October 6, 2023
min read
Written by: 
Nikolaus Hilgenfeldt
Ecommerce Trends

Black Friday Supply Chain and Inventory Planning for 2023

Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving in the United States, has evolved into a global shopping phenomenon.

It marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season and offers businesses an opportunity to boost their sales significantly.

No wonder 87.2 million US consumers did their online shopping on Black Friday in 2022.

However, with great opportunity comes great responsibility.

To ensure you have enough stock, your ecommerce store works without hiccups, and your customers are satisfied with their purchase, you need to start preparing now.

So, read along to discover the best Black Friday supply chain and inventory planning solutions to common Black Friday supply chain problems!

Understanding the Black Friday Phenomenon

The origin of Black Friday is complex, with historical roots and a more recent association with retail sales and holiday shopping.

Massive discounts, crowded stores, long lines, extended hours, and the growing influence of online shopping characterize this day.

It remains a significant event in the retail calendar, both in the United States and worldwide.

To make the most of this holiday and avoid inventory issues on Black Friday, meticulous planning and robust inventory management are essential.

10 Most Significant Black Friday Supply Chain Problems And How To Solve Them

Black Friday, the shopping extravaganza that kicks off the holiday season, presents opportunities and challenges for retailers.

Amidst the rush for deals and discounts, supply chain problems can emerge and disrupt operations. 

Let's explore some of the most common Black Friday supply chain problems and provide effective solutions to tackle them.

Problem#1: Inaccurate Inventory Data

Inaccurate demand forecasting can disrupt the Black Friday supply chain, leading to overstocking or understocking, resource misallocation, and production scheduling challenges.

As a result, you may struggle to meet customer demand effectively.

Solution: Accurate Demand Forecasting

To tackle this issue, you must have accurate and precise data.

Here's how to achieve it:

  • Examine historical sales data from previous Black Friday events to understand past demand patterns and trends.
  • Consider macroeconomic factors, market trends, and changes in customer behavior to refine forecasts.
  • Implement advanced forecasting tools and software that incorporate machine learning algorithms to improve accuracy. These tools can help identify complex patterns and make more precise predictions.
  • Collaborate with sales and marketing teams to better understand promotional and advertising efforts that can impact demand.

Problem#2: Inefficient Inventory Management

Inefficient inventory management during Black Friday can result in either stockouts or overstocking, leading to customer dissatisfaction and increased storage costs. 

Finding a middle ground between meeting customer demand and avoiding unnecessary expenses is important.

Solution: Optimal Inventory Management

To address this issue, you should optimize your inventory management practices. 

  • Conduct an inventory audit well in advance to identify slow-moving or obsolete items that may tie up valuable resources.
  • Implement an inventory replenishment schedule that aligns with demand forecasts. That way, you'll know you have the right amount of stock on hand when needed.
  • Set safety stock levels to account for unexpected spikes in demand. A buffer can help you handle sudden surges without running out of stock.
  • Consider implementing a Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory system for products with predictable demand to reduce storage costs and ensure timely replenishment.

Problem#3: Weak Supplier Relationships

Weak or strained relationships with suppliers can lead to Black Friday supply chain disruptions, causing delays and inventory shortages. 

Solution: Strengthen Supplier Relationships

In order to ensure timely product delivery, you need solid and collaborative partnerships with your suppliers.

  • Maintain open lines of communication with suppliers year-round. Effective communication helps prevent misunderstandings and fosters cooperation.
  • Negotiate favorable terms for Black Friday, such as shorter lead times, to meet the unique demands of the season.
  • Share demand forecasts with suppliers and collaborate on production and delivery schedules. This alignment ensures that suppliers can fulfill your needs.
  • Consider establishing strategic partnerships with key suppliers to gain priority access to inventory, especially during peak demand periods.

Problem #4: Fulfillment Issues

The flood of products during the Black Friday and holiday season can put your fulfillment solution, whether in-house or outsourced, to the test.

It is a high-pressure phase with little time for system upgrades or performance enhancements.

If your processes and procedures are not robust enough now, they may be unable to endure the pressure of the holiday season.

