The holidays are a busy season for retail. Since the holidays are a busy time for online businesses, you can’t afford to be unprepared. The best way to meet customer expectations during the holidays is to ensure you have a solid holiday product fulfillment strategy in place. Take time to identify your goals and identify the steps you need to take to better satisfy your customers this holiday. Continue reading to learn 10 wonderful tips for successful holiday product fulfillment.
Communicate With Your Suppliers
As you’ll probably expect an influx of orders during the holiday season, you should contact your suppliers and let them know that you’ll need to place a higher order volume to avoid any potential stockouts. Share information with your suppliers on predicted order volume to ensure you order enough to avoid potential stockouts. Like you, they also need time to deliver orders successfully.
Assess Your SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) Level History
Looking back at your SKU history, you can predict the products which are more in demand and will need to be stocked accordingly. Using historical inventory data like SKU performance, you’ll likely have an idea of what will be your top sellers. This will help you make better estimates before ordering more inventories.
Prepare Holiday Custom Packaging
The holiday season is an exciting and joyful time of the year. Therefore, your packaging should also be. If your store uses any holiday-themed packaging, you’ll want to make sure you have ordered and accounted for any special packaging. Look for things that will delight your customers when they receive their package. It will even be better if your packaging is recyclable.
Evaluate Your Returns Management Process
Before the holiday rush heats up, ensure to have a straightforward returns process that is communicated across your website. If you partner with a 3PL, work with them to find out an efficient returns management process. This involves providing your customers with a shipping label and tracking information once their return is shipped. Even though they’re returning a product, a great returns experience can encourage them to purchase from you again. This will eventually turn a seasonal customer into a year-round one.
Shore Up Systems for Holiday Product Fulfillment
Systems-based planning plays an important role in effective holiday product fulfillment. Consider the efficacy of your IT systems. This is the time to confirm that your software is capable of handling large volumes. Data-tracking metrics are likewise important for identifying issues and addressing them quickly. If you’re using a third-party partner, ensure that your systems are effectively integrated with your provider.
Assemble Necessary Resources
Take a hoard of facilities and equipment. Confirm that you have the space needed to handle increased volume and that it’s configured for optimal order processing. Authenticate that you have enough equipment and resources to accommodate increased holiday volume or source extra forklifts, hand-helds, etc. Identifying and addressing your holiday product fulfillment needs ahead of time will prevent major migraine at the height of the shopping season.
Perfect Your Holiday Product Fulfillment Processes
Evaluate your holiday product fulfillment operations and processes. Fine-tune receiving to ensure that incoming products are compliant i.e. correctly packaged and bar-coded, so they can be put into stock quickly for an efficient turnaround. Evaluate picking and packing operations to ensure optimal efficiencies. Be prepared for backorders, returns, etc. Note that the holiday season doesn’t end on December 25!
Monitor Warehouse And Fulfillment Center Statistics
The careful monitoring of warehouses and fulfillment centers can help brands gauge how well personnel, logistics software, and processes are performing. Pay rapt attention to key metrics like throughput, quality, and supplier performance. These granular numbers can help dropshipping or ecommerce brands identify the areas that need immediate improvement so strategy changes can be made on the fly.
Get All Hands On Deck
During the peak holiday season, staffing can be one of the biggest challenges. Arrange for additional support well in advance and provide adequate training and cross-training. So that associates in all areas can hit the ground running and provide excellent service. Arrange to have key people, most especially IT on call throughout the season and minimize the use of vacation time.
Research your holiday product fulfillment and delivery options because it’s important to be aware of carrier cut-offs, service level options, pick-up times, and holiday delivery guarantees. Understanding these details is very important to set and meet customer expectations. If you want to expand available shipping and delivery options for the holidays, such as in-store pick-up, same-day delivery, free returns, etc., you’ll need to start planning now.
There’s no doubt about the fact that the holidays can be a chaotic time. There’s a reason why it’s called a “holiday rush.” However, by preparing now for what’s to come with a solid holiday fulfillment strategy, it’ll ensure that you’ll be able to make the most of this time of high-volume online shopping and buying. Implementing these 10 wonderful tips will get you through a successful holiday product fulfillment.
Our Experienced Team at Fulfillman Can Help With Your Holiday Product Fulfillment
In case you will like to know more about our services, contact us today at Fulfillman. Our dedicated team will be available to speak with you. We will provide suitable answers to your questions and concerns. An amazing experience awaits you.