Fulfillment & Third Party Logistics Blog

Holiday Fulfillment Preparation: 3 Tips for a Successful Supply Chain

Forrester Research forecasts that over $355 billion will be spent online this year, with significant upticks during the holiday season.  With such an increase in spending and a change in how consumers search and shop, optimizing your online fulfillment, warehousing, and transportation for the holiday season is essential.  It is these steps that cannot only make or break the busiest time of the year, but also go a long way in filling stockings, making parties merry, and helping Santa look like a genius. 

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What Can Cyber Monday Tell Us About the Future of Holiday Shopping?

For years the holiday shopping season unofficially kicked off on the day after Thanksgiving, a day that came to be known as “Black Friday.” Retailers have traditionally enticed customers into their stores on this day with massive sales and discounts. As “Black Friday” began to grow into the wee hours of Thursday, and the throngs of bargain hunters grew, another parallel to how consumers shop also exploded; e-commerce. Now, the calendar rolls from Black Friday into “Cyber Monday” (and as this year has shown, these online deals are extending past Monday through the entire first week of December).  But what does the growth of Cyber Monday and online shopping mean for the biggest spending season of the year?  Let’s look at a few statistics and trends.

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Third Party Logistics:  Preparing for Holiday Order Fulfillment

As the season turns to autumn and Thanksgiving is on the horizon, it could mean only one thing, the holiday shopping season is right around the corner.  With a projected 3.7% increase in holiday retail sales expected, the time to prepare for these influx of orders is running low.  With omni-channel fulfillment playing a larger role and e-commerce continuing to grow, preparing the logistics of your holiday warehousing, transportation and order fulfillment is now more important than ever.  A recent article from Logistics Viewpoints outlines how some major shippers are preparing for the quickly approaching holiday season.  Read about holiday season prep here.

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Holiday Fulfillment: Bringing Online and Offline Operations Together

As the holiday shopping season continues to get longer every year, consumers are now learning more, comparing more and shopping more and this poses a new host of challenges for retailers.  Last year retail sites saw a 51% increase in mobile visits between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Research also shows that 56% of all sales will at least be influenced by online activity.  Another obstacle that continues to grow each year is balancing the shipping demands of the shoppers with the increased competition and offerings from both, e-commerce retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar outlets.  With a busier spending season expected in 2015, a forecasted 3.7% increase this year (compared to the 10-year average of 2.5%), aligning your online offerings with your new in-store services is going to be crucial for a successful holiday season.

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Preparing Your Supply Chain for the 2015 Holiday Sales Season

Just as you would check the weather forecast before you go on vacation, it is just as important to prepare your supply chain for the quickly approaching holiday season.  For the former, you’ll want to have the appropriate clothing; for the latter, you need to be properly staffed and have your resources allocated in the most efficient and effective way possible. 

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October’s Economic Trends Point to a Busy Holiday Season

Past results do not predict future performance.  However, historical data often provides insights into future trends, especially when that historical data is recent and robust.  Hitting a bucket of 100 balls before a round of golf can tell you a lot about the next four hours; economic indicators do the same thing. 

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Holiday Supply Chain Scalability

Did you know that for most retailers, 40% of annual sales occur during November and December?  As a retailer, a three-fold increase in volume can create major stress on your supply chain.  Having a plan in place to handle the volume is crucial.  Here are 3 strategic tips to meet the holiday’s demands within your supply chain.

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Holiday Fulfillment and Shopping: 10 Interesting Facts

There’s a nip in the air, pumpkin flavored everything and the sun is setting a little sooner.  When these three things occur at once, it won’t be long until the turkey leftovers are gone and 12 reindeer trot across your roof.  It is time for the busiest shopping season of the year.  Whether you stock up in July, take notes of subtle hints throughout the year or ransack the pharmacy gift aisle on December 24th, this is the time where more people are shopping and more money is being spent than any other time of the year.  In fact, Forrester Research is predicting a record $89 billion will be spent online alone this holiday season.  If the web is going to be that busy, imagine what the malls will look like.  Here are 10 interesting facts and statistics about holiday shopping that can help you navigate from finding that perfect gift to placing it under the tree.

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Holiday E-Commerce Shopping Predictions

The jack-o-lanterns have been replaced by pilgrims, turkeys and cornucopias. That can only mean one thing; the holidays, like it or not, have arrived.  And while this season provides all sorts of holiday magic, it also requires fighting parking lots, long lines and scouring empty shelves; or at least it used to.  More people than ever before will be shopping from their laptops, tablets and phones this year.  In fact, according to Forrester Research, consumers are expected to spend $89 billion online this holiday season, a 13% increase over 2013.  For more on this potentially record breaking shopping season, check out this article from Mashable.

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Holiday Season Fulfillment: A Time to Hire, A Chance to Retain

With the holidays right around the corner, shops, stores, malls and boutiques are about to ramp up their hiring.  With long lines for your local mall Santa Claus, a premium on parking spots and a shopping list a mile long, these additional employees will have their work cut out for them.  The importance of a good training program cannot be overstated as each new hire plays an equal part in ensuring the continuity of your supply chain.  It is likely that every product you ship this year will have been handled by a new hire at some point.  Amazon recently announced it will be hiring 80,000 seasonal employees.  This time of the year provides a great opportunity for fulfillment centers to expand their talent pool.  To read more, click here.

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