periods: By incorporating a rental model for rugged devices, retailers can benefit from enhanced agility and cost-effectiveness. This allows seamless accommodation of temporary staff influxes during peak periods.
- Maintenance and Support: The Conker Relax Accidental Damage Warranty comes standard with every device, offering zero repair surcharges and FREE Collect & Return within the UK. This ensures that the devices remain in optimal condition throughout the peak season, minimising disruptions to operations.
- Access to Latest Technology: Technology evolves rapidly, and renting rugged devices allows retailers to access the latest models without the need for frequent device replacements. This ensures that the temporary staff are equipped with efficient and up-to-date devices for smooth pick and packing operations.
- Ease of Management: Coordinating the procurement, deployment, and management of a large number of rugged devices can be challenging. Rental providers often offer streamlined processes for device deployment, maintenance, and return, saving retailers time and effort.
Successful IT projects begin with understanding your challenges and objectives to ensure a fit-for-purpose solution that drives long term value. By avoiding large upfront investments and gaining access to the latest technology, retailers can optimise their pick and packing operations and enhance the overall efficiency of their business during peak seasons.
To find the ideal rugged device for your business, get in touch with us today.