A major key to a successful holiday season for your business is to craft an informed product strategy. Your company must establish an approach geared toward an evolving transportation market. This means being able to gather the facts, assemble a plan, and be willing to adjust and adapt. Every company will approach peak season a bit differently, but here are some key tips that will help lead you towards success.
Consider the Market
Holiday retail sales are expected to increase 3.3% above 2021 figures for a total of $1.262 trillion in 2022. In addition, e-commerce sales are expected to rise 15.5%, totaling $235.86 billion. To meet this product demand, staying aware of the factors driving the market will be important. Inflation coupled with an increase in digital ad prices will mean retailers must find creative solutions to market challenges to prepare for peak season.
Keep Track of FedEx Dates
It is important to know key dates to stay ahead of the curve. FedEx will have deadlines to order items for them to be received when needed. For example, FedEx Freight Economy shipping must be sent out by December 8 to make it by Christmas. Starting with that baseline of information, your organization will have the knowledge you can apply to your holiday season product strategy.
Target a Focused Inventory
A targeted inventory approach could prove helpful for peak season. Identifying specific products and focusing your sales strategy on those targets may pay off. This specific approach to a smaller product offering could help your company focus time and resources on products that will perform best.
Be Prepared for Shipping
You should secure additional packaging materials before you need them. You should also consider automating your shipping process. It can help to revisit your process and determine if it can be more efficient. During such a busy season, a new strategy could prove necessary to handle higher volumes.
This means taking an inventory of the labor force for picking and replenishing your stock. If changes are needed to improve the holiday season process, ensure that your team is on the same page with any necessary training.
Making significant changes could just end up slowing things down if not implemented well. Work with your delivery team to ensure they are comfortable with effectively managing the high-volume holiday season.
For your customers, keep any holiday policy changes displayed on your website.
When working with an extra shipping partner, ensure they have the experience to handle an increasingly international client community. Your dedication to preparation will pay off when your team handles the busy season like a well-oiled machine.
Refresh Your Customer Service Approach
Along with preparing your team to manage orders and stock for the holiday rush effectively, customer service is critical. Your customer service team should be versed in how to handle higher volumes.
There will be returns, questions, and stressed-out customers. Have pre-prepared responses with alternative solutions for customers. Express empathy and stick to your game plan. Excellent client relationships are a product of preparation.
Plan for the New Year
Christmas isn’t the end of the peak season. It will be important to plan for an extended holiday rush.
Take a deeper dive into what January and February sales will look like. With many consumers unable to purchase gifts or wanted products during the holiday season, they will seek those items into 2023.
There is no reason to wait. Why not immediately plan for major peaks? For example, a slight break in demand may serve as an ideal opportunity to iron out your material handling processes or software systems. Build off what you learned through this peak and previous peak seasons. Properly managing an atypical peak holiday season will help your company be well-prepared to manage new challenges in the new year and beyond.
The England Logistics Freight Agent Program provides companies with information and tools to expand and allow them to manage their business. Backed by the England Logistics brand, participating agents enjoy increased market visibility and established business connections. Our dedicated team also delivers consistent support for day-to-day operations. This allows freight agents to expand their portfolios while being reinforced by a reliable team.