Every year, the holidays tend to make things busy in retail stores and warehouses across the country. There’s an upswing in activity just from people buying and shopping for gifts, both in stores and online. Usually, warehouses and distribution centers are able to plan accordingly for these upswings, because they’re consistent every year.
However, that can change. Sometimes, retailers offer great incentives to their customers in order to provide even better deals, often on top of or in conjunction with events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. These other incentives can often cause a bottleneck in the fulfillment side of retail.
Holiday Sales Announcements
Usually, when a sale is announced during any time of year, the retailer sees an uptick in sales—that’s the point, after all. An email is sent to the listserv and people almost immediately begin ordering, and the fulfillment center sees those orders coming in, sometimes when they’re only staffed for a standard, slow day. That can cause a mad scramble to get more employees in to help handle the rush.
During the holidays, distribution centers are already bustling with employees filling the standard uptick of orders. When more orders start pouring in due to special sales and promotions, things can turn chaotic. While most distribution centers will already be staffed to handle holiday traffic, you may find that when these employees rush around in order to keep up with work, that orders may be filled incorrectly.
There’s really a relatively simple fix to this: let your distribution center know you’re planning a promotion. When you’re disconnected from the warehouse or distribution center, it’s easy to lose sight of the day-to-day operations, but a quick call ahead of time can make a huge difference. Many marketers will plan out large sales weeks or even months in advance. Even sharing that calendar with your distribution center can help ensure that there’s sufficient staff to handle sales. With even earlier notice, the distribution center can ensure that there’s sufficient stock of various items needed for the sale.
During the holidays, it’s easy to lose sight of the small things, but communication is every bit as important during those few weeks as it ever is.