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5 TIPS for shipping this Holiday Season

2 years ago
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Only 7 more sleeps until pumpkin pie!
This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 28th which is later in the season than other years. A shorter shopping season between thanksgiving and Christmas means that sales will ramp up a bit later than usual – it also means there will be less time to fulfill all those orders.
Buckle up for a busy season since retail sales are expected to rise by 3.8%, and online (and other non-store sales) could jump by 14% *.
For many businesses the bulk of your annual revenue can be made during this busy holiday window. Customer expectations around shipping rise each year so shipping those goods quickly, accurately and right-on-time is critical.
Here are a few tips to help you get your product out the door like a champ:
Tip # 1:  Require a minimum spending threshold
Free shipping doesn’t really exist – often the cost is simply buried into the price. One way to compete with free shipping is to offer free expedited shipping only if a customer hits a price threshold. This incentivizes customers to add on items to an existing order. At the end of the season your data can show you how many new sales were driven by this threshold incentive. Plus, you will get insights into which extra impulse buys were added to customer carts.
Tip # 2:  Own Your Data
Every win and loss is a valuable lesson in how to optimize your warehouse. Your data can reveal which products are on a upswing before you even notice a trend. Your data can show you where your new customers are growing fastest so you can cultivate that demographic for next season.
Of course, this is only possible if you own your data and have a configurable WMS that allows you to ask the right questions. At Avectous, we firmly believe your data belongs to you and we can show you how to mine it for all its value.
Tip # 3:  Harness your SKU velocity & Sales Channel in real-time
Knowing your daily SKU velocity by sales channel in real-time is essential for inventory accuracy and to avoid overselling on a sales channel. If those high-velocity SKU’s ( which are 15-20% of your total SKU’s) are moving too rapidly to last through the last week of Christmas shopping you may need to increase the retail price to slow sales or limit the sales channels to only those channels that provide the greatest margins (such as your own website).
Avectous can make sure you never oversell on any sales channel and can put rules in place to automatically shut individual channels downs as your inventories diminish.  Additionally, we can deduct SKU’s from inventory as soon as an order gets credit card approval and address verification. Most WMS systems do not deduct the SKU from inventory until the actual shipping label is printed several hours later. This can cause overselling on multiple sales channels which in turn means letting down a customer who needs to ship a gift by a holiday deadline.
Tip #4:  Know Your Shipping Options
Finding the right shipping partners is critical – especially in this omnichannel world where customers demand faster and faster shipping. An advanced WMS can calculate the right balance between shipper, speed, and price. Let’s face it, there’s no point saving a buck if the product arrives on Dec. 26th. Then you’ve actually lost money – and possibly a customer too.
** See shipping deadlines for 2019 at the bottom of this page.
Tip #5: Encourage Your Customers to Shop Early
The holidays sneak up on all of us. Alert your clients about any early-bird shipping discounts you may be offering – or jog their memory about an item they’ve placed in their cart / wish list. You could also consider making special offers earlier in the season such as free shipping or early discount codes.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time for everyone to relax – including you!
We are here to help you improve your warehouse flow so your company is maximizing its earning potential during the holiday crunch. At Avectous we make sure you do not automate a bad process – we help you optimize it – and THEN we automate it for you.
Then you can put your feet up to enjoy some peace of mind – and some pumpkin pie.
Happy Thanksgiving!
The Avectous Team