Q4 is coming — with its potential to be your biggest moneymaking season. And it’s not too early to start planning. In fact, it’s critical. Most e-commerce retailers reach for 30% of all annual revenue in the holiday season. This year, don’t get caught in the crunch. With just 28 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, your detailed strategy and flexible contingency plans need to be in place now.
How to build a smart holiday strategy
- Review and forecast. Identify last year’s big issues. Rehash the horror stories. Back orders, late shipments, lost customers — what pitfalls can you plan to avoid this holiday season? Analyze your order volume projections and special offers calendar. Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the traditional surge days, last-minute orders also make the week before Christmas a fulfillment frenzy. Our account managers begin studying order histories and product forecasts as early as Q2. We develop staffing requirements and inventory insights long before the seasonal scramble.
- Secure skilled seasonal personnel. Temporary workers are a critical part of the holiday strategy. Prepare to double or even triple staff. Using experienced seasonal personnel helps reduce training time and ensure quality. Keep a contact list of previous hires who handled the pace with grace. At USA, we even offer a bonus to keep our best people coming back.
- Put top managers in a new place. We recommend moving first shift managers to second and third shifts. You’ll need their problem-solving skills during these tricky hours. They can orchestrate all the moving parts needed to handle increased order volumes and unexpected bumps.
- Relax, reflect, then react. When holiday fever subsides, it’s time to catch your breath and celebrate your achievements. But don’t put it all behind you yet. Delve into the review with your staff or fulfillment partner. Identify major successes and hurdles. Which goals were met and where can performance be improved?
Hashing out a holiday strategy to seamlessly handle order spikes and customer demands is worth it. When your customers’ holiday shopping experience is flawless, you gain loyalty and future business.
USA Fulfillment can help you prepare. We’re a fulfillment solution dedicated to your brand, at your service, 24/7. Get a consultation today.