Team meeting to learn more about OPAL from experts.


Are You Ready for the Summer Sales Season? It’s Here!

Are You Ready for the Summer Sales Season? It’s Here!

With Amazon Prime Day just passed and several other summer extravaganza sales just around the corner, ecommerce businesses are gearing up to make the most of this season. 

Prime Day started in 2015 a celebration of Amazon’s 20th anniversary, with the goal to offer a volume of deals greater than Black Friday and encourage consumers to spend money outside of the typical end of year holiday season. It has since ballooned into one of the largest sales globally and most markets now have their own branded version, like Wayfair’s Way Days in the spring. 

Typically, Amazon promotes its own products, but last year’s push to boost its marketplace sellers resulted in more than $3 billion spent on more than 100 million small and medium-sized business products across both days. Although Amazon has not released its total sales for both Prime Days this year, the event drove total ecommerce business for those two days to a record $12.7 billion in sales.

Back to school items like Chromebooks and other tablets, as well as apparel and dorm room items will continue to be featured in sales events. Consumers are watching their spend, but they are still comparing prices and hopping on necessities when there is a solid deal.

As we move through this summer sale extravaganza season, have you used the spring to streamline your operations and are you ready?

 

Inventory Management:

By integrating robust software, you can effortlessly track, analyze, and optimize your inventory. This is the quickest area for improvement and reduces so many opportunities for human error, such as misjudging a product that may or may not be selling and sinking cash into inventory or losing sales because you aren’t stocked properly or miscounting items on hand and being short when someone has placed a sale.

With automation, you gain valuable insight from real-time data and can streamline the entire inventory management process, ensuring you have the right products available to meet consumer demand.

 

Order Processing and Fulfillment:

Efficiency is paramount when it comes to order processing and fulfillment. Opal LLC’s automation solutions simplify these crucial aspects of ecommerce operations. Seamlessly connect your ecommerce platform with their order management software to automate order processing, reducing manual errors and accelerating fulfillment. Real-time order tracking ensures visibility into each stage of the fulfillment process, providing customers with timely updates and enhancing their experience. By automating order processing and fulfillment, you can handle the increased volume of orders efficiently during Prime Day.

 

Data Integration and Analytics:

Harnessing the power of data is essential for making informed business decisions. Your automation solution should seamlessly integrate with various data sources, enabling you to gather and analyze critical information. A data-driven approach empowers you to respond quickly to optimize pricing, inventory levels, and marketing strategies for maximum summer sales success.

 

Streamlined Workflow and Efficiency:

By focusing on your end-to-end flow, automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks can significantly reduce manual efforts and increase overall efficiency. 

From inventory management to order processing, automation frees up valuable time and resources, allowing you to focus on strategic business growth initiatives. By automating essential processes, you can operate more efficiently and effectively, maximizing your chances of success.

 

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

As you gear up for this summer season, it’s crucial to leverage automation to stay ahead of the competition and maximize your sales opportunities – and OPAL is here to partner with you on this journey.

To learn more about how your eCommerce business can thrive this year, click here!

Is the Shipping World Changing with the Potential UPS Strike Ahead?

Is the Shipping World Changing with the Potential UPS Strike Ahead?

It’s difficult to turn on the news and not have concerns about shipping lately.  As a consumer – am I going to be able to receive the items I order? And as an eCommerce business owner – will I be able to get those ordered items to the consumer for a cost that will not bankrupt either of us?

Covid has taught us that many rise to the occasion and when they do not, innovation prevails.  As shipping demands continue to rise, who will rise to this occasion?

 

USPS is Making Changes

In the wake of the UPS strike, USPS has decided now is the time to step up and stake its claim that it would like to become the backbone of the eCommerce industry.

The Postmaster General is looking to transform the aging agency as the demand for parcel service continues to increase. He estimates a 50% increase in deliveries since last year with more Americans than ever wanting everyday items delivered directly to their homes.

As many airlines are cutting flights due to decreased demand of consumer goods that are typically shipped as cargo, many other shipping providers will be forced to increase prices as costs to deliver to small towns further away from hubs continue to rise. This is where the USPS shines – they already deliver to every home and business, whether small town or large city. 

With a fleet of more than 300,000 vehicles, their infrastructure is built to reach every house and business across the US and are able to shift to meet this ever-increasing demand much quicker than many of the other larger carriers that rely on flights and hubs. 

 

UPS Employees are Hoping for Changes

As the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents employees of UPS, they are hoping the threat of a repeat of the strike in the late 1990s will provide some leverage.  

At the time, more than 185,000 workers walked and operations came to a standstill.  The 15-day strike overwhelmed USPS and FedEx and ultimately impacted businesses across the US for months. Their threat is that the current strike could do so much worse, since the demand for deliveries is so much more than it was 25 years ago.  

UPS workers are hoping the talk of strikes will encourage UPS to improve working conditions (such as AC in the delivery trucks), increase the number of full-time workers with benefits, and increase wages after years of no increases.

Thankfully there are several more alternatives for shipping today than there were in the late 90s and experts predict this strike may not be as devastating as the UPS strike of 1997, but it will still impact many. Most eCommerce businesses are used to supply chain issues after the last few years since Covid, however one of the largest carriers striking will still cause a ripple.

 

eCommerce Prepares for More Changes

This strike comes right at the beginning of the back-to school season and as many begin preparing for the peak holiday season in a few months. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s the importance of diversification and tightening the efficiency of processes to be ready for whatever may lie ahead.

Shipping processes are critical as you may need to switch carriers quickly, plan for delays, increased costs, and challenges getting packages to consumers to meet their expectations. There will most likely be inventory challenges with supply chain issues as we have seen over the past few years.

As packages are waiting to for a carrier to distribute them, that is product that you show as inventory but are not able to sell to consumers because it’s sitting on a truck waiting to get to your warehouse to then be shipped to a customer. Managing customer expectations through this will be critical, so as not to tarnish your brand or the retailer or marketplace where you partner and sell products.

As USPS and others begin to make the shift to evolve, unfortunately the cost will ultimately impact eCommerce businesses and be passed along to consumers. The Postmaster General does warn consumers that this upgrade to the agency will require price hikes over time, but should be relatively lower than the other shipping carriers due to how many restrictions they will have with freight on flights and increased transportation costs to smaller towns.

As the shipping industry continues to evolve, we will have to wait and see how it impacts demand for the eCommerce industry as a whole.

 

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is your innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

As you are assessing your shipping and inventory processes to prepare for the supply chain issues ahead — OPAL is here to partner with you and automate and simplify your processes for success.

To learn more about how your eCommerce business can thrive, click here!