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How to prepare for fulfilment in peak seasons
When is the busiest time of year in your product industry?
If you sell something niche it could be quite specific. Back to school, perhaps? The start of the year is often a busy period for health and wellbeing, a time of healthy intentions! While confectioners love Easter, of course. Then there’s Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, summer holidays…and Christmas, when virtually everyone is trying to keep on top of customer demand.
Twinkling lights and mince pies might be far from your mind right now, but high street retailers begin preparing for the Christmas period during the summer. If you’ve made the switch to eCommerce and outsourced your fulfilment this year because of COVID-19 restrictions (or otherwise), some careful forward planning around peak seasons should definitely be next on your to do list.
It’s highly likely that a larger proportion of your sales will continue to come from online this year because of the way consumer shopping behaviour has changed – so you’ll want to be ready to meet that demand and improve your sales figures in what has probably been a tough time.
Timely, high quality fulfilment is imperative to a positive customer experience, so let us help you out with some advice on how to prepare for peak seasons…
Consult with experts
There have been a lot of newcomers to the world of ecommerce and fulfilment in 2020 and you might be one of them. It might feel daunting at the best of times, let alone when you reach a critical point in your sales calendar.
Fullers Logistics are a fulfilment and distribution service based in Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey We have been in the business for 58 years, so call on our team of experts to help you navigate this new terrain. We are here for consultation and advice on all aspects of storage, stock control, picking, packing, packaging, distribution, and returns.
Sharing our depth and breadth of insight and experience is simply part of our service to you.
Increase your inventory based on forecasting
By carefully assessing your previous sales figures for peak times, you will know how much stock to order from your manufacturers. You don’t want a surge in demand to mean you have to list items as ‘out of stock’ and lose out on sales. Predictions for 2020/2021 are tricky for obvious reasons but factor in all eventualities of the pandemic either way.
We help all our clients by looking at their sales volume and planning for any specific requirements together, so that we’re all fully prepared – and appropriately stocked - well before the peak time arrives.
You will get an alert from us to tell you when stock goes below a certain level, so that you’re never caught off guard.
Make sure your systems are up to speed
Our recent blog on Finding the Right eCommerce Platform explained the importance of having a reliable eCommerce system for online retail success. Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento are just some of the options available.
A huge benefit of using sites and becoming a partner of Fullers is that they can interface seamlessly with our warehouse management system (WMS). Your stock data will be live and updated in real time, allowing you – and us - to monitor and manage all orders and inventory throughout your busy seasons and beyond.
When you work with Fullers, we’ll make doubly sure that all aspects of the WMS for inbound and outbound deliveries is streamlined and working properly, ready for peak times. You can design your own report to show products that are selling well vs. those that need more promotion and we will give you daily, weekly, and monthly alerts.
Be ready to scale up or down
In these unprecedented times, adaptability has become a vital characteristic of every successful business. Manage your costs and elevate your margins with a fulfilment service that has the flexibility to scale activity up or down according to customer demand.
At Fullers, we will work with you to plan around peak times well in advance. That said, we always have the capacity to store extra stock if the need for supply suddenly rises. We have five large warehouse, fulfilment and distribution sites in the Thames Valley and Hampshire, so there’s plenty of room for extra storage. For high demand items, we can use easy to reach pallets so not even a moment is wasted in picking, packing, and getting orders out to customers.
All our staff are trained to manage peak times optimally, and we will recruit extra expertise from our trusted agency network if even more hands are needed on deck. Meeting your customer expectations is always our top priority, whatever the season.
And if things are quieter than expected, don’t worry. You’ll only be charged for the space you use.
Get smart about couriers
When it comes to creating an excellent customer experience, reliable distribution is the sister of high-quality fulfilment. Once we’ve picked and packed your items perfectly, we want to make sure they get to the customer in impeccable condition and on time.
For this reason, we suggest you utilise our couriers. The benefit of this, especially for small businesses, is that Fullers has an accumulated volume of deliveries and better relationships which means lower shipping costs for you.
We want to share the advantage of this cost saving with you, one which you might not get if you go directly to the courier yourself. So, remember to factor this in when you’re planning for peak seasons.