How to prepare your ecommerce business for peak season trading…. and how 3PL can help
It is well known that November and December are the two biggest months of the year and if you are an ecommerce business the word holiday probably means more work and little time for celebrations. How well prepared you are for peak season sales will have a big impact on customer experience. And when it comes to ecommerce, customers have a number of options. Your ability to fulfil orders, shipping times and your returns policy will have a huge impact on the success, or failure, of your business in these busy times. But it needn’t always be hard work. Read on for our tips on how to prepare your ecommerce business for peak season trading… and how working with a 3PL company can help.
Prepare your ecommerce business for peak season
Check your systems and processes
During the peak season the last thing you need is for your website to go down or your order fulfilment process to fail. Before this period it is worth ensuring that you don’t need to upgrade your ecommerce platform, that your shopping cart is working correctly and that the connections to your order fulfilment processes are as efficient as they need to be to handle the extra orders. Simply put, the easier it is for your customers to place an order the more orders you are likely to get.
Manage your inventory
If your order volume doubled tomorrow, would you be able to handle it? Would you have enough stock? Would you be able to pick, pack and despatch the increased number of orders? Do you have enough control over your warehouse management system to know the state of your inventory at any point in time? If the answer is no to any of these questions, it’s time to review your processes. Be proactive and stay ahead of the curve so that you don’t find yourself scrabbling around to fulfil orders when the rush happens.
Have a good returns policy
Your ability to process customer returns is just as vital to your success as your ability to make deliveries. It is estimated that around 20% of ecommerce sales are returned and with increased sales volume, returns also increase. A return experience, good or bad, will have a lasting impact on your customer.
3PL can help during peak season
Working with a third party logistics company can help to absorb the impact of peak season trading in a number of ways.
Scales with you
A 3PL benefits from economies of scale. By working with a number of customers they are able to handle changes in the volume of orders more efficiently. As experts, they are also experienced and trained, with the systems in place, for efficient pick and pack. This means you don’t have to hire and train a massive team for your shipping operation during the holiday season.
Extra storage space
Having a larger inventory ready for more orders will impact your storage space. Working with a 3PL will provide you with the flexibility to increase, or decrease, the storage you require quickly. Additionally, if you work with a 3PL with ecommerce integration you will have full visibility of your inventory at any time, ensuring you have the best opportunity to fulfil customer orders.
Lots of shipping options
A 3PL will have access to a variety of shipping methods, freight options and better delivery times, providing you with a better delivery service for your customers, critical around the holiday season. Better delivery means happier customers, and happier customers mean more orders.
Processing returns, especially with an increase in holiday activity, can be time-consuming and labour intensive. Working with a 3PL who is able to provide a returns management service and handle the increased volume of returns will ultimately save you time and money. A good returns policy is critical to the success of your business, especially in the peak season.
The holiday season is a busy time. Working with a 3PL will mean you don’t need to worry about extra warehouse storage, pick & pack, delivery or returns, freeing you up to focus on other important business tasks, like marketing and sales. Or maybe even giving you a little more time to relax with friends and family over the holiday period. Now there’s an idea!
Get peace of mind with Stocka during peak seasons
The next holiday season may seem like a long way away, but there is no time like the present! So prepare now and let Stocka manage your fulfilment without any hassle.
Want to find out more about how Stocka can help your ecommerce business during peak seasons?
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