Getting Ready for Peak Retail Season

September marks the end of summer, and also the start in earnest of the run up to the Christmas period. For many retailers, December is the peak retail season of the year and it’s essential that you are properly prepared to navigate this busy period.

Christmas Online Retail

A few thoughts on the December period, which includes Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year, are listed below.

General Points
– Making sure that orders can be fulfilled. Your Order and Inventory Management System should control all of your sales channels, taking items out of stock on one as they are sold on others. In short, make sure you don’t over-sell!
– Making sure you don’t over-order any stock. If relevant, you should analyse your sales from previous years and only order in what you think you can sell. Have a clear strategy for stock sales and clearance to run down any excess stock.
– Making sure that customers get their orders in time! This goes without saying at any time of year, but even more so at Christmas.
– Have a clear returns policy.
– Have a clear cut-off time for last ordering dates, both before Christmas and in the run-up to new year.
– Having a reliable courier service. Consider having a ‘tracked only’ policy in the last few days before the Christmas cut-off.

Customer services
-Be clear on customer service opening times and the days on which you’ll be dispatching goods.
-Respond to customers queries in the run up to Christmas. Prioritize customers who have actually ordered and those who are enquiring about high value items.

System Availability
-Make sure that your systems will be able to cope. We’d recommend some stress testing well before December.
-If your hosting has been unreliable in the recent past, consider upgrading to one with 100% up-time or a server cluster.

If you’d like to know more, please contact us for more information.

Date: 1st September 2017