Solution: Robust Fulfillment Preparation

To tackle this, implement the following strategies:

  • Implement automation technologies like conveyor systems, robotics, and automated picking solutions to streamline picking, packing, and shipping processes.
  • Utilize warehouse management systems (WMS) to track inventory, streamline operations, and reduce errors in real time.
  • Train warehouse staff in efficient order picking and packing techniques to improve productivity and accuracy.
  • Create designated areas within the warehouse for high-demand Black Friday products to expedite order fulfillment and minimize delays.

Problem#5: Supplier Overreliance

Relying solely on a single supplier can pose a significant risk during the high-demand Black Friday period.

If that supplier faces any issues, disruptions can quickly cascade, leading to delays and customer dissatisfaction.

Solution: Supplier Diversification

To address this challenge, diversifying the supplier base is crucial:

  • Determine which components or products are critical to your operations, especially during Black Friday. These are the items that you should source from multiple suppliers.
  • Create a list of backup suppliers for these critical items or components. These backups should be readily available to step in if the primary supplier encounters difficulties.
  • Continuously assess supplier performance to ensure reliability. Regular evaluations can help you identify potential issues before they become critical.

Problem#6: Inefficient Transportation and Logistics

Inefficient transportation and logistics during Black Friday can cause delays, customer dissatisfaction, problems with distribution networks, delivery methods, and shipment visibility.

Solution: Streamlined Transportation and Logistics

To overcome this challenge, you should focus on the following:

  • Review and optimize your distribution network for efficiency. Ensure that it can handle the increased demands of Black Friday.
  • Collaborate with reliable logistics providers or consider in-house logistics capabilities. Choose partners who can meet the demands of the season.
  • Plan transportation routes well in advance to prevent congestion and delays. Early planning allows you to make adjustments and avoid last-minute issues.
  • Implement real-time shipment tracking and monitoring systems. These software tools offer clear visibility into the status of shipments and allow for swift adjustments when necessary. 

Problem #7: Capital Tied Up in Inventory

The problem many ecommerce owners face is that a significant portion of their capital gets locked up in inventory. 

The standard ecommerce payment terms, often 30/70, require a 30% down payment to manufacturers upon ordering, with the remaining 70% due upon shipment.

This practice creates cash-flow difficulties even under normal circumstances.

However, with the current need for larger orders and costly freight upgrades to meet demand, this problem has become more pronounced.

Solution: Explore External Financing

One potential solution to this issue is seeking external financing.

Many companies, hesitant to sell equity or place liens on their assets, increasingly turn to asset-based financing.

This approach allows retailers to secure the funds needed for inventory without compromising ownership or personal assets.

It eases cash-flow challenges, ensuring that capital is readily available to meet the demands of Black Friday and beyond.

Pro Tip From Myos

With Purchase Finance from Myos, you can order from your manufacturer as usual.

At the same time, we handle your deposit or balance payment.

Doing this allows you to order more inventory, sell more, and never worry about running out of stock.


The benefits of Myos Purchase Finance include:

1. No Manufacturer Contact: We don't require information about your suppliers or customers, safeguarding your competitive advantage.

2. No Personal Guarantee: Unlike other finance providers, Myos doesn't ask for personal equity guarantees like your home. We use only a portion of your goods as security.

3. Flexible Repayment: You can choose when to settle the financing. Repay according to your turnover without fixed installments.

4. Quick Verification: Myos focuses on your products, minimizing the typical paperwork banks require. You can receive an offer within 72 hours with a streamlined and efficient financing process.


With Myos Purchase Finance, you can supercharge your online business's growth, maintain flexibility, and keep your inventory well-stocked for Black Friday, all without the hassle of traditional financing.

Problem #8 - Last Mile Delivery and Carrier Service Levels

The biggest challenge for retailers during Black Friday is getting the last mile of delivery right.

Relying on a single carrier can be risky, especially considering potential disruptions like strikes.

Solution: Adapt To Changing Circumstances

  • Adopt a multi-carrier model. For example, have a selection of carriers to deliver the goods, offering redundancy and flexibility in case one carrier faces issues.
  • Establish an infrastructure that empowers supply chain managers to make real-time decisions. This flexibility is vital for the success of the Black Friday season, as it allows for immediate responses to changing circumstances.

