Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were off the scale in the UK during 2014 and so were the order fulfilment disasters. The result was poor customer experience and negative reviews. Planning, communicating and integrating your ecommerce systems are paramount in 2015, if you want your order fulfilment to capitalise on the holiday season’s surges in demand. Maybe outsourcing your order fulfilment is the way to go?
If you decide to keep your order fulfilment in- house, planning is essential. Here are a few things to consider to make your order fulfilment process the icing on your profitable ecommerce cake.
• Liaise with your carrier – you may need more collections per day and larger vehicles per collection.
• Review your staffing levels – Do you need additional casual staff to cope with the holiday season demand surge? If so, recruit them early so you get the right people and have time to train them. This will ensure a useful pair of hands rather than just another pair of hands when order fulfilment activity escalates.
• What happened last year? – How much did sales increase? How many extra staff did you need and were they enough? Did you have enough packaging? All these questions can be answered by reviewing last year’s data.
• Increase your inventory – To meet expected increases in holiday sales. This may be costly in terms of storage space and capital outlay but if your inventory doesn’t meet your demand, you will lose sales.
• Factor in Bank Holidays and last posting dates – Make sure you can meet these to supply your customers and plan ahead as other ecommerce businesses will be doing the same.
• Make sure you can accommodate your staff holidays – Plan in advance and consider offering extra shifts at evenings and weekends to cope with staff holidays and high demand periods like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weeks leading up to the festive season.
If you would rather enjoy increased sales without the additional, order fulfilment planning, outsource to an expert firm like DK Fulfilment.