4 Tips for dealing with peak demand during the holidays
In a potentially borderless market such as that of the web, the quality of the product offered is fundamental, but it is not a sufficient element: customers choose partly on the basis of price but increasingly also by virtue of the services that e-commerce offers them, such as the clarity of information on the characteristics of the items and the methods of purchase, the practicality and safety of payment methods, pre and post sales assistance, and the reliability of delivery. The habit of high standards is therefore an element that must necessarily be guaranteed even when the demand volume grows decisively, as in the case of holidays, and forces the structures that deal with sales and distribution to increase production. Here are some practical tips to manage peak demand better and not be caught unprepared.
Stock the warehouse adequately. A large and well-stocked catalog is a strategic factor for attracting the attention of those looking for products to buy and evaluating alternatives before buying. To meet the increase in orders during the holidays, it is therefore necessary to act in time in order to ensure wide availability of the items most in demand: a failure to sell due to the exhaustion of available goods is to be avoided. To manage this aspect adequately, it is necessary to have adequate and spacious infrastructure, software capable of optimizing storage and real-time data on the quantity of goods in stock, in order to have the online shop always supplied (and replenished).
E-commerce companies that do not have locations with sufficiently large warehouses available, can outsource the service, relying on the experience of specialized companies, able to offer not only places for storing goods, but also management and technologies capable of optimizing logistics processes so as to limit any unforeseen events and offer high standards of service to its customers.
Enhancing Logistics. To address the order peaks that occur in the period before the holidays adequately, it is important to be able to count on efficient logistics capable of adapting to the needs of the moment. Whoever sells online is well aware of the importance of timely delivery, an element that becomes essential when purchases are closely linked to an annual or special event. But behind a package that arrives on time and on the scheduled day, there is a supply chain capable of working with efficiency and precision regardless of the time of year or any peaks. In this context, shipments by express courier are of crucial importance, able to guarantee deliveries within 24/48 hours from the moment an order is received: according to a study published by NRF, 65% of American consumers add an article in the cart only after checking the shipping policies. It is therefore necessary for an e-commerce to optimize the management of shipments, from packaging to the documentation that will accompany the goods. In this case, it can also be of great importance to rely on partners who work in the shipping sector and multiple couriers, choosing the most appropriate one based on the type of goods to be shipped (or other factors), to guarantee the customer a high level of efficiency, even during peak order periods.
Take care of the pre and post sales customer service. Although peak demand is generally concentrated in the month preceding a holiday or annual event, the signs of growth in activities can be seen a few months before. Potential customers start looking for products and offers, put items and products in their shopping cart with the intention of keeping an eye on them and await possible offers several months beforehand: in a survey carried out by Google, US consumers who already buy Christmas gifts online in June are 26%. This phenomenon is known as the "Anticipation Effect". It is therefore important to be able to count on precise information and customer service able to dispel any doubts, favoring the purchase process by consumers. It is important to be efficient in the management of returns an aspect capable of impacting both the logistical aspects and those related to the perception of the quality of the service and therefore to the image of the company, proposing simple and timely solutions to allow you to satisfy customer needs quickly.
Automate the order management phases. The management of peak demand during the holidays can be an operation that requires an increase in the workforce, with consequent additional costs for the company: adequate tools capable of allowing the automation of processes and keeping the production chain under control. Elements such as the automatic creation of shipments, labels, accompanying documents for packages can streamline work and free up precious resources.
To maintain high quality standards during seasonal peaks and in view of the holidays, it is important to rely on an experienced partner able to manage shipments, packaging, logistics, e-commerce and much more. The logistical services for e-commerce of Mail Boxes Etc. allow you to take advantage of a complete and flexible service that includes warehouse management, storage and packaging of goods up to the management of online returns, both nationally and internationally. Contact us to find the right solution for you!