E-commerce Packaging; Surviving Trade Peaks
Statistics suggest that the period between Black Friday and Christmas accounts for around 30% of annual sales. Get it right and it is possible for retailers to transform their balance sheet.
We are all aware of the impact that online shopping has had on the High Street, but this time of year draws people out. It’s a great opportunity for retailers to promote their brand and build their customer base, both in-store and online.
Why isn’t Black Friday a Success for Every Retail Business?
Initially, promotional events may seem like a dream come true. Sales figures boosted and people keen to buy. So, why are Black Friday and Christmas promotions not successful for every retail business?
For many independent retailers, there is a pressure not to miss out on an opportunity. Having said this, it can be very difficult to compete with the heavy discounts being offered by large retailers. The UK has Amazon to thank for introducing Black Friday and Cyber Monday to our shores. Data shows that they have been the company to benefit the most from the annual spending frenzy. For many smaller retailers, there is a flip side.
How do Online Retailers Manage Stock and E-commerce Packaging at Peak Times?
Stock management is a challenge that relies on sales data and forecasting. A less predictable, short term peak in sales is difficult to prepare for. You don’t want to run out of popular items and face shortages. Equally, it is important not to be left with excess stock after the festive season ends. Both will have an impact on profits.
For online retailers, the shelves are already piled high with products, but there also needs to be sufficient space for e-commerce packaging materials. Cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes, ready to be filled and dispatched as each order comes in. There is no point in having the right stock if there is no means of getting it quickly dispatched to customers.
Aylesbury Box Company offers support for customers who require e-commerce packaging and stock management. Throughout the year, we assist our customers by manufacturing and storing their bespoke boxes in our warehouse. This means prompt responses to requests for replenishments.
To help our customers maintain deliveries through peak sales, our team have pulled out all the stops to get packaging orders out. Is this the level of service that would help your business survive trade peaks?
Maintaining Brand Reputation
Customers do not care if you have had to process a hundred times as many orders as last week. What they want is their order, delivered to their door, as soon as possible.
If they opted for same-day or next-day delivery, they will expect that is what they will get. They do not want delays because you ran out of stock or packaging. They are not interested that the spending frenzy has impacted on the service usually offered by your courier company.
Any retailer who failed to meet expectations can suffer from long term damage to their reputation through one day of trading. In order to maintain brand reputation, small retailers can be advised to focus on reducing a limited selection of stock, rather than across the board discounts. This will limit the sales opportunity but makes it easier to manage the process.
Return to Sender
Just as you are celebrating record sales, the returns start piling in. Shoppers realise that they have been excessive with their purchases. They see the effect on their bank balance and reality strikes. They want their money back. Are you equipped to be processing returns, whilst also preparing for the final countdown to Christmas?
Our Tips for Surviving Trade Peaks
• Put brand values first and ensure that any promotions will not compromise your reputation
• Limit the offers to ensure that you can fulfil all orders
• Pre-order e-commerce packaging to ensure that you have sufficient supplies
• Contact courier companies to plan for higher volumes of deliveries
• Thank employees for the extra work they put into preparing for, running and replenishing after peak sales
• Remember that a boost in sales doesn’t always equate to increased profits – work out if Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Post-Christmas sales are a success for your business before making decisions about next year.
If Aylesbury Box Company can answer your questions about printed boxes and other e-commerce packaging options, give us a call on 01296 436888.