Christmas is coming… Is your ecommerce store ready?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now less than six months away. Savvy ecommerce etailers will have already planned for the expected surge in demand for their goods. The fulfillment stage of the supply chain must be efficient and seamless to ensure it doesn’t let them or their customers down.

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2014 saw Black Friday and Cyber Monday firmly established in the UK, unfortunately the fulfillment and delivery services could not meet the unprecedented demand and failed. The outcome was a poor customer experience and bad feedback for many UK suppliers. Whilst this is unlikely to occur in the US, where this peak in shopping demand is well established, it is worth checking your delivery and fulfillment services are robust enough to cope. It never hurts to be prepared well in advance!

Planning is essential to cope with the expected peak in demand for goods. Next day deliveries will be harder to fulfill when demand is high, so price your three to five day delivery option to attract the buyer. In addition price your next day delivery option at a premium rate to make the longer delivery option more attractive to the cost conscious consumer. Allowing three to five days for delivery, will give your carriers more flexibility and make it easy to fulfill your orders in a timely manner.

Communication with your customers and your carriers is vital to avoid dissatisfied customers and carriers who cannot meet your expectations. Promote the idea of click and collect to your customers. Emphasize the convenience of this method of delivery, pick up from your work or local store, rather than waiting in at home. This delivery method will also reduce the workload of your carriers and consequently the costs to you.

Integrated ecommerce systems are the gold standard and essential at times of high demand. If your carrier is aware of the impending order to be shipped in real time, they can plan for surges in demand and reduce the probability of failed deliveries.

So make sure you have a profitable festive season by planning, communicating and integrating your fulfillment process.

Image credit: m01229

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