Festive Sales Seasons: Order fulfilment
The ongoing festive season sales have boosted the consumer goods industry, with early indications from all channels showing solid sales and the traders’ association CAIT anticipating up to Rs 2.5 lakh crore injection into the market through sales and service. Sales of items such as televisions, home appliances, FMCG food and non-food, garments, and so on from offline and e-commerce channels increased by almost 8-10% over the previous festive season, indicating that customers are prepared to spend despite inflationary fears. The festive season sales begin with Onam and continue through Durga Puja, Dusshera, and Diwali.
- Order Fulfillment Strategies in Festive Seasons
- System Integration
- Managing customer expectations
- Storage Placement
- Adequate warehousing space
- Central tech platform for warehouses
- Customized kitting, packaging, bundling and gifting capabilities
- Inventory planning tool
- Short Supply of Raw materials
- Balancing speed and customer satisfaction
- Unpredictable Weather
- Reverse Logistics
- Inaccurate forecasting
- Guide to ecommerce fulfilment during the holiday season
Order Fulfillment Strategies in Festive Seasons
Online buyers, particularly during the festive season, believe that fast and worry-free shipment is critical in determining where to spend their money. When a Christmas delivery is late, however, 46% of customers would turn elsewhere the next time they wish to place an online order. As a result, a robust fulfilment plan must ensure that you do not lose nearly half of your consumers. Continue reading to learn about businesses’ efforts for streamlining order fulfilment this festive season.
- Your existing unconnected or weakly linked systems may have served you well for the whole year, but festive seasons are notorious for causing even the most reliable systems to fail.
- While investing in infrastructure to prepare your systems for the festive demand is necessary, it is insufficient.
- For simplified and fast order fulfilment, you must guarantee that the appropriate systems are interconnected and communicating with one another.
- By integrating your eCommerce and ERP/Warehouse management systems, you may avoid overselling your items.
- Furthermore, it speeds up order fulfilment by moving orders quickly from your eCommerce site to your ERP/ Warehouse management systems.
- Did you know that Amazon is employing 150,000 workers for full-time, temporary, and part-time employment across its US companies this festive season?
- Most other online shops are following the same pattern. To account for the increase in order volume and prompt delivery over the festive season, businesses must focus on hiring more warehouse and customer support staff.
- Not only that, but you must analyse your seasonal workers’ capabilities and place them in areas where you can capitalise on their skills, as well as fully educate them, to guarantee that you continue to give the same brand experience.
- It is not enough to be prepared for the festive season on your own. It is as critical, if not more so, that your suppliers and delivery providers be prepared for this.
- Forecast the predicted demand for this year using your previous sales data and communicate your estimates with your partners – suppliers and delivery providers.
- Setting clear expectations with your partners is critical, and if necessary, assisting them in developing systems and procedures to meet those objectives.
Managing customer expectations
- While it may be tempting for firms to provide unrealistic timescales or extend the deadline for assured delivery, it is critical to recognise that increased order volume might present unexpected obstacles to timely order fulfilment.
- Because customer happiness is tied to on-time order delivery, businesses must understand their order fulfilment speed and capacity, as well as their carrier’s holiday schedule, in order to set reasonable delivery expectations with their consumers.
Rethink where things are stored in your warehouses – Identify and position top-selling goods in hot pick zones to decrease the time it takes to walk, pick, and pack that item, hence improving productivity and decreasing fulfilment time.
Adequate warehousing space
- An effective warehouse storage method is crucial since it guarantees that you are utilising all of the available space in your warehouse.
- Warehouse storage efficiency also keeps goods organised without sacrificing productivity.
- To optimise your warehouse storage procedure, you must first determine how much storage space is available in your warehouse.
- Here are four easy procedures for determining warehouse utilisation to assist you.
Central tech platform for warehouses
- RFID is an abbreviation for Radio-frequency Identification, which tracks items in real time using electromagnetic waves.
- RFID technology has long been used in various sectors and is now becoming more popular in supply chain applications.
- An RFID tag is connected to a product or case and, using electromagnetic signals may be tracked throughout the full product or case lifetime from a central database.
- RFID has benefits over other identifying systems such as barcodes in that it does not require a scanner and does not require proximity or line of sight to the object.
- This allows for centralised monitoring of inventory position and movement in the warehouse.
Customized kitting, packaging, bundling and gifting capabilities
- When purchasing a package of items, customers can receive large discounts.
