Fulfillment’s Role in Q4 eCommerce Success

The holiday season is upon us, and whether you’re a well-established company or a small retail startup, you know the fourth quarter can make or break the sales success of the entire year. With online holiday shopping continuing to experience double-digit growth and mobile sales increasing at an even higher rate, its time to take a serious look at how to improve the eCommerce experience. Consider the following from CMO.com:

  • 50% of holiday sales are influenced by digital interactions
  • 84% of shoppers use digital tools before making a purchase
  • Last year mobile commerce jumped 28%, outpacing desktop which grew by just 13%
  • Over 100 million US consumers make holiday purchases using a mobile device

The fulfillment industry plays a critical role in the success or failure of the holiday eCommerce season.

  • Online holiday sales account for up to 40% of total annual eCommerce sales
  • 70% of Americans consider shipping options to be an important factor in their shopping experience
  • Last holiday season 60% of all US deliveries by UPS were eCommerce packages, compared to 40% in 2012

Fulfillment companies are increasingly valued as strategic partners during the holiday eCommerce season. So what should online retailers look for when seeking a logistics partner?

Bullet-Proof Process – Having a solid order management strategy is necessary to ensure deliveries are accurate, on-time and give consumers a positive brand experience. Seasoned fulfillment companies offer clients a detailed plan for receipt of orders, pick/pack, shipping, customer service and returns. A robust technology platform should serve as the backbone of a successful fulfillment program, which helps automate processes and reduces risk.

Scalability – The holiday season can be filled with peaks and valleys when it comes to online orders. Partnering with a fulfillment company who has the ability to ramp up or scale down staffing can help reduce overall program costs while ensuring operational quality does not slip when orders spike.

Continuous Improvement – What separates good fulfillment companies from great ones is the ability to spot areas where processes can be enhanced for the betterment of the client.  Retailers are constantly seeking ways to improve their products for consumers…and they should expect fulfillment companies to be doing the same for the processing and delivery of their packages. Partnering with an experienced fulfillment company can save online retailers significant costs while continuing to satisfy consumers with fast, accurate deliveries and a holiday experience that keeps them shopping