How Ecommerce Businesses Can Prepare for Peak Season
by Christie McLeod on Nov. 25, 2021
Top Tips to Prepare for Peak Season, Continued
Navigating the world of ecommerce presents unique challenges, especially during peak holiday shipping times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Peak season logistics require careful planning and preparation, especially as holiday shopping – and order volume – surges.
To ensure you’re fully equipped for the holiday rush, here are some of our top tips to ensure your business’ peak holiday fulfillment runs seamlessly. Check out part one of our tips on peak season fulfillment to make sure your fulfillment operations are extra prepared.
1 – Maximize Storage Solutions
When peak season shipping is in full swing, storage areas can feel overwhelming. The usual calm becomes a bustling hub of activity. To prevent chaos, maximizing your storage space is crucial, ensuring each staff member can operate efficiently.
Consider transitioning to vertical racks over horizontal ones. Floor space becomes a premium during peak holiday shipping, so why not leverage vertical space? This efficient use of space ensures products are kept safely out of the way, reducing the risk of damage. While this might require investing in equipment like forklifts, the payoff in reduced damages and increased efficiency is worth it.
Not interested in investing in forklifts or the extra warehouse space needed to keep up with consumer demand? Utilizing a fulfillment solution like a 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) partner can greatly ease the stresses of peak season fulfillment planning.
A 3PL partner not only provides the infrastructure and expertise to efficiently store and manage inventory but can also offer invaluable insights into optimizing storage strategies tailored for peak seasons. Their experience in handling large volumes of inventory during high-demand periods ensures that businesses can scale up operations seamlessly.
3PLs are equipped with advanced warehouse and inventory management systems, trained personnel, and proven processes that have been refined over numerous peak shipping cycles. By partnering with a 3PL, businesses can stay focused on core operations, leaving the intricacies of storage and fulfillment logistics to the experts.
2 – Leverage Order Management Systems
With many moving parts from order placement to delivery, keeping track can be challenging, especially during peak holiday fulfillment times. Rather than monitoring manually, an order management system offers real-time insights. It alerts supervisors as packages progress through the warehouse, readying for dispatch, ensuring that even during the height of ecommerce fulfillment peak season, everything is under control.
Such systems unify various company subdivisions, streamlining operations and minimizing errors, especially critical during high-demand periods like peak holiday shipping. Additionally, if a package goes astray, these systems offer invaluable tracking and evidence to handle any investigations.
3 – Partner with a Dependable Delivery Service Provider
While fulfillment centers manage daily operations, an external delivery provider is responsible for moving packages from A to B. A reliable partner is especially valuable when dealing with peak holiday fulfillment.
With a plethora of options, making a selection might seem overwhelming. However, businesses can diversify by collaborating with multiple providers, gauging their efficiency, and eventually choosing a primary provider.
This flexibility is particularly beneficial during peak season logistics challenges when numerous ecommerce platforms demand their services. If a provider falters, the option to pivot to another exists.
Before any commitment, providing an expected daily transaction count allows delivery services to allocate resources effectively, optimizing shipping during peak season.
When selecting a provider, diligent research, recommendations, and comprehensive interviews are crucial. With deliveries being a crucial aspect of online selling, minimizing potential issues should be a priority.
4 – Extend Shipment Lead Time
Delays can occur, especially when managing a multitude of orders during the ecommerce fulfillment holiday season. Instead of overcommitting, consider extending lead times for shipments. If communicated effectively, most customers will appreciate the transparency.
Utilize your eCommerce platform to highlight potential delays and use social media to keep customers updated, especially during peak season shipping. A well-phrased advisory can manage expectations while maintaining customer goodwill:
“To our valued clients:
As we approach our exciting sales event, we’re thrilled to offer our latest products. However, due to the surge in orders, please anticipate a delivery window of 10-14 days, slightly longer than our usual 5-7 day period.
To show our appreciation for your patience, a special holiday gift will accompany each purchase.
Thank you for being a part of our journey.”
Such messages, if crafted with empathy and a touch of generosity, can be a win-win.
5 – Consider Outsourcing to a Fulfillment Center
For some, entrusting operations to a third-party fulfillment center like Shipfusion might be the best move. It allows companies to hone their primary strengths, leaving the complexities of peak season logistics to the experts.
Renowned globally, Shipfusion provides a streamlined process for eCommerce platforms, managing everything from processing to shipment swiftly. Unlike others, Shipfusion self-manages its warehouses, each equipped with advanced inventory systems. They ensure optimal conditions for various products, with facilities in key locations like Los Angeles, Toronto, Las Vegas, and Chicago. More hubs in New York, Atlanta, and Dallas are on the horizon, promising wider coverage.
Outsourcing can offer numerous benefits, from cost savings on overheads to focusing on business growth.
The peak shipping season offers a golden chance for businesses to boost sales and clear older stock. Preparation is paramount to successfully navigate peak season logistics. Proper staffing, enhancing customer experience, maximizing space, and leveraging updated systems are just a few strategies to stay ahead.
And if the task seems daunting, third-party providers like Shipfusion, with vast experience in ecommerce order fulfillment during peak season, stand ready to assist. Interested in capitalizing on consumer demand with seamless supply chain logistics and order fulfillment? Contact one of our fulfillment experts today.
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