- It makes product selection easier and provides greater value for a lower price.
- Customers, for example, are looking for the right present over the holiday season.
- Customers are drawn in by bundled gifting products with creative packaging.
- If you pay close attention to ecommerce data, personalisation strikes the target.
- Unboxing is a brand’s first genuine point of contact with a consumer, creating an outstanding first impression.
- A strong kitting operation is essential for providing an enjoyable unwrapping experience.
Inventory planning tool
- To enhance order management, increase profitability, and streamline supply chain management, small enterprises must employ a variety of approaches and technologies.
- The best inventory management solutions for optimising distribution and order fulfilment across numerous warehouses are listed below.
- Proper inventory management reduces carrying costs, boosts efficiency, and boosts customer satisfaction.
- Stock reduction, effective picking and packaging, selecting quality KPIs, and carrying safety stock are all tips for accurate inventory management.
- Barcode data gathering, cycle counting, ABC analysis, an inventory management software system, and serial number traceability are the greatest inventory management tools.
Fulfilment Challenges in Festive Sales
Short Supply of Raw materials
Because demand for items is anticipated to increase as soon as the holidays arrive, some raw materials are frequently in short supply. Needless to say, this is an issue for both producers and merchants, because a scarcity of raw materials leads to an understocking situation, which no one likes – especially during peak season.
Balancing speed and customer satisfaction
The holiday season is often regarded as the finest time for sales. However, in order to keep up with a high volume of orders while retaining customer happiness, you must ensure that order processing, fulfilment, and shipping are all completed at lightning speed. Of course, this is easier said than done.
There are various reasons that are typical of the festive season that create significant delays in the transportation of your items. For example, unfavourable weather conditions. The festive season is often a chilly and wet time of year in most nations throughout the world. This may have an influence on transportation efficiency, resulting in delays.
Reverse logistics are a tough aspect of the supply chain in general, and when festive is thrown into the mix, it can be extremely difficult to guarantee that returns and exchanges are executed efficiently. Given the rush of festive shoppers, it is possible that many individuals will want to return things, and it is your responsibility to ensure that they are not dissatisfied.
Inaccurate forecasting may be the root cause of ALL issues that arise over the festive season. This is because if a company has poor forecasting processes in place, they are likely to underestimate or even overestimate the stock they require at peak periods. Both have their own set of issues that will impact the total fulfilment supplied by a firm.
Guide to ecommerce fulfilment during the holiday season
During the Festive season, which is commonly referred to as the peak season, ecommerce firms are flooded with orders. The whole ecommerce environment is crowded with aggressive discount offerings. You may capture significant possibilities by running a deal over the holiday season—you can get ahead of the competition, acquire new clients, and increase your income.
- To position your ecommerce firm for success over the holidays, you should begin your sales planning process (along with other areas such as production and website optimisation) as soon as feasible.
- Once you’ve finalised your festive season sales strategy, you should collaborate with your 3PL partner to develop an inbounding strategy.
- Examine if your 3PL has adequate capacity to manage the number of orders you anticipate over the festive season. If your 3PL is unable to inbound, store, select, pack, and ship your items, you may need to search for additional 3PL partners to assist with festive season order fulfilment.
- Determine the fees your 3PL imposes. Some 3PLs impose a premium for order fulfilment and other services provided during peak periods, in addition to other costs such as zone surcharges and fuel surcharges.
- Ensure that your 3PL supplier has a presence in the areas where your customers are situated. Ideally, you’d be able to collaborate with a 3PL like WareIQ.
- After you’ve developed your sales and inbounding plans, you’ll be ready to begin shipping your inventory to your 3PL (as per the timeline outlined in your inbounding plan).
- As previously said, you will want to ensure that all of your inventory is inbound to your 3PL’s facilities as soon as possible – and far before your 3PL’s cutoff date.
- To ensure that the inbounding process runs properly, you must communicate and coordinate closely with your 3PL.
The holiday season is often regarded as the finest time for sales. However, in order to keep up with a high volume of orders while retaining customer happiness, you must ensure that order processing, fulfilment, and shipping are all completed at lightning speed. Of course, this is easier said than done. For simplified and fast order fulfilment, you must guarantee that the appropriate systems are interconnected and communicating with one another. Not only that, but you must analyse your seasonal workers’ capabilities and place them in areas where you can capitalise on their skills, as well as fully educate them, to guarantee that you continue to give the same brand experience.