Top 3 Bottlenecks in the Warehouse During the Holidays
The holiday shopping season is an annual sweet spot for both online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Unfortunately, the holidays aren't all fun and games, especially for online retailers that can't scale to the sudden influx of orders that this time of year brings.
Like it or not, the customer experience doesn't end when the buyer completes a transaction online; it extends to the delivery of the item to the customer's doorstep. That means customers will evaluate your brand based on its ability to pick, pack, ship and deliver products on time during the holidays.
Holiday Warehouse Challenges for Online Retailers
At Dotcom Distribution, it's our job to successfully guide e-retailers through the logistics and fulfillment requirements of the holiday shopping season. Over the years, we've seen three critical warehouse bottlenecks that can jeopardize your brand's ability to take advantage of holiday retail opportunities.
1. Gift packaging: Gift packaging is an important service for holiday gift buyers. Although gift boxing or wrapping can be a valuable option year-round, holiday shoppers expect the ability to purchase gifts online, have them packaged as beautiful "presents," often including being wrapped in their choice of holiday-themed wrapping paper and including personalized messages when they're shipped directly to recipients.
Normal gift packaging volumes are blown out of the water during the fourth quarter, particularly between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The bottleneck happens when the warehouse isn't able to keep up with the processes that are associated with various wrapping options.
Consider separating orders based on the type of gift packaging they require. For example, gift boxes may go to one set of pack stations, while gift-wrapped products go to others. By developing an optimized workflow, you're able to take advantage of process efficiencies and effectively manage a high volume of gift packaging and messaging requests.
Maria is CEO and co-founder of Dotcom Distribution, where she has played an integral role in developing and defining all aspects of the operation, including sales and marketing, operations, finance and IT. Her strategic leadership helps the Board and senior management to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans, and policies. 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. Maria holds a CPA. Prior to founding Dotcom, she began her career as an Auditor at Arthur Andersen and was the CFO of GoodTimes Home Video.