Black Friday e-Fulfillment: 15 Tips for eCommerce Businesses

November 10, 2023

Eoin Horgan

Black Friday is one of the busiest and most important days for businesses across various eCommerce industries, and it’s only getting bigger, as according to Sales Force, Black Friday sales grew 3.5% globally in 2022.

Preparing for this mega shopping event requires careful planning and strategy. Being underprepared for Black Friday, or any significant shopping event, can lead to customers receiving their orders late, leading to a poor customer experience and reducing the likelihood of those customers becoming a repeat shoppers.

So, what can you do to ensure your Black Friday goes off without a hitch? We’ve put together 15 tips to make your Black Friday a success.

1. Efficient Inventory Management

One of the key challenges during the Black Friday rush is accurately predicting and managing inventory levels. To ensure you have enough stock to meet customer demand without overstocking, consider the following:

  • Analyse previous year's sales data to identify popular products and estimate demand.
  • Collaborate with suppliers or vendors to secure inventory in advance.
  • Implement a robust inventory management system that allows for real-time stock tracking and automated reordering.
  • Leverage your efulfillment centre’s expertise in inventory management to optimise your stock levels and avoid stockouts or excess inventory.

2. Share Volume Estimates

Volume estimation is a critical step in preparing for Black Friday. Accurately forecasting the number of orders you'll receive allows you to plan your resources effectively. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Review historical Black Friday data to identify trends in order volume.
  • Collaborate with your marketing and sales teams to forecast the potential demand.
  • Share your volume estimates with your efulfillment provider, as they can schedule additional staff and resources to deal with your increase in demand.

3. Black Friday Shipping Delays

Timely delivery is crucial during Black Friday. To ensure shipping reliability, take the following steps:

  • Establish partnerships with reliable shipping carriers and negotiate favourable shipping rates. Often fulfillment centres
  • Set clear shipping deadlines and communicate them to customers.
  • Leverage your eCommerce fulfillment centre’s shipping and logistics expertise to streamline your fulfillment process and minimise shipping delays.

4. Expand Your Courier Network

Expand Your Courier Network for Black Friday


Expanding your courier network can help ensure timely deliveries and better customer satisfaction. Here's how to go about it:

  • Research and partner with additional courier services to handle the surge in deliveries.
  • Ensure that these couriers have experience in handling peak season demands.
  • Diversify your courier options to provide better coverage in different regions.
  • Partner with a fulfillment centre that has multiple courier options. At F4E, we have long-standing partnerships with Europe’s leading couriers, giving us better rates which we then pass onto our clients. Want to learn more? Make an inquiry today.

5. Order Processing Errors

Efficient order processing is essential for meeting customer expectations. Consider the following tips:

  • Ensure your order management system is robust and prepared for an increase in demand.
  • Utilise technology solutions like F4E's order management software to streamline the entire order process.
  • Be prepared for an increase in eCommerce returns, utilising your fulfillment centre’s picking and packing teams.

6. Insufficient Staff

Black Friday brings a significant increase in workload. Adequate staffing is crucial to meet customer demand and ensure smooth operations. Consider the following strategies:

  • Plan your staffing needs well in advance and hire temporary employees if necessary.
  • Provide necessary training to temporary staff to ensure they can handle the increased workload effectively.
  • Outsource your efulfillment to a 3PL provider like F4E, who can deliver additional warehouse staff and expertise during peak seasons.

7. Be Transparent

Clear and timely communication with your customers is vital during the Black Friday period. Consider the following strategies:

  • Send order confirmation and shipping notifications to customers via email or SMS.
  • Keep customers informed about any potential delays in shipping or order processing.
  • Provide a responsive customer service team to address any customer inquiries promptly.
  • Consider partnering with a fulfillment centre that offers customer support for your customers.

8. Coordinate Promos with Fulfillment Service

Fulfillment for Black Friday promotions


Coordinating your promotional efforts with your fulfillment service is essential to ensure that Black Friday runs smoothly. Here's how you can make sure your promos and fulfillment work seamlessly together:

  • Communicate your promotional schedule and anticipated order volume with your efulfillment service in advance.
  • Ensure that your fulfillment team is aware of any special promotions, discounts, or packaging requirements.
  • Collaborate with your fulfillment center to optimise order processing, so promotional orders are given priority during peak periods.
  • Maintain open and clear lines of communication to address any fulfillment-related issues that may arise during your promotional campaigns.

9. Invest in Technology

Investing in technology solutions that scale can significantly boost efficiency and accuracy. Consider the following:

  • Adopt an inventory management system that integrates with your eCommerce platform for real-time inventory updates and has the capability to scale with your business.
  • Implement order management software to automate processes and minimise errors.
  • Utilise customer relationship management (CRM) systems to seamlessly manage customer interactions.

10. Prepare in Advance

Starting your Black Friday preparations early is a key to success. It allows you to address issues well in advance and ensures a smoother experience. Consider these early preparation steps:

  • Begin your Black Friday planning several months in advance to address inventory, staffing, and technology needs.
  • Test your systems and processes well ahead of time to identify and resolve any issues.
  • Start promoting your Black Friday deals early to create anticipation among your customers.
  • Give your efulfillment provide ample notice to be prepared for your increase in demand.

11. Inadequate Packaging

Don't use inadequate packaging


The packaging plays a significant role in customer experience. Consider the following tips:

  • Opt for branded packaging to create a memorable unboxing experience.
  • Ensure proper packaging materials are used to protect products during transit.
  • Collaborate with a fulfillment provider who can provide customised packaging solutions tailored to your brand. At F4E, we can offer an array of beautiful packaging solutions for your products.

12. Think Beyond Black Friday

While Black Friday is a critical event, don't forget about your regular operations. Keep your long-term goals in mind and ensure you maintain a high standard of service throughout the year. Consider these actions:

  • Continuously improve your efulfillment processes to provide excellent service year-round.
  • Invest in staff training and technology upgrades to enhance overall efficiency.
  • Stay engaged with your customers even outside peak seasons to build loyalty.

13. Plan for Returns

Black Friday often comes with a higher rate of returns due to increased sales. Properly managing returns is as crucial as fulfilling orders. Here's what you can do:

  • Set up a clear and user-friendly return policy for your customers to follow.
  • Implement a streamlined return process that makes it easy for customers to initiate and complete returns.
  • Consider outsourcing the handling of eCommerce returns to your fulfillment centre to ensure a smooth process.

14. Find a 3PL

Recognise when outsourcing certain aspects of your efulfillment process can benefit your business, especially during peak seasons like Black Friday. Consider these scenarios for outsourcing:

  • Outsourcing fulfillment to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider can provide you with extra resources and expertise during peak seasons.
  • Explore partnerships with fulfillment centers that can handle specialised services such as kitting, bundling, or customised packaging.
  • Assess the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of outsourcing certain tasks versus handling them in-house.

15. Black Friday analysis

Once Black Friday is over, analysing your performance is essential for future success. Consider the following steps:

  • Review sales data and identify trends, popular products, and customer behaviour.
  • Gather customer feedback through surveys or reviews to identify areas for improvement.
  • Use this data to prepare for next years Black Friday.


In conclusion, preparing for Black Friday, one of the most significant events in the eCommerce calendar, requires meticulous planning and execution. eCommerce businesses that heed the 15 tips outlined in this guide are better positioned to ensure a seamless shopping experience for their customers.

From efficient inventory management to timely shipping and responsive customer service, each aspect plays a vital role in your Black Friday success.

Want to know more about how F4E’s expansive European fulfillment network and experience can make your Black Friday a successful one? Contact us today.

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