Before we could blink, summer ended, and the holiday season is now just around the corner. The COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted several facets of digital commerce, and many businesses will have to make certain adjustments as holiday spend continues to move online.
Here are some tips that will prepare your business for the digital holiday commerce season.
Having the Most Updated Infrastructure
Having the most updated platform and technology stack possible is extremely important to take on holiday traffic. Your business’s technology infrastructure will need to be scalable to measure the surge of holiday sales, such as Black Friday where orders and online traffic will peak. You will want to be sure that your business does not run into any issues or vulnerabilities due to outdated technology.
Move Retail Stores Online
Most consumers are staying at home, meaning fewer are heading into stores and more are shopping online. Instead of allowing this to become a negative experience, businesses can turn this into a positive challenge in a few different ways.
Omnichannel is the New In-Store
Organizations are moving from relying on physical retail stores to omnichannel options such as buy-online, pick-up-in-store (BOPIS), ship-from-store, or curbside pick-up to fulfill consumer orders. If your retail store or business does not offer this feature, then investing in omnichannel features on your commerce website will be essential in fulfilling through alternate channels before the holiday season truly sets in.
Honing in On Order Management and Supply Chain
Invest in your order management and supply chain systems. Even though retail stores are quickly transitioning from in-person to online shopping, we are seeing an increase in responsibility placed on in-store associates for the upcoming holiday season, especially with supply chain management.
The more consumers opt for omnichannel delivery such as BOPIS or ship-from-store, the more employees will have to manage where products are coming and going. Employees will still have to work in-store in tandem with the omnichannel pick-up options. With the holiday surge, employees will need to rely on their supply chain and order management systems to make sure the product inventory reflected on the website is accurate, as well as which inventory is available in stores, warehouses, and so on.
With the majority of consumers moving to online shopping, your business will find that a large number of this traffic will come from mobile. Businesses will want to ensure that their mobile website or application is mobile-friendly, responsive, and can offer the same assistance to consumers through omnichannel pick-up options.
Implementing Tools to Keep Users Updated
While order management systems are key for managing inventory and orders, there are additional ways to take it a step further for greater order accuracy, such as capacity planning modules.
Capacity planning modules help your organization plan around when you can distribute orders to consumers based on employee availability and the number of orders that come in at a specific time. The module will measure out these factors and determine when a timeslot is available for consumers to pick up orders. An email notification is sent to the customer confirming their order is ready for pick-up to help you distribute orders effectively and assure customers when they will receive their order.
The Bottom Line for This Holiday Season
Don’t wait to check these items off your list and start preparing for the most hectic holiday season as soon as you get the chance. For more tips and information on how to prepare your business for the online holiday shopping season, please contact our commerce experts today.