School’s out, the pool is filled, and retailers should already be putting the finishing touches on their peak holiday season plans. This includes placing orders for highly anticipated products, coordinating marketing messages, and onboarding new technologies and vendors.
If you haven’t gotten that far in your planning, it’s not too late. Here are three areas to focus your attention — and solutions to implement — that are easy to tackle before peak season arrives. Coordinating with trusted partners like Roadie can ensure you’re not just ready for peak season traffic, but that you’re also running so efficiently it becomes your best peak season yet.
Review past peak season sales
Look back at past holidays to identify some key patterns you can capitalize on this year:
- What have been your best selling products, styles or sizes? Hot new products are important, but don’t overlook reliable favorites. Contact suppliers to ensure you have plenty of stock scheduled for both.
- Is in-store shopping steady or trending up? Ensure both in-store and online product orders are stored in the most effective location to fulfill customer needs. If in-store traffic is your customers’ preferred shopping location, keep items on hand for easy restocks. For online orders, either for shipping or delivery, house orders in the warehouse or fulfillment center that handles those transactions — yours or with partners like Ware2Go, a UPS company that leverages a national on-demand warehousing network.
Organize and prepare your warehouse
Whether your warehouse and storefront share a location, operate separately or your business is primarily e-commerce, make sure your team and your facilities are ready for an uptick in traffic.
- Fine-tune your picking-and-packing process. Streamline order fulfillment with clear processes for picking orders, confirming order accuracy and shipping. Tools like Roadie SmartSort® can make the process even smoother by helping your employees quickly and easily pre-sort orders for delivery driver pick-ups. High-volume facilities might require dedicated order fulfillment stations stocked with packing and labeling materials so team members can work at peak efficiency.
- Update signage for receiving and same-day delivery pickups. Keeping up with outgoing deliveries and incoming shipments is essential during the busy peak season. Ensure drivers for all logistics services know exactly where to go when they arrive at your building. Label delivery entrances and loading docks for shipping and receiving, and dedicate separate order pickup areas for last-mile delivery drivers. Keeping these areas distinct will help traffic flow smoothly, particularly for same-day delivery drivers who may come and go frequently.
Update your delivery options for customer satisfaction
Shopper expectations are high and can be difficult to predict when it comes to time-sensitive holiday orders and coordinating around holiday travel. Now’s the time to ensure your delivery options meet their needs. Crowdsourced delivery is a flexible solution for meeting narrow or unpredictable delivery windows. Senders can offer ultrafast, same-day or next-day local delivery for customers within 100 miles, without relying on inflexible traditional carriers that charge extra for small or unscheduled shipments.
Roadie makes adding these in-demand delivery options fast and easy. Retailers can integrate the Roadie platform in as little as two weeks and be up and running in less than a month. Starting this summer gives you plenty of time to test-drive the platform (so to speak) and its capabilities before the busy peak season really gets underway. With Roadie, you’ll:
- Have a point of contact to answer all your onboarding questions.
- Run pilot deliveries and get trained on using the platform.
- Outline benchmarks and goals so you can easily see the business benefits of crowdsourcing.
- Get your team up to speed with facilitated training for store managers and warehouse staff.
Take these steps now to win in the peak season
The beauty of these easy peak-season prep steps is that many of them complement one another. For instance, onboarding early with Roadie can give your customers ultrafast delivery in time for peak season, which can address the e-commerce shopping trends discovered in your analysis of previous years’ sales.
Even better, putting even a few months of focus into peak season can help you achieve new levels of business success. Roadie, for instance, doesn’t just allow you to offer same-day or next-day delivery. The platform’s delivery radius makes it possible to expand your service area, handle customer returns, reposition inventory all season and boost customer satisfaction in ways that can increase repeat business.
While planning for the busy peak season should be well underway, there is still time and there are easy steps you can take to capitalize on this important season. Roadie team members are ready to help make this your best peak season yet.