As Christmas approaches, now is the time to finalise preparations for ecommerce and fulfilment systems and processes to maximise the seasonal sales opportunities and ensure products stay sold.
- Audit the quality of the product data: Is the product in the right place in the web/product hierarchy? Does it have the right product attributes to enable the customer to find the product that they want? Test it on a customer focus group.
- Make sure your product descriptions are up to date and accurately represent the product.
- Check that all product images are clear, with images available from multiple angles.
- Check that every product has at least one alternative suggestion to present to the customer.
Stock and fulfilment
- Review stock management processes to maximise stock accuracy.
- Implement same day pick, pack and despatch processes to increase throughput.
- Forecast required staffing levels will be and consider bringing on additional seasonal staff on a part-time basis so that they develop the necessary experience before volumes increase.
- Think about implementing additional carrier services to provide alternatives delivery service, as a back up.
- Introduce an express delivery or a next day delivery option.
- Put a link to delivery tracking on your customer despatch emails.
Customer and after sales service
- Trial free returns or at least provide a returns label in every order: easy returns grows sales.
- Review the customer services calls and processes to identify potential bottlenecks and develop a plan to address.
- Update the online FAQs and Help pages to help customers find the information they need.
eCommerce Systems and Operational Processes
- Tests all parts of your ecommerce system to make sure that it can support forecast volumes of activity. There can be a number of system ‘pinch points’ that are exposed under heavy volumes of activity. This includes:
- Customers searching for products
- Online stock checks
- Number of customers that can be checked all at once.
- Verify whether the warehouse can support the forecast volume and profile of orders and order lines to be processed. Will it cope with expected daily or hourly volumes?
- Identify the key performance measures that will ensure your business stays on track and start measuring now.
What are you doing working on now to ensure that you are ready for the peak sales season? Are there preparations and improvements that should have started earlier?
If you know others who might be interested in this topic, then please feel free to share it!