Is your ecommerce fulfillment strategy ready for summer?
Although the holidays get most of the attention when it comes to ecommerce fulfillment, the summer months may prove to be a busy time as well. With Father's Day and various college graduations in June, it could be an opportunity to increase online wine sales. In many areas, summer is a major time for celebrations. However, this can't be accomplished unless wine shipping strategies are ready to handle the increased volume.
While the holidays may be the busiest time of year, summer sales often have a shorter lead time because consumers are buying gifts for fewer people, such as fathers and a few college graduates, according to Multichannel Merchant. Instead of spending a couple months thinking up the perfect gifts for friends and family members, shoppers may only give themselves a few weeks to make online purchases and have them shipped. This means you need to start planning for a higher shipping volume now before the summer is in full swing.
Fulfillment operations can determine how successful your business will be during the busiest times of year. Consumers expect to receive accurate orders as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible, a white paper from Kiva Systems stated. If someone is buying a summer gift and the item doesn't show up on time or the wrong product is sent, it's unlikely that you'll retain the customer. The white paper pointed out that having to manually process a return for an incorrect order can cut into profit margins.
How wineries can prepare for a busier summer season
One of the most important ways to prepare for an increase in online sales is to ensure your inventory is in the right place, Multichannel Merchant suggested. June may prove to be a busy month with the wide range of summer events, and some shoppers may leave their purchases off until the last minute. Integrated wine inventory software can help you accurately manage an increase in demand without slowing down order processing. Some of your offerings may be seasonal, and it's important that these products are in an easy-to-reach place in your warehouse to make packing simpler, according to Kiva.
In addition, it's essential to establish a clear deadline for on-time deliveries. Many retailers learned this lesson the hard way during the winter holidays in 2013 when many packages failed to reach their intended destinations on time. It may be a good idea to provide an estimated delivery date and time when customers select shipping options to avoid any confusion. Any deadline for two-day shipping or other special offer should be clearly communicated to shoppers, the article said.
Because of the short lead time, your inventory levels can be used to dictate some of your promotions and wine marketing around this time. Multichannel Merchant pointed out that retailers may need to consider a wider target audience when it comes to dads and grads. For example, you can encourage customers to buy wine online for grandfathers or husbands.
Customer experience is critical during periods of heightened sales volume. Offering high-quality customer service can help you convert first-time customers into loyal clients, which requires accuracy and a streamlined ordering process as well as competitive wine shipping options. Utilizing the services of a third-party logistics provider can help wineries be better prepared for unexpectedly busy times of year. WineDirect's fulfillment services allow you to be flexible and scalable without increasing operational costs to accommodate the higher order volume. Your winery can take advantage of the opportunity to increase direct-to-consumer sales with the right partner in place.