Each new peak season comes with a whole new set of eCommerce fulfillment challenges. This year, consumers are even more dependent on online retailers. They are also shopping even earlier. This season, retailers are battling inventory constraints, high shipping prices, and a whole new demand for online shopping. Learn how to prepare your business with these holiday eCommerce fulfillment tips.
Optimize Your Warehouse Operations
As online shopping picks up, your warehouse will be busier than ever. Whether you use an in-house storage option or work with a third-party logistics provider, it’s crucial that your space is organized and optimized to handle these holiday needs. Improve the function of your warehouse by first reconfiguring your space to maximize the efficiency of your picking and packing. This means positioning top sellers at the fore front of your inventory and keeping add-on or gift with purchase items closest to packing stations. It’s also crucial that you correctly label new inventory coming into the warehouse. The more clearly you label your merchandise, the easier it will be to receive it and store it in the right location. All of these optimizations can cut down on time and eliminate errors in your fulfillment process.
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Multiple Delivery Options
Offering multiple delivery options is also key to finding success this peak season. If you also have a physical storefront or a partner with a brick-and-mortar location, consider offering ship-to-store in addition to traditional home delivery. This can help cut down on your shipping costs and delivery times. Free and discounted shipping should also be factored into your offerings. If free shipping is too costly for your business, offer discounted shipping when customers meet a certain threshold or choose to purchase an add-on item. Multiple shipping options will help provide your customers a better shopping experience and lead to return shoppers.
In addition to these shipping options, you also want to consider which shipping carriers you are using for your orders. Across the board, all top carriers are increasing their peak season prices. Avoid being gauged by these high surcharges by using a network of shipping carriers. Solutions like Xparcel Expedited and Xparcel Ground can help you determine the best shipping route for your orders by utilizing both local and national carriers.
Prepare for Rush Orders
One phenomenon that is inevitable for all online business owners is peak season rush orders. The closer it gets to the holidays, the more often these orders will come pouring in. Unfortunately, shoppers still expect free shipping and quick delivery. Prepare your business for this rush by focusing on adapting. This means planning ahead for these rushes with extra manpower, multiple fulfillment centers, and a foolproof process for 100% order accuracy and on-time delivery. Now would be the ideal time to recruit a shipping partner. A reliable 3PL has a large staff experienced in the holiday season rush and can help ensure your sales go smoothly. They’ll also have access to multiple warehouses to help cut down on delivery times and save you money on shipping.
Communicate with Customers
Although it’s important to optimize your process and ensure you have the right shipping plan and team to get the job done, it’s even more important to have clear communication with your customers. At this point, consumers are well aware of the supply chain shipping and trucking issues that continue to plague the country. They understand that you too may be struggling with getting all your inventory. However, they've become accustomed to the Amazon "around-the-clock delivery and package tracking world" and still expect your business to keep up. The best course of action is to provide your customers with order transparency at all times. This means giving them the ability to track their orders and keeping them up-to-date with any potential delays.
Related Article: How to Create A Flawless eCommerce Shopping Experience
Successful eCommerce fulfillment this season is all about organization and communication. Ensure your business achieves great sales this year by optimizing your space, creating a plan of action, and getting the right team in place to support you.
At Rakuten Super Logistics, we are the peak season experts. From warehouse to delivery and everything in between, we have you covered. Get a quote today and ensure you have your best holiday season yet.
Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is the leader in eCommerce order fulfillment services and freight brokerage. RSL offers national fulfillment services and a network of fulfillment centers across the US, including Anaheim (CA), Atlanta(GA), Austin (TX), Carlstadt (NJ) Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Olean (NY), Reno (NV), Salt Lake City (UT), and Scranton (PA). Their state-of-the-art technology allows for integration with popular shopping cart platforms and online marketplaces including Amazon, Big Commerce, Channel Advisor, eBay, Magento, Ship Station, Shopify, Volusion, Walmart Marketplace, and WooCommerce.