In this ever-evolving world of eCommerce, we find ourselves quickly approaching a unique retail landscape this holiday season. Economic challenges have transformed this era into what economists are calling the “Richcession,” a time where shoppers are discerning and price-sensitive– driving them to scour the internet for the best deals and exclusive offers.
Holiday shopping will undoubtedly cost more for consumers this year. The National Retail Federation reported an increase in shopping spend of 8% in 2022, however it was equal to the estimated inflation increase. And with the economy mirroring several challenges of last year, it is estimated that the increase in spending for this holiday season may also reflect the increase in inflation. However, most shoppers seem to be looking ahead to the holiday season and planning to travel and celebrate together, meaning an increase is likely in both food and travel.
There are quite a few shoppers that start as early as now to begin preparing for the holiday season. Surprisingly, many holiday shoppers across the world had on average 20% of their holiday shopping complete as of mid-October in 2022, according to a Google survey. Which means that the remaining gift purchasing season occurs over the remaining eight weeks across the holidays and requires businesses to be prepared and efficient.
A recent survey also showed that more than 36% of consumers spent additional time researching online before purchasing compared to prior years – and we expect this to only increase as we look ahead to this holiday season. With money tight and needing to stretch further than ever, shoppers will be looking for the best prices from marketplaces they trust to deliver accurate, timely deliveries.
This presents an exciting opportunity to enhance your fulfillment strategies so that you are ready to cater to last-minute shoppers through your in-stock inventory and lightning-fast shipping.
Real-Time Inventory Management:
To navigate the unpredictable seas of those who wait until November or December for a little late-season shopping, suppliers should invest in inventory management software. This provides real-time insights into stock levels, allowing businesses to identify trending products and restock them swiftly to avoid running out of inventory across multiple retailers and marketplaces.
This data-driven decision-making also empowers suppliers to better allocate resources and optimize inventory, effectively cutting carrying costs while ensuring they’re stocked up and ready to meet demand—all in real-time.
Even though shoppers are eager to get back to shopping in-person, many still choose to buy online to easily compare prices and the comfort of guaranteed inventory in-stock.
Efficiency Through Automation:
Streamlined order processing and fulfillment strategies through software automation is the backbone to success in an online world. This technology streamlines the entire order fulfillment process, reducing the risk of human errors and accelerating the picking, packing, and shipping of products and translates to speedy delivery times, even during peak holiday seasons. Most of the time – implementation is quick and able to help your team improve efficiencies immediately.
Strategic Partnerships and Diverse Shipping Solutions:
In this “Richcession” era, forging strategic alliances with reliable shipping carriers and offering an array of shipping options is paramount. By collaborating with carriers capable of providing expedited shipping services, eCommerce suppliers can ensure timely deliveries. Presenting customers with same-day or next-day shipping choices caters to the need for speed and convenience, but to capture on discounts and supplier rates you will be required to operate at standards set by the carriers. Having an automation software solution in place is critical to meet the data needs for success.
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 looking to improve your inventory management and fulfillment processes for this upcoming holiday season — 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!