Over the years, eCommerce business owners have experienced many shipping and delivery mishaps. From delays in delivery to supply chain disruptions globally, these setbacks show no sign of slowing down or even going away. But you can always mitigate the impact if you prepare in advance and take the necessary precautions.
Plus, the holiday season is the best time for Direct-to-Consumer brands. And if you want to keep up with the anomalous volume in such a short period, you must equip yourself with the proper shipping equipment, strategy, and order fulfillment services. So, expect a surge of record-breaking sales since the gift-giving season is around the corner.
But the fact is, even if you pull in a large audience and make those sales, you'll still need to establish shipping and fulfillment systems for each order – Fortunately, we're here to lend a hand. In our guide, we will highlight all you need to know to create a seamless holiday shipping experience during this peak season and increase sales:
1. Streamlining Operations
To streamline your operations, you must pay close attention to the orders. Do you know the steps used in your shipping and delivery process? If you don't know, you should spare some time and find out. Start by paying attention to your next list of orders you want to ship or review with your team if they handle holiday order fulfillments. Create a list for every step, and note down how long the approximate time each process will take.
While you draft the stages of the process, search for any barriers and note how long the steps will take to complete. Did you find anything that can help streamline those steps and ensure efficiency? Saving just one minute per shipment might seem inessential, but suppose you're handling 20 shipments and deliveries daily; that's already 20 minutes you could spare on something else.
2. Outsourcing Shipping and Order Fulfillment to an Experienced 3PL
Optimizing your shipping and order fulfillment are essential to eCommerce success. Think of a business where you're the owner but don't have to run, manage, or ship products yourself. You can elude all the trouble of shipping and order fulfillment – giving you ample time to focus on enhancing your business and watch as your sales increase.
That is what outsourcing shipping and order fulfillment are all about. And with skilled and experienced 3PL shipping and fulfillment companies like Rakuten Super Logistics, now ShipNetwork, you can achieve it all. Plus, fulfilling holiday demands without expert help can be very challenging, and leasing a private warehouse is expensive and labor-intensive.
The sooner you partner with a 3PL provider, the easier your operation will be. This is mainly substantiated by the fact that experienced eCommerce order fulfillment companies have strategically located warehouses all across the country.
3. Spread Inventory Across Different Warehouses
Storing inventory across multiple warehouses is one of the most effective methods, but it can cost you extra. However, when you partner with a 3PL expert, you can have the chance to spread your inventory across several warehouses to optimize your shipping costs and lower transit time.
By using multiple warehouses to store your inventory, you'll be better positioned to offer competitive, fast and cost-effective shipping options to ensure clients' expectations are met. For instance, an item can be shipped from a warehouse closest to the client leading to less transit time.
4. Reducing SKUs
Do you have many ready products that have been in your warehouse for too long? Or maybe your warehouse efficiency is being dragged down because of the dead stock? If so, your company can benefit a lot by reducing SKUs.
For complete clarity, SKU reduction is the process of assessing your existing products and removing the SKUs that are underperforming or unwanted while keeping the good ones. SKU reduction requires significant time investment, collecting the relevant data, and being ready to make quick decisions. Business owners prepared to make such inventory adjustments should realize their company's strengths and weaknesses before reducing their inventory.
The Low Down
Whether you'll be fully prepared or not, the holiday shopping season is right around the corner. And while it's almost impossible to be 100% ready for the busiest season this year, you can take a few measures to ensure your business runs smoothly. And the best way to ensure things go smoothly for peak season shipping and meet the client's expectations is by ensuring that your supply chain is aligned.
Instead of managing your own warehouse, investing in a private business fulfillment tech stack, and making the shipment yourself, you can outsource fulfillment to a 3PL professional like ShipNetwork, one of the best fulfillment companies with a proven track record spanning 20+ years.
By sending us your inventory, we will pick, pack, and ship your orders to your clients – giving you enough time to concentrate on scaling your business, while delivering the best customer experience. Plus, with our 100% free order accuracy and comprehensive shipping solution – Xparcel can help you mitigate costs for shipping, saving you cash along the way. For more information on how to ship orders fast this season, contact us for a free quote or visit our website.