Peak season is the most challenging time of the year for online retailers. In years past, this extreme hustle and bustle nestled between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now, 38% of shoppers actually begin making purchases before the end of October! Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer the first days of the holiday shopping season. Sellers now need to focus on getting their shipping and fulfillment holiday plans in order long before the leaves change colors. Whether you're shipping yourself from an in-house location or working with a professional shipping company, preparing your warehouse now is essential for succeeding during the holidays. Here are 3 tips for getting your eCommerce warehousing ready for the peak season rush.
Make Room for Inventory
Most businesses have a variety of merchandise housed in their warehouses. For most of the year, this inventory works well. Customers purchase a variety of products, try new things, and your store rakes in the profit. Peak season is a whole different beast. Holiday shoppers are looking for the best deals and the top gifts of the season. Your typical best sellers will likely be the items to fly off the shelves first, leaving your other products collecting dust on the shelves. Prepare your warehouse by making lots of room for your best inventory. If an item hasn’t moved in 90 days, it’s a clear sign that it needs to go. Consider running a pre-holiday sale on these slow-moving items to clear the space. You can also re-organize the placement of these items on your site and change them to add on items for bigger purchases. Peak season, especially in 2021, requires your business to have as much top-selling merchandise as possible. Your holiday profits will be unhappy if you run out of the right products too soon.
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Rework Your eCommerce Warehousing Space
Successful shipping and fulfillment is all about efficiency and peak season forces your processes to work at lightspeed. Whether you’re using one warehouse space or a network of fulfillment centers, organizing your merchandise can help expedite the speed of your shipping and fulfillment and increase the accuracy of your orders. If you’re running specific sales during the holidays, you should be grouping these items near each other. If you’re offering gifts with purchases, consider also placing these closer to your packing area or the merchandise they will be paired with. The best way to know where your product should be is to take a look at your entire sales plan for the season. Based on the timing of requirements of each of those sales, reorganize the location of your merchandise. If you’re working with a shipping company, they can also help you find the best route for your inventory.
Making Receiving Efficient
In addition to efficient shipping and fulfillment, it’s crucial that you maintain efficiency in your receiving process. Whether this is for new holiday inventory or replenishing out-of-stock items, you need to have a solid plan. As inventory comes in, it’s important to have clear communication with your team to help separate seasonal items from everyday merchandise. Since many online sellers double and even triple the amount of inventory for peak season, you also need to be prepared for how your warehouse or storage will be impacted by your shipment. Do you now need climate-controlled space? Will you need custom shelving for new items? Do you have enough space for all of your inventory? These are important questions you need to ask yourself long before your holiday merchandise arrives. If you have to place a new shipment mid-season, be sure your receiving plan accounts for that as well.
Related Article: Biggest Challenges of the 2021 Shipping Season
Managing holiday eCommerce warehousing is daunting. There are many moving parts that your business must account for. As your store grows, this process becomes nearly impossible to manage alone, especially during peak season. Outsourcing your shipping and fulfillment can help alleviate your stress, help you stay organized and focus on your growing sales.
Don’t be plagued by last year’s holiday mistakes this season. Be confident in your shipping and fulfillment with Rakuten Super Logistics. Our peak season experts will help you avoid Shipocalypse 2021 and ensure successful holiday sales. Get a quote and get your ship together today!!
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, ShipStation, Shopify, Volusion, Walmart Marketplace, and WooCommerce.