Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and it marks the beginning of the festive season in USA. Black Friday is popular among customers for jaw dropping offers on various products and services. Businesses experience an increase in revenue and sales volume throughout the festive season.
As a business owner it is essential for you to plan well in advance to handle the surge in orders and effectively fulfil them. It is rightly quoted by Jeff Bezos, “Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.” A business in order to succeed, should ensure a delightful customer experience at any cost.
No matter how attractive your discounts are, your customers are unlikely to return back If they have a poor experience of your service. On the other hand, a delightful customer experience provided by hyperlocal businesses during festive season has the potential to turn first time buyers into loyal customers.
In this blog let’s discuss about 5 implementable tips for smooth fulfilment of orders during this festive season.
Plan shipping costs and delivery timeline
Calculating the shipping costs and delivery timeline for locations well in advance helps you avoid any last minute hiccups in operations. You might partner with a local delivery partner or do it all yourself but in the end, a well-planned strategy always pays off.
Being transparent with buyers on delivery charges and delivery timeline ensures a strong trust towards your brand and increases your brand value. One time buyers in all probability might turn into loyal customers of your brand.
If you anticipate a surge in orders which cannot be handled by traditional methods, you might look for a good subscription based Order Management System(OSM) which reduces your work load. In the end, smart work is always better than hard work.
Local businesses are at an advantage as you cater to a very small geographical location. So, you might focus on strengthening your last mile delivery operations and include the localities where giants don’t cater to.
Inventory and Warehouse management
It is obvious that you might need extra storage space reserved for storing your inventories during festive season due to the surge in orders. If you are an online store or a hyperlocal e-commerce business, make sure to ensure that your merchants are stocked up to handle the surge.
In the end, it is your brand which gets affected in the event of any hitch in the operations. You can use data from previous year to predict the order quantity this season and stock up your inventory accordingly. Few more tips include
- Use an inventory management system
- Backend optimisation to your e-commerce store to update offers
- Being prepared for last minute orders
- Preparing an inventory checklist.
Transparent shipping and return policy
Customers like businesses who are honest. It is essential for local business owners to have a transparent shipping and return policy. A business should never end up over promising and underdelivering. Late deliveries disappoint customers especially during festive season.
So, when you advertise about shipping duration, be honest and always have some room for unexpected delays. Also it is essential to have a clear, easily understandable return policy.
You might offer expedited shipping at extra cost for customers who want their orders early.
Manage Human Resources
Managing human resources efficiently is crucial to the success of any project or business. As a hyperlocal small business owner it might be unusual for you to hire and manage too many employees. During festive season you might need extra workforce for managing your business.
In order to fulfil this requirement, you might approach recruitment agencies to hire contractual staff at a nominal wage for festive season so that there is no negative impact on the financials of your business.
Avoid last minute hassle with fail proof route planner
For any online business, route planner is the backbone of the logistics operation. Traffic congestion is the norm during festive season. Route planner can save your day with finding the feasible route considering traffic, weather and other factors. So, it is essential for you to choose a good route planner. A good route planner has following features:
- Cross platform functionality (eg. Android, iOS and web)
- Optimisation of route with multiple stops
- Have geofencing feature
- Divide the orders among multiple drivers(dynamic routing)
- Provide real time tracking feature.
The thought of handling festive season surge is daunting for a small business owner. Yet, I would suggest you to be optimistic and plan meticulously for your business’ success.
If you are a business owner looking for a one stop subscription based service for inventory and delivery management, we at Jungleworks are ever ready to assist you.
Contact us today to book a demo.
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