Did Your Fulfillment Keep Pace with the Holiday Sales?
The numbers are in, and they are big: According to Internet Retailer, online sales racked up $5.1 billion during the 2012 holidays. Although that constitutes only 14.5 percent of overall holiday retail sales, it represents a bullish 45.5 percent of retail sales growth. A strong holiday season is always a welcome sign of good things to come in the world of e-commerce, but were you able to capitalize on the e-boom?
The holiday season is the centerpiece of retail. Companies can be made and broken by the precipitous ebb and flow of the holidays. If companies are not prepared to weather those sudden, often overwhelming peaks, of consumer activity, online retailers may find themselves in trouble. Websites may crash, and orders may be sent late, packaged improperly or even delivered to the wrong customer. This can result in angry customers and lost business.
So how did you fare? Did you keep pace with customer orders? Were they fulfilled expeditiously? How about returns? Were you able to process them efficiently and keep customers happy?
These questions may conjure up many sleepless night but the reality is that a higher percentage of inefficiencies and mishaps are the result of holiday unpreparedness. Often, organizations don’t notice underlying problems during the fair weather retail season. It takes the pressures and strain of overwhelming demand to lay bare fundamental problem with order fulfillment and other operational issues.
How did you handle the holiday season? Could you have done better? Let us know in the comments below.