How to Prepare Your eCommerce Store for the Holiday Rush pt. 2
More tips to prepare for the Black Friday-Cyber Monday craziness
We know what you are thinking “wait, didn’t Nice already send me an life-altering article about BFCM?”. Why yes, we indeed already write an article (HERE) with some key things you can do to prepare for the BFCM rush. But as the Boy Scouts say: “You can never do TOO much prep work for BFCM, you fools”. Besides, customers have never before shopped online as much as they are doing now, so this holiday season is gearing up to break all kinds of records for eCommerce.
With that in mind, and because we are more Nice than naughty, we have decided to share with you a few more tips on how to meet the challenge of the imminent (and potentially historic!) 2021 Holiday season:
1. Make your returns process smooth and memorable
There is no doubt that you will be dealing with a LOT of returns after BFCM. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the highest volumes of returns are during December, January, and February.
Your return policy should be very clear and, perhaps most importantly, easy to find. For example, you could put a banner on your online store that sends customers to your returns FAQ. Now, someone in your company might suggest that if you don’t display your returns policy prominently, this will somehow reduce returns, and they will be right…but that is only because customers will never buy anything in the first place. So continue taking eCommerce advice from Eddie Murphy at your own peril.
Genius or madman?
Customers see the returns process as one of the most important aspects of an online shopping experience, so trusts us (and not Eddie) on this one: make it easy for them to find, and understand, your returns process.
You may also want to consider having a special Holiday-specific return policy to help attract and convert customers. Adjusting your return policy and extending the return window until after the new year is a great way to incentivize sales.
If you want more tips on making a kickass return policy, check out THIS article.
2. Hire seasonal help
This is a very straightforward tip — hire seasonal staff. If you are expecting increased sales (or they have already started to increase), and you don’t think that your current staff is enough, then you should absolutely hire additional, part-time staff. Adjusting the size of your workforce to meet your specific needs is arguably the easiest way to make your life easier during BFCM.
Make sure that you have an efficient onboarding and training plan already in place, so your new staff can start performing as soon as possible.
3. Pick and pack like a boss
As you probably know, picking and packing is an art form. For instance, you could consider picking and packing many orders at once, but this will only save you time if the location of the items in those orders is arranged in a convenient way, with minimal or zero backtracking. It is also important to have a smart way of prioritizing orders. Here’s a few more ways to enhance your picking and packing:
- If some products tend to sell together, then keep them close to each other.
- Label your inventory with the product name, SKU, and variant details such as size and color.
- Keep products in separate shelves or bins to make them easier and quicker to find.
4. Consider utlizing a 3PL to keep up with fulfillment demands
A fulfillment partner can help make sure your holiday orders are shipped quickly and accurately.
If your fulfillment/office space is limited, and you are starting to get worried that you may not have enough room, then you should seriously consider partnering with a third party logistics (3PL) provider. A 3PL can take a lot of the fulfillment work off your plate, which in turn will take away a lot of pressure and stress.
If you want to learn more about 3PL’s and other types of logistics providers, check out THIS article.
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