This holiday season is shaping up to be one of the best sales seasons on record, with consumers purchasing all types of gifts for loved ones and friends. With projected growth forecast this ecommerce peak season to be even higher than what analysts are predicting, according to a recent CNBC article, annual retail sales forecast:
- Retail holiday sales are expected to grow between 5 and 5.6% from a year ago.
- The US Commerce Department reported during last year’s shopping season, sales soared 5% higher in 2016 to a promising $1.05 trillion.
- The 2018 holiday shopping season could exceed $1.10 trillion.
Increasing e-commerce sales drive this season’s holiday expectations
As consumers continue to gravitate to online shopping for convenience and bargain prices, e-commerce sales are predicted to take a larger portion of the market share than in 2017. While this bodes well for your online business, this increased activity also comes with the added undertaking of shipping all of those special holiday packages so that they arrive in time for the holidays during the already hectic ecommerce peak season.
Time is especially of the essence during ecommerce peak season
Since your staff will be busier processing orders and your carriers will be extra busy delivering those orders, you can bet that your shipping department will need to gear up for the extra activity. More small- to medium-sized businesses are turning to third-party logistics companies to handle everything from packing to shipping, to customer service, and inventory management to ensure their orders get packed and shipped properly and are under those decked-out trees before December 25th.
If you’re shipping orders yourself this ecommerce peak season, it’s a good idea to get on the same page with your carriers regarding peak shipping times.
- You might consider adding carriers to expand your peak time options.
- Make sure you schedule all of your pickups to accommodate increased sales, considering shipping deadlines for each carrier vary.
- Be aware of limited hours for some carriers before and after a holiday and the dates your carriers will be closed for the holidays.
- Locate fulfillment centers closer to your customers, if applicable.
Advantages of partnering with third-party logistics companies
Fulfillment companies can help out in more ways than you might think during ecommerce peak season. With skilled and experienced order processing, packing, shipping, and customer service personnel in place, your orders will be completed and on their way faster than training extra staff to perform fulfillment services in-house. Also:
- Fulfillment companies can save money on packing and shipping supplies because they order in bulk for a large number of clients.
- Packing and shipping from one central location adds a layer of consistency to the customer experience and helps control the shipping process.
- Shipping costs are lower due to volume and bulk shipping.
- Skilled labor can be added at peak times without having to worry about additional time needed to hire and train personnel.
When crunch time hits, know you can count on the professional fulfillment services offered by Phase V. Prepared to handle all your warehousing and shipping needs, experienced in customer management across countless industries, and equipped to help you manage your inventory in real time, Phase V Fulfillment Services can save you a lot of hassle as well as money and time.
Phase V wishes you and yours a wildly successful holiday sales season. The more prepared you are to handle increased sales and shipping, the smoother your ecommerce peak seasons will prove to be. Contact us today to discuss how our team can help you truly enjoy the upcoming holidays!