How Retailers and Fulfillment Providers Work Together to Deliver Perfect Holiday Gifts
Christmas is coming and retailers are racing to lay the groundwork for what they hope will be a record-breaking holiday shopping season. In today's omnichannel marketplace, shipping and fulfillment have become key factors in brands’ ability to deliver truly extraordinary holiday shopping experiences.
In many cases, consumers establish their first contact with a retailer during the holiday shopping season. Since brands only get one shot at making a first impression, it's important for retailers and fulfillment providers to work together to impress first-time customers and to meet the expectations existing customers have about the brand.
Delivering Perfect Holiday Gifts
At Dotcom Distribution, we know firsthand that the holiday season presents unique challenges that don't exist at other times of the year. High order volumes, additional packaging requirements (e.g., gift wrapping) and other factors introduce new variables into the shipping and logistics equation, forcing retailers and fulfillment providers to work together to deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences. Here are four tips to help you accomplish that goal:
1. Establish a baseline. Going into the holiday season, it's critical for retailers and fulfillment providers to be on the same page regarding holiday expectations. By clarifying key dimensions of the customer experience and communicating your expectations to personnel on the warehouse floor, you can establish a standard that informs all of your associates of the need to ship quickly during the holidays.
2. Forecast demand. No forecast is perfect, but a lack of adequate forecasting (preferably daily forecasting) can spell disaster for your brand. Long before the holiday season kicks off, analyze historical and industry data to understand demand spikes and the impact special promotion dates could have on your operation. Doing so will enable you to have the human assets and physical infrastructure in place to meet demand and minimize the potential for errors.
Maria Haggerty is CEO and one of the original founders of Dotcom Distribution, a premier provider of B2C and B2B fulfillment and distribution services. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business with a concentration in Accounting. Maria plays an integral role in developing and defining all aspects of the business, including sales and marketing, operations, finance and IT. As CEO, she is responsible for providing strategic leadership, establishing long range goals, and developing strategies for the senior leadership team. Maria has developed the systemic and procedural infrastructure necessary to provide timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial reports and financial trends in order to assist the Board, senior executives and clients in performing their responsibilities while achieving favorable results. She works closely with the leadership team to enhance, develop, and enforce procedures that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the corporation. During her tenure at the Dotcom, Maria has developed an environment of continual improvement by supporting the Senior Leadership Team and their department managers on continuous process, space labor, automation, and financial best practices. Prior to founding Dotcom, Maria was a CPA at Arthur Andersen and was later the CFO of GoodTimes Home Video where she helped grow the company’s distribution business. When Maria is not in the office, she enjoys traveling around the world and practicing her photography skills.