The consequences of Black Friday

person using laptop on white wooden table

Black Friday (and its little brother, but which is growing more and more, Cyber Monday) already make up one of the most anticipated events on the calendar. In just a few years it has gone from being an unknown fashion from America to a popular event in which even parents and grandparents tell you what they have bought through electronic commerce. The consequences of Black Friday are of many kinds: labor, consumption, transportation, business models, and even urban planning.

Consequences of Black Friday
How to deliver a million packages

It is estimated that last Monday a million packages were distributed in Madrid. The busiest day due to the sum of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to the UNO logistics employer, this represents an annual increase of 10% (double figures to which electronic commerce is very accustomed).

But, as accustomed as the sector may be, the truth is that the rest of the participants may be less prepared for what this entails. Seur suffered a notorious collapse on Black Friday 2016 that served as an alarm for the entire sector. Since then, temporary hiring has increased on these dates, in addition to extending the duration of these, which range from the Black Friday campaign to the beginning of February, once the Christmas returns have passed.

In numbers this means the hiring of 8,500 distributors this year according to UNO figures. This translates, in turn, into an increase in the number of vehicles in cities, and this is where the preparation (or lack of preparation) of the cities comes into play. The old number of loading and unloading areas is getting smaller and smaller. Last week we saw some of the proposals that are handled to alleviate this situation.

The battle seems to favor the smallest: in 2018, 42,152 vans were registered, 27.4% more than in 2015. And in the same direction are delivery initiatives on bicycles or even on foot. In all cases, it is about achieving the highest density of shipments in the least space possible so that the routes are more efficient. To get an idea, a parcel delivery can be between 70 and 100 delivery points in a single day. Which requires a large volume of deliveries per hour.

The challenge is important, but it does not seem that the commitment of consumers to e-commerce is going to stop. The percentage of purchases in electronic commerce out of the total of those made in retailers is close to 10%, which implies that there is still a lot of potential ground left, despite the fact that it has been growing in double digits for years.

Added to this are the increasingly advantageous and simple conditions offered by e-commerce, such as delivery times and modalities or the facilities for returning products (which in the past was one of the elements that most held back buyers). . According to UNO data, in 2018 24.5% of buyers returned at least one of their purchases, which was 5.6% more than the previous year.

It is evident that Black Friday, as the most visible event associated with electronic commerce, has no intention of leaving, thanks to the reception from companies and consumers. Therefore, logistics operators, cities and legislation must know how to adapt to the demands that this entails.

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