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The holiday season should be the most wonderful time of family, food, and festivities; we love it all. But it’s also the most hectic time of the year for a retail or consumer goods supply chain; some even call it ‘Shipageddon.’ However, with the pandemic altering shopping habits, predicting what Q4 2020 has in store for retailers is anyone’s guess. Consequently, retailers must deploy creative tactics to remain competitive, increase customer loyalty, and get a piece of that holiday pie! We’re sharing some strategies to help prepare your business to be as prepared as possible during this unpredictable season.
4 Ways to Prepare Your Retail Supply Chain for the Holidays
Encourage Your Customers to Buy Early
This will not be the season for last-minute shoppers; we know many customers participated in Prime day in early October. The earlier, the better. However, a combination of physical restrictions in stores and capacity issues for carriers (due to historic levels of online orders) will extend the time shoppers can get in and out of stores and extend delivery times on shipments.
Optimize All Inventory
According to IHL Group, out-of-stocks account for $634 billion in lost sales worldwide each year due to poor inventory management. For a handful of huge shippers and retailers, it makes sense to divide the inventory into one stream for traditional replenishment and another for eCommerce fulfillment. But for most other companies, it would be wise to tear down the walls separating types of inventory. You could be placing undue stress on the distribution center when the same product is divided into different segments.
Get a Handle on Shipping Costs
Demand for express delivery exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to continue to increase as the holidays creep closer. But with common carriers adding surcharges on parcel deliveries, offering fast delivery at little or no cost this holiday season can quickly wipe the profit off ship-to-home orders. To reduce last-mile delivery costs and compete with same-day shipping, here are some strategies a 3Pl will leverage:
Crowdsourced Fulfillment: Leverage crowdsourced delivery networks to connect with local couriers and reduce your last-mile delivery costs.
Diverse Carrier Mix: Include regional carriers in your carrier mix to handle increased volume and lessen your overall transportation costs. Rates for local parcel carriers are often lower than national carriers, and they have fewer surcharges and freight accessorial services charges.
Seek Out Support
A third-party logistics provider can be a valuable partner for seasonal fulfillment, thanks to scalable space, superior technology, flexible staffing, established relationships with carriers, and knowledge with best practices. We happen to know a fabulous 3PL that can be a valuable asset for your company. They are pretty great; learn more here.
Prepare Your Retail Supply Chain for the Holidays and Beyond
The upcoming holiday season will be anything but ordinary. It’s hard to envision exactly how the season will pan out for retailers, much as it’s hard to predict any aspect of 2020. If you’ve realized you need supply chain management support to prepare for the unpredictable holiday season, we can help. Team Taylor has years of experience in the supply chain industry and has adapted to the government’s safety and health requirements at each of its fulfillment centers. From eCommerce fulfillment support to delivery options, we can help you get your customers’ orders to them right on time, safely and cost-effectively. Fill out the form below to talk to a Taylor rep! We hope it helps you have a holiday season that’s merry and bright!
Raise your hand if you have an Amazon Prime account? Oh wow, 150 million hands raised? In the 25 years since Amazon was launched, it has become a household name, and is the biggest eCommerce site in the world. Having your products sold on Amazon immensely increases your audience. Amazon allows sellers to fulfill orders themselves or let Amazon handle fulfillment. Let’s dive into your options as an Amazon seller.
Lot’s of Acronyms to Digest When Talking Amazon Shipping; Let’s Break it Down:
Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
Self-fulfilled order processing route, like Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM)
Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)
What is Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)?
FBA means Fulfilled by Amazon, you sell it and Amazon ships it.
The seller sends bulk products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers for Amazon to pick, pack, and ship products once sold.
What is Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM)?
Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant is a fulfillment method in which an Amazon seller is responsible for fulfilling its products purchased on Amazon.
FBM can be more cost-effective if you can ship orders for a more sensible price compared to what FBA will charge by using your delivery partners and network, or your 3PL’s network.
FBM is a great Amazon seller shipping option it allows you the freedom to run your business as you like in terms of scalability, fulfillment methods, and inventory level control.
What is Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)?
Similar to FBM, you store, pick, pack, and ship your products to the customers yourself and handle all communications with the customer.
However, this shipping option also allows you access to prime customers, competing with businesses that pay the enormous fees for FBA.
SFP is ideal for sellers who have warehouse space and staff that can handle the order fulfillment or companies with a 3PL that can offer scalability and flexibility. To be successful as an SFP seller, you need to make sure that it would be more profitable for you than FBA or FBM.
Becoming an SFP seller streamlines your fulfillment process as you only need to manage inventory in your warehouses, instead of managing that inventory as well as additional inventory in Amazon’s warehouses.
Partnering With A 3PL | Amazon Fulfillment
Have experience with the program. Dealing with SFP requirements can be difficult.
Your 3PL should have advanced software that integrates directly with Amazon and gives you real-time visibility into order status and metrics.
You need a 3PL who is focused on customer service. Putting your SFP reputation into someone else’s hands is a leap of faith. Make sure you pick a partner who’s on your side, 100%.
Amazon Solutions Experts
Our team knows that all of the Amazon seller shipping options can be complicated and overwhelming. It can be challenging to decide which option is best for your business, especially when one option doesn’t fit all. It depends on the product you are selling, fulfillment capabilities, profit margins, and more. Our team knows how to meet Amazon’s stringent requirements for whichever option you choose. We have the solutions to help you scale your business, and we have the technology to execute the specifications for any Amazon shipment.
Talk With Taylor
Remember, the holiday season is around the corner. If you don’t have your fulfillment partner in place soon, you could be left out in the cold. Contact us today, and leave Black Friday and Cyber Monday to us. Fill out the form below and we will be in touch ASAP!