The festive season is the busiest sales period for most retailers, and there’s no doubt that implementing a cohesive selling and shipping strategy around eCommerce fulfilment helps brands compete, scale, and thrive during the peak season.
Successful eCommerce businesses capitalise over the holiday season with enticing deals and special seasonal offers. But to really set your business apart, you need a fulfilment operation that supports your sales and delivers maximum efficiency at the busiest time of year.
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Ecommerce fulfilment and selling tips for the festive season
Bundle items to increase AOV
Bundling items is proven to increase average order value and earn more revenue during the holiday season. Customers like a bargain, so for brands with multiple SKUs, combining products is a smart strategy, and an effective upsell revenue model. If there is slow-moving stock, bundling will create more momentum. Partner your best sellers with the lowest sellers to provide more value overall while increasing sales.
Offer free shipping
Extra costs are the number one reason that shoppers abandon carts online. 85% of customers prefer free shipping, so if your competitors offer free shipping during the holiday season, it makes sense to do the same.
In fact, 90% of customers view free shipping as the top incentive that encourages them to shop online more often – so it might be time to make it a top priority. By simply absorbing the cost of shipping into the overall product cost, it creates the illusion of free shipping; an effective sales strategy for conversion rates.
Implement a good returns plan (reverse logistics)
Dealing with returns can be frustrating for online retailers. In the age of digital commerce, returns are becoming more common due to the nature of online shopping. A study from IMRG revealed a meteoric rise in online returns in 2021, with the same predicted for the 2022 peak season.
Research suggests 92% of customers will purchase again from a retailer if the returns process is easy. Though product returns can be seemingly negative, they can be an opportunity to impress your customers. A 3pl logistics solution is the easiest way for retailers to automate their online returns. Selazar does quality checks on returned items and can reinject your stock to be resold. However, if you don’t use a 3pl, make sure to have a clear returns policy on your website, so customers know the exact steps, as transparency is key for building consumer trust.
Get your holiday inventory in early
When working with a 3PL provider, good communication leads to sales success. It’s important to work closely with your account manager to discuss stock volumes, sending and timelines. Sending stock ahead of predicted peak sales is critical to reaching your goals and avoiding potential delays. Products need to be logged, stored, and made ready for sale. This is typically a 24-hour process – so last-minute inbound stock processing (ISP) during the holiday season should be avoided at all costs.
It’s important to remember that global supply chain issues are still lingering. Last year, many consumers opted to buy online earlier to avoid disruption and guarantee delivery in time for the Christmas holiday period. By planning ahead and making offers available early, you’ll be able to meet your customers’ demands and guarantee availability at peak buying times.
Inventory management during the holiday season
Managing inventory takes priority above almost everything else. Smart inventory management balances technology, organisation, and efficiency. Outdated inventory management processes cost businesses valuable time and money year after year.
Inventory mistakes during the holiday season will cause delays and returns, resulting in overwhelmed operations and mismanagement. One poll concluded that roughly 43% of businesses still use manual inventory control methods. This can result in delayed packages and dissatisfied consumers – which is the last thing businesses need during peak season.
To have a successful holiday selling season, a fully optimised scalable solution is needed for the effective supply chain management. This means using fulfilment software and a warehouse management system (WMS) to keep organised, which is all overseen by dedicated and experienced warehouse staff. 33% of businesses will miss a shipment deadline this year because they’ve sold an item that wasn’t in stock. This type of inventory mismanagement is common in online retail, affecting consumer turnover.
3PL services for festive holiday fulfilment
The golden quarter peak season is a time of massive sales and competition. Last-minute shopping puts pressure on operators to deliver products on time – so you need a fulfilment solution that provides with speed and efficiency.
Inefficient self-fulfilment operations slow business operations – a strong reason for brands not scaling or scaling at a snail’s pace. Using expert warehouse operators with third-party logistics solutions frees time and resources for other critical business priorities. With multiple warehouses and a global courier network powered by eCommerce solutions, it’s a no-brainer – especially during the busy holiday period.
As consumer demand increases during the holidays, a tech-forward approach to warehouse solutions allows sellers to sell more and worry less. By combining digitally mapped warehouses, unique picking and packing algorithms, and intelligent systems for aligning inventory tracking, there are fewer chances for human error.
Understanding your courier network (3pl shipping)
With the busy holiday shopping season, it’s critical to meet shipping carrier deadlines to ensure packages arrive before Christmas Day. Different couriers have different requirements when it comes to ground and air delivery. Our courier partners update their shipping deadlines to ensure proper delivery, and we make sure you stay updated.
We keep our customers abreast of all service updates or potential disruptions within our vast courier network, so you don’t have to worry. If you have preferred shipping partners, they can also be updated in your Selazar portal.
If you don’t use a 3pl, it’s always best to communicate with your customers about expected shipping times and/or delays. For example, courier services will be suspended on Christmas and Boxing Day, so delivery warnings for last-minute purchases must be clear on your website.
Excess stock availability for the festive season
Another final tip revolves around having enough stock for special holiday promotions and offers. A surge in sales without the physical store will cause disruptions, upset customers, and massive refunds. Injecting extra capital into expanding inventory can help businesses capitalise on sales during the final part of Q4. Selazar, for example, offers asset-based lending to free up working capital, boost your growth, and increase liquidity. With our credit partners, you can receive instant money to invest in your business.
Holiday fulfilment peak season
Get your holiday eCommerce fulfilment right so your online business can thrive. Make sure you offer free and fast delivery for customers, flexible options for your business, and get inventory in on time. We are a logistics provider offering an end-to-end solution. Contact us today for your 3pl services.