It goes without saying that the holiday season can be a very stressful time for eCommerce and direct-to-consumer brands (DTC). Marketing teams work tirelessly to make sure their brands reach growth goals for the year while the fulfillment team works day and night to ensure all orders are delivered successfully.
This year, the stress level has been ramped up significantly. In April and May DTC brands saw significant growth, leading to a few hiccups, unforeseen shipping costs, and delayed orders. And, keeping with the theme of managing business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, brands are preparing for a number of worst-case scenarios.
Between the first and second quarters of this year, U.S. eCommerce sales grew by 31.8% which strained the ability of carriers like FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL to deliver packages on-time. With the anticipated increase of eCommerce orders this holiday season, many carriers are now adding surge charges to ship orders.
These unforeseen costs will add up. Brands must have transparent communication with their 3PLs to discuss shipping and carrier options this holiday season.
Disgruntled Customers Over Delayed Shipping
Brands are accustomed to a handful of angry customers gripping about products arriving two days after their Cyber-Monday purchase, but now eCommerce brands are bracing for packages to take even longer to get to customers during the busy holiday shopping season.
There’s no way around it. Even with the best fulfillment operations, brands must think outside of the box to ensure all orders are successfully delivered to customers. One strategy to do this is to implement an additional 3PL to support operations for the holiday season.
Adding another 3PL can alleviate strain on their primary distribution center, by dispersing products across other fulfillment warehouses in key geographies. This helps to shrink the supply chain and get products closer to shoppers.
If you’re looking for an additional 3PL this holiday season there’s still time! OceanX is onboarding portions of fulfillment operations within 21 days! Set up a call to learn more.
Employee Safety In Warehouses Amid COVID-19
There’s a concern that an increase in the number of coronavirus cases over the fall and winter could lead to some warehouses being temporarily shut down or having to reduce operations. And, depending on how bad the coronavirus outbreak is in other countries, factories could experience issues as well.
Having fulfillment contingency plans in place can help navigate potential disasters if a second wave hits fulfillment centers. This can mean incorporating an additional 3PL as stated in point #2, or ensuring your current 3PL is prepared for peak season during the pandemic. Two things you should talk to your 3PL about today include the following:
- What is the plan if a large portion of current fulfillment staff become sick?
- What are you doing in your fulfillment centers to ensure the health and safety of your employees?
Are you worried your fulfillment operations will fail to deliver during cyber-week?
If you have concerns with your current fulfillment operations, and cyber-week is a big week for your brand, you should give us a call. Our team and fulfillment technology can get you live and stable before the holiday season arrives.
Click on the links below to learn more about how OceanX can help scale fulfillment operations before Cyber-Week arrives: