There are many reasons to outsource order fulfillment during the holidays. Waiting too long to look for a cost-effective order fulfillment solution is a dicey proposition. The best option is to seek out a company that can meet or exceed your expectations rather than waiting and potentially incurring penalties later on. You’ll be thankful you planned ahead—and the gains your business makes will be even sweeter.
Here are six reasons why you should plan your holiday fulfillment now.
To Manage Inventory
The first big hurdle around seasonality is the volatility of managing inventory. The combination of a massive influx of customers, hot items and huge sales can deplete stock very quickly, so even when factoring in the lead time needed for replenishment, being able to fulfill your inventory needs well in advance is critical. This goes for e-commerce as well as for brick-and-mortar stores.
To Manage Customer Expectation
A customer who can’t find that special item they’re looking for will simply visit your competitors next door. Aside from causing them disappointment, you may be losing future business from them, which you may never win back.
To Maintain Customer
Loyalty If you don’t manage your customer expectations, it could also lead to lost sales. Out-of-stocks, overstocks and returns are costing retailers over $1.75 trillion according to a study by the IHL group.
To Acquire New Customers
The holidays also bring a rapid influx of new customers. If they have a great experience with your brand, there’s a huge chance that they will return, thus increasing your market share.
To Reduce Fulfillment Errors
What about “Murphy’s Law”? A greater volume of merchandise moving between stores means dealing with a whole lot more moving parts. If there are errors in fulfillment, this places an additional cost on you that can be multiplied many times over during the ultra-busy Holiday sales period.
To Keep Things Running Smoothly
The ultimate purpose of beginning planning for holiday order fulfillment right now is to keep everything running smoothly as possible, thus providing a seamless experience for customers.