The end of summer and beginning of fall typically marks the beginning of a busy shopping season for e-commerce companies. To stay competitive and get online shoppers’ attention and retention, e-commerce companies should prepare for the influx of orders during this time of year. Preparation brings the benefits of reducing the potential of shipping delays or slowing down warehouse workflow. It’s also crucial for warehouse managers to prepare to maximize their warehouse staff’s productivity.
But getting ahead of the game in preparation for the busy season is crucial for efficiency. Here are five tips to help warehouse managers and stakeholders in the e-commerce industry prepare for a busy season.
1. Get Started Now
The beginning of the fourth-quarter coincides with the primary holiday shopping season, and that means heightened web traffic. Research shows that peak-season holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday can more than double web traffic compared to a typical shopping day. The 2018 Black Friday holiday shopping season saw sales spike by almost 26.4 percent alone. Preparing for the busy season requires warehouse managers to take action immediately. Thus, it’s crucial that warehouse managers in the e-commerce industry avoid procrastinating and, instead, prepare for the heightened web traffic, orders and other activities that occur during the busy season. Warehouse managers should also make plans for order processing from marketplaces like Amazon or Groupon that they may fulfill orders for, including using shipping platforms like ShipWorks to facilitate data integrations for marketplace order processing.
2. Update Branding
E-commerce companies need to update various branding materials across different platforms to stay competitive and get the attention of their target market during one of the busiest shopping times of the year. Some common branding material to update include packing lists, emails, and advertising.
Updating the branding on marketing materials is also a way to build trust. Research indicates that most shoppers (87 percent) find marketing materials more trustworthy when they include reviews or other trust marks from third-parties. Warehouse managers can include customer reviews or testimonials on their branded material to build trust with shoppers.
3. Stock Up
An uptick in sales also means the need for more inventory and packaging material. So, warehouse managers must stock up on different items, including packaging materials and inventory. Warehouses should stock up on inventory that may quickly sell out. Packing materials, such as packing tape, boxes, branded labels, and bubble wrap, are also essential items for warehouse managers to have on stock.
4. Get Fulfillment Automation Tasks in Place
Warehouse managers must get their fulfillment automation tasks in place. One way to achieve this is with automation tools, such as ShipWorks’ ShipSense. For instance, warehouse managers can use ShipSense to pre-fill shipping information for existing customers automatically. This action helps to save time and enhance efficiency.
5. Develop a Strategy for Quality Control
Warehouse managers can prepare and ensure quality in the workflow, product packaging, and the overall customer experience by developing a strategy for quality control. One way warehouse managers can achieve this is by using shipping platforms, such as ShipWorks to take control of potential quality issues. For instance, shipping staff can use ShipWorks to apply scan-based quality control to scan the barcodes of orders and items as they pack them. This helps to ensure the quantities of the items the team picks and packs are accurate. Warehouse managers can also use tools to help them anticipate quality issues that may slow down workflow and lists to ensure warehouse staff complete tasks and understand the workflow, such as a cause-and-effect diagram, checklists, and a flow chart.
It’s crucial for warehouse managers to take action right away instead of pushing off preparations to improve customer experience and increase sales. By following these steps, warehouse managers can ensure they’re ready to face the busy shopping season and stay competitive.
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