Here’s the scoop: during the holiday shopping rush, you’re facing a crisis in distribution depending on the location of your distribution hubs, the location of your retailers, and your ability to harness all in a way that gets product to your customers. Through incentives—like sales, discounts, rewards—you can dominate distribution. Here’s how:
The good thing about ecommerce sales is that you can reach customers all across the country. That allows fewer condensed orders and puts less pressure on your retail stores. If you have good-working distribution—or a good 3PL—then you can use the internet for discounts and special sales. This directs sales away from your retail, brick-and-mortar stress and gives that responsibility to distribution hubs. The best tactic is to invest in building and creating more DC’s to spread out your ability to meet ecommerce orders.
If you aren’t able to meet cross-country, ecommerce distribution, your new goal is to invest in stocking your retailers with the product they need: and you have to incentivize that product with sales. Get your customer into the door—where they can interact with your employees—by giving them cheaper prices at brick-and-mortar stores. That way, you can keep your customers happy while playing to your own strengths. Keep in mind that you need to communicate these incentives on your website and through email campaigns. Give the customers the incentive and you’ll generate results.
Bottom line: Know Where Your Sales Are
Focus all of this effort by keeping recorded information about where, geographically, the majority of your sales are coming from. When you do this, you can be more aware of where to place new retail stores and where to place distribution hubs. You incentivize based on where you have your strongest cards. If your retail stores have a higher sales rate than ecommerce, focus on building new retailers. If your ecommerce sales are up, focus on your distribution or think about contacting a bigger 3PL to provide for your needs. Meet the customers where they’re at—where they want to buy. Know where your strengths are.