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5 Steps To Planning Black Friday Shipping Strategy in Pandemic

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us once again this year. The game is on. However, this year is different from the rest given the drastic changes that have taken place across the economic landscape as a result of COVID-19. Ensure your business is amongst the adapters that embrace and capitalize on the change by taking the necessary steps to plan. As we like to say - “if you aren’t planning, you’re planning to fail”.

Fears surrounding COVID-19 have shifted consumer spending away from brick and mortar and towards online retail. A survey by Engine found that people are spending on average 10-30% more online since the beginning of the pandemic.

As demand for online purchasing rises, retailers will be faced with inventory and shipping constraints. Minimize the risk that your business will fall victim to crippling eCommerce problems by following our “5 steps to planning a Black Friday strategy amid the pandemic”!

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Step 1: Stock up on Inventory and Packaging Materials 

Understanding past demand will help you forecast future demand. Accounting for the rise in online sales (10-30%) relative to last year’s levels will allow you to come to a number that will be the foundation of your plan. Using this number to conservatively stock up on inventory and packaging materials would be a wise move.

With thousands of online businesses in operation, stand out from the competition by using custom premium packaging materials from eCommerce packaging experts. Around 52% of online shoppers that receive their order in custom packaging say they are more likely to return to that same company for future orders. It would be beneficial for you to also learn how inventory financing can help with the holiday season.

You can also contact Arka for premium packaging solutions. They offer top-quality custom boxes for any niche: you can check their custom mailer boxes or custom cosmetic boxes that help enhance brand image and boost sales!


Step 2: Be Aware about Shipping Deadlines 

Holiday shipping can be a nightmare. More orders means more business, but it can also mean more room for mistakes. Customers need their orders to arrive on time as this is the month in which the bulk of holiday shopping takes place.

By familiarizing yourself and your employees with holiday shipping deadlines you minimize the risk of packages going out too late and not arriving in time for your customers' needs.

Communicate this information to your customers to save yourself the hassle of dealing with angry complaints and chargebacks. Make your customers aware that they need to make a purchase by the specified date to receive their package by the time they need it.


Step 3: Create a Plan for a Lockdown

With all the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and social policies aimed at stopping the spread, a second wave of lockdown is not out of the picture. Do your business a favor by anticipating what a second wave of lockdown would look like for you and what infrastructure and resources you would need to capitalize on it.

Be mindful of the following concepts: 

  • Diversification is an important concept and can be powerful when used properly.
  • Sustain sales regardless of the social environment by operating both online and through brick and mortar.
  • Branch your online operations into various market segments to expand prospective customer base and position your business favorably for sector downtowns.


Step 4: Partner with a Shipping Company 

Partnering with a reliable shipping company is essential to ensuring your business’s success during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Operating as an extension of your business, your shipping partner is in charge of providing your customers with fast, flexible, and affordable shipping rates. And believe us, your customers want fast shipping.

According to a study by Walker Sands, only 15% of US consumers said that online retailers always offer shipping options that meet their expectations for speed of delivery. If your business is able to meet these customer expectations, you create a competitive edge that differentiates your business.


cpx by eshipper

Conveniently, CPX by eShipper effectively works to ensure your business is receiving the fastest shipping times at an affordable price. By strategically partnering with Canada Post, eShipper utilities zone skipping in order to avoid congested routes in the GTA, eliminating the effects of carrier delays to make sure your customers get their packages in time for the holidays. You can also consider preparing a checklist for your Ecommerce business for holiday fulfillment.


Step 5: Have a Clear Returns Policy 

Did you know that more than 60% of consumers review a returns policy before making a purchase? These staple policies prove to be highly valued by consumers. Having a policy that is hard to understand can cause the customer to become unsure of your business and lose comfortability. 

A clear and concise returns policy not only builds your relationship with the customer, it also saves you a mountain of returns issues. A clear and concise policy outlines in detail: 

  • Your companies returns structure
  • Your returns process.
  • Product or service refund information.
  • And, the policy should account for unique situations.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner and eCommerce becoming the dominant consumer purchasing method, it’s important that you take time to build a comprehensive returns policy.



Black Friday and Cyber Monday is an exciting time of year for retailers as they see a large spike in revenues. But, that excitement is often met with concern for problems that could harm your business or lose your customers.

Don’t let this concern manifest itself in your business practices. Be proactive and get ahead of the issue by creating a plan that allows you to decrease the likelihood of some of these problems arising and positions you to excel during this profitable time of the year.

Partnering with the right shipping company is essential to this plan and a step that must not be overlooked.


Author: Imtiaz Kermali, VP Sales & Marketing, at eShipper

Imtiaz Kermali
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