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Now’s the time to scale for a peak season like no other

Now’s the time to scale for a peak season like no other

Ecommerce has been running at peak levels since May. Supply lines have struggled to keep up and delays have ensued – leaving behind a trail of broken customer promises. Meanwhile, actual peak season is coming, and many of the major retailers we work with are expecting to see volumes up to 60% higher than last year.

Opportunities abound in online retail right now, but seizing them requires a fresh approach. It demands an operational bandwidth on a whole new scale, and it also calls for a completely different type of customer experience. And all of this takes time to implement. In short, unless retailers can put the right tactics in place now to properly capitalise on demand, the rewards will stay well out of reach.

Build the right carrier ecosystem

This year’s peak is a chance to recover lost profits offline, win new customers, and even drive new revenue streams. But many will find themselves in the frustrating situation of high demand, freshly mobilised sales channels… and no carrier availability to get orders to customers! 

Many brands rely solely on one or two carriers all year round. This poses a big risk going into peak, when providers quickly reach full capacity. Retailers must diversify their partner ecosystem to build the agility they need to come out on top of this year’s peak season.

Offer a dynamic delivery promise 

Online shoppers want to receive their parcel in a way that suits them, whether that’s next-day delivery, pick up in-store, or collection at a PUDO point. 60% of consumers say they would select a retailer based on the delivery options provided, and 74% expect these options to be displayed directly on the product page.

Unfortunately, the higher the demand, the harder it is to maintain delivery promises. Retailers must find a way to retain consumer choice, while risk-proofing fulfilment to avoid disappointment.

Intelligently manage your reverse supply chain

As retailers get ready for a peak season like no other, they must also prepare for a rise in returns. If consumers’ homes are this season’s dressing rooms, then brands had better find a way to efficiently manage the influx of items that don’t end up meeting the needs of online shoppers.

Delivery management software can add intelligence and efficiency to your reverse supply chain. The best solutions help brands retain greater visibility over returns, and ultimately get stock back online faster and more intelligently. Not only is this a more cost-effective solution for retailers, it also results in a faster and more convenient experience for the customer.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to this year’s peak season, few need convincing of the opportunities. However, many have continued to view online as a secondary channel and are now scrambling to build the infrastructure required to serve customers there.

The good news is, it’s not too late to prepare your ecommerce fulfilment to seize the opportunity. At Metapack, we’ve put together the Retail Peak 2020: Capacity Planning Playbook, which outlines the steps the world’s leading retailers are taking now to make the most of a peak season like no other.

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