Problem #9 – Inadequate Utilization of Data and Technology

Inefficient data analytics and technology use can hinder Black Friday supply chain success. Without proper tools and strategies, you may not have accurate information, leading to pricing issues, product selection challenges, and marketing inefficiencies.

Solution: Data-Driven Approach and Technological Enhancement

To address this problem, adopt a data-driven approach and leverage technology effectively.

  • Allocate resources to invest in advanced analytics tools that provide real-time insights into consumer behavior. 
  • Leverage customer data to personalize marketing efforts and product recommendations. Tailoring the shopping experience to individual preferences can boost sales and customer satisfaction.
  • Ensure your ecommerce platform is optimized for speed, security, and scalability. A smooth and secure online shopping experience is critical during peak periods like Black Friday.
  • Implement chatbots and AI-powered customer service solutions to assist customers efficiently during high-demand periods. These technologies can handle routine queries, freeing human resources for more complex issues.

Problem #10 - WISMO Calls and Customer Communication

WISMO (Where Is My Order) calls increase during major sale events, which can be a cost problem for businesses and negatively impact customer experience.

Solution: Improve Customer Satisfaction

  • Focus on addressing the underlying causes of WISMO calls, often stemming from broader supply chain issues. Use data and analytics to understand if the supply chain is designed for timely delivery and cost-effectiveness.
  • Implement tools and systems that support proactive customer communication. Set up API feeds from carriers and integrate them into customer service platforms.
  • Provide customers with real-time order status and use this data to create automatic decision-making models, reducing the number of WISMO calls.

Wrapping It Up

To make your Black Friday in 2023 a success, focus on three key factors:

1. Smart Strategy: Develop a strong supply chain plan by using technology, diversifying suppliers, and preparing inventory.

2. Cash Reserves: Ensure you have enough capital for all your business needs.

3. Customer Experience: Offer seamless shopping experiences to stand out in the competitive ecommerce market.

With these steps, you can have a winning holiday season.

How Can Myos Help You?

Whether you want to order more inventory to meet upcoming demand or additional working capital to invest in promotional activities, cover shipping costs, or renovate the warehouse, Myos has the solution just for you.

  • Cross Finance: Strengthen your capital while anticipating significant client payments.
  • Purchase Finance: Obtain funds for your upcoming procurement needs.
  • Stock Finance: Enhance your business by using your existing inventory resources.

Using a simple, 3-step online process, you can get €10,000-2.500.000 for your ecommerce store and enjoy the following advantages:

✔️ No credit checks or personal guarantees are required.

✔️ Flexible repayments with no extra charges, allowing early settlement within 12 months.

✔️ Use your products as collateral.

✔️ Pay only a monthly fee based on the outstanding capital. Your %-fee depends on your product scoring.

✔️ Personalized support via chat, mail, or phone.

How Does It Work?

  • Our artificial intelligence reviews your product information (e.g., pricing history, competition, visibility, etc.).
  • It then calculates the financing amount and interest rate based on this data.
  • It's important to note that these calculated amounts represent the financing volume and should not be mistaken for the total repayment commitment. The financing volume is unrelated to the purchase price and may be lower or higher.

Who Do We Finance?

Myos is especially beneficial for ecommerce owners, no matter the platform (Amazon, eBay, online store, etc.):

  • Your company has a registered office in Germany, Austria, Cyprus, or the United Kingdom (UK) and is not a shell or shelf company.
  • Your company has been in business for at least 6 months.
  • Your company has been selling goods for at least 50 days.

Are you interested to learn more?

Sign up today and get a free, non-binding offer!


How Can I Make the Most of Black Friday as an Ecommerce Owner?

To capitalize on Black Friday, focus on strategic planning, strong supply chain management, and promoting your deals well in advance. Ensure your website and logistics are prepared for high traffic and demand.

How Can External Financing Options Help with Black Friday Inventory Challenges?

External financing options can provide working capital to cover inventory costs upfront, addressing cash-flow challenges. Asset-based financing is one solution that doesn't require selling equity or asset liens.

What Are the Common Supply Chain Challenges during Black Friday?

Common challenges include inventory shortages, shipping delays, overstocking, and ensuring smooth order fulfillment.

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