The power of automation: Before and after
We hear a lot about the benefits that automation can...
It’s the beginning of a brand-new year, with Christmas 2021 feeling like a distant memory. But for many businesses, what will not be as easily forgotten is how they performed over the prime winter sales season.
In anticipation of the expected and unexpected sales peaks throughout 2022, businesses must ensure they have prepared to be the most efficient and productive as possible.
With thorough and accurate planning, your business can maximise capital and customer experience when demand is high while keeping costs low and ensuring ROI.
There is so much to consider when your business is preparing for sales peaks. Failure to cover every aspect will lead to overselling, late deliveries and errors – to name a few.
Ensuring you have accurately forecasted for what will be in demand during your promotional seasons is crucial when planning for peaks. As a business, you need to plan your internal operations as well as order from your suppliers in enough time.
However, it is not just about ensuring you are in stock. Accurate forecasting and effective stock management will also protect you from The Bullwhip Effect – over-ordering stock that will no longer be in demand when it is ready for purchase.
Whether you operate your sales channels online, in-store or through a third-party integration, you must ensure your platforms and discounts are easily accessible.
82% of consumers expect a seamless, connected online and offline shopping experience.
Modern consumers want the most effortless retail experience when purchasing online or in-store. This experience must include easy navigation and quick transactions wherever your customers are purchasing from.
Make sure you’re providing the information they need to know when buying due to a promotion. What’s on sale, how long is it on sale and how much money am I saving?
If this isn’t obvious, then your sales will suffer.
A mass influx of orders will put pressure on your warehouse staff and operations. This is why in peak seasons businesses hire additional staff to support the increase in workload to ensure order fulfilment.
With labour and storage shortages massively impacting the warehousing and logistics industries, businesses must automate their processes to protect their supply chain and create more space in their warehouses.
In addition, with the increased volume of warehouse operations, you are at a greater risk of human error and with the current expectation for same day or next day delivery, there is little room for this.
During sales promotions, consumers are often encouraged to bulk buy to ensure their items are discounted and delivered by a certain time. This inevitably incurs a greater volume of returned goods.
On average, 30% of all goods purchased are returned and consumers have come to expect to return their items just as easily as they’ve purchased them. Your returns process is now an essential part of customer retention because if your customers struggle with their return or refund, they’ll purchase elsewhere next time.
Running a sales promotion is a huge and intricate operation, but it doesn’t need to be as complicated as you may have experienced.
An end-to-end, fully integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning) or WMS (warehouse management system) solution will manage all of the above processes from one place. Through accurate data integration, the need for manual rekeying and data inputting is removed, reducing labour and human error.
An ERP or WMS solution will make preparing, managing and analysing your promotions seamless. By providing you access to unrivalled business intelligence through real-time data, accessible from anywhere, you make the most profitable and time-saving decisions.
For more information on how to make the best investments to improve your processes, boost sales and drive growth during your peak sales periods, read our guide.
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