2020 Holidays, Amazon, Amazon Fulfillment, B2B Fulfillment, B2C Fulfillment, Carriers, Supply Chain Management
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!