5 Last-minute tips for retailers to prep for peak

Pumpkin-spice lattes firmly held in the hands of consumers signify that peak season has begun. Shoppers are already starting their holiday gift purchases despite inflation and the looming threat of a recession. Don’t worry if you haven’t had the headspace to plan for the holiday sales season. Here are five last-minute tips for retailers to prep for peak.

Diversify Your Carrier Network

Supply chain delays and carrier incidents are expected during the sales surge from October through the New Year. If you rely on a single shipping carrier, you could find yourself in a shipping and fulfillment nightmare. From weather to traffic, peak season is littered with unforeseen situations. Partnering with multiple shipping carriers allows you to pivot orders should the unexpected.

Over Communicate with Customers

Even if you haven’t stock-piled inventory, now is the time to engage your customers. Not only can you begin peak sales offerings, but now is the time to reach out to suppliers and carriers to determine realistic cut-offs and delivery deadlines. Accurate consumer details on when orders will be received are crucial to maximize peak season and ensure happy customers. Create marketing efforts to encourage early purchases, especially if your carriers are already talking to you about delays. Lastly, if you have the technology in place, now is the time to update automated e-mail correspondence regarding delivery details, returns, and how to get in touch with customer service should it be required. Keeping your customers informed before, during, and after product delivery is the best defense against a poor experience and bad reviews.

last-minute tips peak

Determine Realistic Stock Availability

Reach out to your suppliers and determine realistic timelines to receive products. If they cannot get your ‘best sellers’ in stock until January, you might need to spin up a new product or engage a new supplier. Most goods are procured from Asian manufacturers because of affordability. However, now might be an opportunity to investigate some of the top manufacturers in the US. A local supplier can often deliver products in a shorter timeframe, even if it might be slightly more expensive. In general, diversifying your suppliers makes your supply chain more resilient. Find out what is possible from your existing vendors and be prepared to pivot on products or suppliers if necessary.

Boost Customer Service Efforts

Not only do sales skyrocket during peak season, but so do customer service issues and returns. Now is the time to boost efforts to streamline your customer experience efforts. While we cannot always avoid returns altogether, we can implement strategies to ensure the returns process is as seamless as possible. Refine your return policy and ensure it is visible and uses easy-to-understand language. Another last-minute tip for retailers to prepare for peak is to retrain customer service staff. Host training on how to deal with common customer service complaints reps deal with during the holidays.

  • Product unavailable or out of stock
  • Poor product or service
  • Lack of follow-up or communications
  • No first call resolution

Hire Extra Help

Even if you are late planning for peak, you will still likely need a few extra hands to deal with the sales surge.  Depending on your need, make a solid effort to hire help, so your existing staff doesn’t burn out. Many retailers have standard hiring processes for the holiday season but don’t forget back office, warehouse, and service staff needs also increase.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

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Top Last-Minute Tip for Retailers to Prep for Peak

Partner with a 3PL

A 3PL partner can alleviate the pressures of finding a broad network of carriers. They already leverage multiple shipping services and a network of suppliers. A white-glove 3PL can introduce your business to new manufacturers and offer better shipping rates because of their current economies of scale. Furthermore, partnering with a group like Falcon Fulfillment can manage returns and refunds. We are experts in fulfillment and would love to have the chance to help your peak season soar, regardless of how late it might be.

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Utilizing fulfillment strategies in times of economic uncertainty becomes a crucial factor for companies aiming to establish stability and drive expansion. By embracing these specialized recommendations, one can effectively address obstacles and emerge more resilient in challenging circumstances. For personalized advice on enhancing your business’s fulfillment methods, consider reaching out to the professionals at Falcon Fulfillment.

If you’re ready to start the transition or have questions, contact us to learn more about our services.

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