Blog Posts Even Santa Could Use These Holiday Fulfillment Strategies

Key Takeaways

  • To ensure an effective 2022 peak season, start planning for order fulfillment now.
  • Establishing seasonal sales projections well in advance can help you get a handle on your holiday fulfillment needs.
  • Make sure your fulfillment solution can scale easily to accommodate spikes in volume.

Holiday shoppers spent $218.9 billion during November and December 2021 – or roughly $2.8 million per minute.

If last year’s record holiday sales volume left you feeling like you’d been trampled by reindeer, you may want to make some changes before you deck the halls for 2022. We’ve collected advice from a few of our top fulfillment experts to help your fulfillment operations gear up for the season ahead in our new Peak Season Survival Guide.

The best solutions can scale quickly and easily. Consider optimizing outbound SKUs by velocity or setting up work cells for peak season promotions, for example.”

Ben Coppolo, Director of Solutions Development, Saddle Creek Logistics Services

Following is an excerpt…

Peak Season Fulfillment: Gear Up for Holiday 2022

Plan Ahead

Consumers shopped early in 2021. Year-over-year spending was up 19%  in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving (Nov. 1 – 24), Adobe data shows. And according to a survey conducted by Pollfish, 28% of U.S. shoppers started even earlier. It is safe to assume that trend will continue this year.

To make sure you’re ready when your customers are, start strategic and tactical planning well in advance of the holiday season, advises Brian Mattingly, regional senior director of operations at Saddle Creek Logistics Services

Establish projections for peak season sales volume as early as possible. To ensure accurate forecasting, look at last year’s data trends and make use of surveys and market analysis. Getting a handle on projected order volume will allow you and your logistics partner to plan better for space and staffing, material handling equipment, packaging, shipping, and returns.

Coordinate with your marketing team on promotional activity and get a jumpstart on the holiday season, if possible.

“Running promotions earlier can help to spread out holiday volume and make it more manageable from both a labor and shipping standpoint,” he points out.

Design for Scalability

When designing a fulfillment solution, it’s important to keep your peak sales volume in mind. Your usual volume might be 10,000 orders a day, but what will you do when sales spike to 90,000?

“The best solutions can scale quickly and easily. Consider optimizing outbound SKUs by velocity or setting up work cells for peak season promotions, for example,” explains Ben Coppolo, director of solutions development at Saddle Creek. “Look for opportunities to create efficiencies and minimize touches for put-away, picking, and packaging.”

Of course, there will always be surprises. Make sure to put contingency plans in place for everything from major weather events to product placement in a viral TikTok.

For more helpful peak season survival tips, read the ebook.

Related to: Holiday Fulfillment, Managing Growth, Selling Online