With the holidays on the way, one of the busiest fulfillment times of the year is upon us. If you haven’t started planning for the heavy increase in sales, and the heavy burden that will be placed on your fulfillment process, there’s no time like the present. This year’s holiday season, like most of those before it, is predicted to be the largest ever in terms of sales.
The ongoing growth in retail is set to drive those sales
As we noted in our Q3 logistics report, economic growth is strong, and consumer confidence has reached an 18-year high. When combined with the increases in sales that come with the holiday season, these next few months will be a real test as businesses will be tasked with fulfilling more orders than ever.
Along with the sales increases, one other factor makes fulfillment services all the more important: ecommerce. Americans are spending more money online – 2017’s online sales rose to an all-time high of $108.2 billion. Visits to website are becoming the new norm for shoppers, and brick-and-mortar locations are seeing less foot traffic during the holiday season than ever before. Now that consumers are turning to ecommerce as their way to purchase goods, their expectations of businesses have changed. While the old expectations were of clean stores and shelves filled with products, consumer now want a few new things from businesses:
- Fast fulfillment of orders
- Affordable shipping prices
- Damage-free delivery
It’s a regular Iron Triangle for shippers to compete with. The old adage of “fast, good and cheap; pick two” has long been known to businesses, this is not an option for shippers. Consumers want their products delivered to them for a low price (sometimes as low as nothing), they want it shipped quickly, and they want it shipped with quality packaging that prevents damage.
And the shippers are bearing all the costs.
“The Millennial Effect”
These expectations are ever increasing among millennials, who now comprise a significant percentage of shoppers. According to recent survey done conducted by Radial, affordability and speed were the top two largest factors impacting customer satisfaction of ecommerce orders.
The survey also showed that Millennials are the most critical of fulfillment services. Over 33.5% of millennials reported frustration in the timing of their orders, and 20.6% noted that the costs of shipping were not worth the convenience. Why are millennials so dissatisfied with the order fulfillment and shipping of the businesses they frequent? It’s simply because they have grown up in a world where online shopping is an expectation, rather than the luxury older generations often view it as.
Get your fulfillment process in gear
How can shippers improve the speed and price of their shipping? Fulfillment optimization all begins with inventory and warehousing optimization. Everything from the placement of items to the grouping of SKUs can help speed up your fulfillment process. The cost of shipping, on the other hand, depends on many factors:
- Finding the right carriers at the right rates
- The cost of labor for your workers
- The packaging materials you use
Need some help?
Between warehousing, picking and packing, kitting and assembly, carrier selection, return logistics, etc. there’s a lot for shippers to take on, especially during the holiday season when shipments are moving at top speed. At King, we’re here to make the process easy for you. We can handle everything from warehousing to inventory management, ecommerce integration, and website shopping cart development, all on top of our pick, pack and ship services.
We are here to help free up your resources so that you can focus on your business, test new markets and handle everything else that’s already on your plate. We offer a wide variety of services that are completely customizable for your business. We even offer a diverse range of eco-friendly packaging options (something that 36.8% of consumers say is an important factor in who they choose to purchase from).
Bottom line: we’re here to help optimize your fulfillment process, so you can meet the high expectations of the modern consumer. Contact King Solutions today to start planning your holiday shipping.