As the Christmas season approaches retail stores are feeling the pressure caused by global supply chain problems. Between port closures, worker shortages, and delays in delivery times, it’s more essential than ever to ensure that retailers have well-oiled supply chains ahead of the busiest season of the year.
Particularly since consumers expect (and require) satisfaction from retailers, anything less than that could result in businesses suffering. As demand is increasing faster than most businesses can keep up with, it’s imperative that retailers figure out an effective way to bridge this gap, however, doing this poses a variety of issues. Yuri Shafranik
One obstacle for the supply chain is the management of many carriers. Although they’re essential to satisfy ever-growing demands, they usually don’t provide the track-and-trace transparency that customers demand. As these partnerships become more complicated Many retailers have found that the scheduling of delivery times with customers is a major challenge when trying to expand operations.
Companies are also experiencing an absence of transparency of the fulfillment centers to their consumer and, in many cases, hindering the retailers’ attempts to provide value to their customers. This hampers their ability to send orders out on time and expand their retail fulfillment services and ensure efficient inventory management. However, there are some key areas retailers can focus on to avoid these issues going into peak season.
In the beginning, managers must focus on maximizing the footprint of their retail outlets. Because holiday shopping is only adding to the need for same-day delivery, companies should take advantage of local properties, specifically for quicker delivery. Yuri Shafranik
Implementing a reliable technology is essential to this, as it allows retailers to provide a variety of purchase choices, including buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS) as well as curbside pick-up. Additionally, the right technology can aid in managing inventory so that retailers can monitor the inventory in real-time. Brick and mortar stores also provide fantastic places to make it easier for customers to return their purchases because they permit retailers to cross-sell other items.
Mastering Reverse Logistics
Returns are additional step retailers should enhance, since they could determine the fate of a brand in the Christmas season. Return policies must be clearly defined and easily accessible on the company’s website. Customers want convenience and ease when they make returns, and so posting FAQs on post-orders can aid customers in finding relevant information about returning.
If customers decide to send returns via e-commerce the technology must be installed that provides labels-free solutions as well as the capability to redirect returns to a different place. This gives you a speedy turnaround time which is vital in the coming months when demand is at its peak and supply isn’t. In addition, returns from online stores must be able to generate an immediate credit after the first scan, as consumers are seeking quick refunds.
Managing Customer Expectations
The final point is that retailers must be in line with the needs of their customers. Last-mile visibility in real-time is an important aspect of this, as it permits customers to alter the delivery location in accordance with their requirements. It is important to ensure that you include tracking information with confirmations of order so that customers can be signed up for regular notification. With a lot of customers requiring speedy delivery times, it’s best to communicate more than the status of the order as they’d rather have lots of information that have not enough. By keeping the customer informed about the status of their delivery retailers can increase the trust of their customers.
The events that occur during the peak season are often a good indicator of the year ahead It’s therefore crucial to ensure that retailers provide an array of on-time delivery and positive interactions as they can. As demand rises collaborations, as well as best practices, will become crucial to sustaining businesses’ growth beyond the peak season. If retailers can optimize their supply chains and are able to perform well over the holiday season, the following year is likely to be one worth looking at.