Ever been to a bookstore during back-to-school periods, or flower shops during valentine’s day, and aren’t black Fridays just one big charade? The following article will give you tips on how to deal with seasonal demand sales without much hassle.
If you do not have a plan on how to handle orders, the pressure, and customers, you may end up with frustrated employees, disappointed customers, and a disorganized business! To avoid this, you need to have a strategy or plans in place to deal with peak periods.
How to prepare your orders before the peak season
Here is how to prepare yourself for peak seasons:
Prepare stock levels
Avoid stockouts during peak seasons. If customers lack what they want to buy from you, they are likely to look for it elsewhere. Every retailer has peak sales periods. It might be during the festive season e.g. Christmas, national holidays, etc. Knowing your peak sales period can give you enough time to stock up beforehand.
To avoid stocking up on the wrong items, look at your previous peak season sales and highlight the products that were bestselling. You should also investigate your industry’s market trends to know which items are in demand during various seasons.
TIP: After stocking up, avoid product damage caused by warehouse overload. You can choose to clear out old stock, reorganize your storage space or you can outsource warehouse services.
Plan/organize your staff
The lack of adequate personnel to handle demands will cause a delay in order processing. You also need to train your staff on how to efficiently deal with operations during peak seasons. You could cross-train and enable them to learn different sectors of the business. For example, during a peak season, the department that works most is the inventory management team. During this time, if a sales team member is adequately trained, they can help in processing customers’ orders.
Streamline your order fulfillment processes
You need to outline the process of how the orders will be received, processed, handled, packaged, and shipped. Your order fulfillment strategy for normal business should be different from your peak periods strategy. As on normal days, you have more time to prepare orders unlike on high-sales demand days.
Implementing a delivery management system
All customers care about is getting the products they have bought. How it gets to them, is up to you. Additionally, they don’t appreciate late deliveries! How do you keep them happy? By developing a delivery management system. Shipping during a busy schedule can be hectic but you need to put have an efficient delivery process strategy to ensure your keep your customers receive on-time deliveries.
What is an efficient delivery management strategy
- An automated delivery processing system
An automated delivery processing system will allow you to track orders, update customers on their product delivery stages, send receipts, and send automated ‘thank you for your order’ messages for you.
- Reliable courier services
You may have a fast order-processing strategy in place but getting the products efficiently to the customers may be an issue. How have you prepared your drivers for back-to-back orders? If you deal with high-volume orders, you can outsource delivery services. At ibuQa, businesses processing too many orders can get riders only dedicated to only their deliveries.
Implementing a Seasonal Inventory Management
Seasonal Inventory management is how you plan to process the high-volume orders. Some of the inventory control methods you can use during this period are:
- ABC analysis- This is one of the best methods during on-peak hours. It classifies products according to their consumption values. You can categorize the products into three categories A, B, AND C. For example, you can organize your items as:
- Most selling
- Moderately selling products
- least selling products
- First in First out – Just as the name suggests, this inventory control method means that the first items to get to the warehouse are the first items to leave. The method is best when dealing with perishable goods e.g. foods or flowers. If you have just stocked up, first clear out the initial stock available and progress to clear the newer stock.
- Last in First out– Th e. Companies using this method consider that product prices rise, thus the latest item to arrive at the warehouse is sold first.
How to handle orders during peak seasons
It’s the peak season and the orders are coming in like crazy. If you had a perfect plan/strategy beforehand, it would go a long way to ensure a seamless order fulfillment process during the peak season. During the peak period, ensure you implement the strategies you put in place and follow through. An important factor to also consider during this period is:
Updating your customer
Anything can go wrong during peak seasons even though you had a meticulously laid-out plan! Deliveries do delay and most customers understand this. The only mistake would be not keeping them informed. Have a system that alerts them on their product delivery stages e.g. when the products are out for delivery, and when they should expect the delivery.
What to do after the peak season
Revise and strategize
The black Friday, festivities, holidays, etc. are over, what worked and what weaknesses did you observe? Analyzing your performance will help you come up with better strategies for upcoming peak days.
Clearing the excess stocks
If the peak season ends before you clear out stock, you can offer discounts, flash sales or offers to keep the ball rolling.
In conclusion, to have smooth seasonal sales demand period, the key things are to stock up, get the resources, and have a fulfillment and delivery management strategy.
With black November and black Friday coming how prepared for high volume orders? Don’t worry, we can help! For efficient delivery services, you can call us at + 254 711 082 377.