Often referred to as the golden quarter, Q4 is a pivotal time for many eCommerce brands, and it’s no surprise when £8 billion worth of online retail sales were completed in Q4 2021. So as predictions warn of continued growth, it’s time for eCommerce retailers to consider if their operations can fulfil their Q4 demands.
So how do you know it's time to outsource your eCommerce fulfilment?
- You struggle to manage peaks in order volume
Are your operations team regularly faced with managing fluctuations in order volumes? Do you rely on being overstaffed to cover the busy periods, or do you experience overworked teams during busy periods? If so, you may find efficiencies in working with an outsourced eCommerce fulfilment partner.
- You rely on hiring seasonal staff during Q4
With 87% of companies already struggling to fill vacancies, the current labour shortages will continue as we head into the seasonal period. This means that eCommerce companies that rely on recruiting seasonal staff to support with processing an increase in order volume are likely to be at risk this year.
- You received customer complaints or even missed Christmas deliveries last year.
Customer shipping enquiries and complaints are a strong indicator that your eCommerce fulfilment process is not as optimised as it needs to be to handle your order volume. With increasing customer expectations for cheaper and faster shipping, brands that fail to fulfil this promise significantly impact customer retention.
- You experienced inventory tracking issues last year
Did you sell out or oversell stock last year? Do you sell your inventory across multiple channels but struggle to track what inventory you had and where? Not only does this risk letting down your customers, but it also risks your company’s profits. Last year, the total cost of overstock issues was $471 billion, while the cost of out-of-stocks was £634 billion. Therefore, if you’re selling across multiple platforms, it’s essential that you have an integrated warehouse management system with real-time visibility and synchronisation.
- You struggled to store your inventory As you approach peak season, you will likely increase your stored stock to fulfil the increase in your eCommerce orders. For many eCommerce brands, this presents one of two challenges: either you’re left with unutilised space nine months of the year or significant storage challenges during your busiest period of the year. Either way, this causes an unnecessary problem for operations teams.
How can an outsourced eCommerce Fulfillment partner help you?
If you have experienced any of the above, it could be time to consider outsourcing your eCommerce fulfilment and unlock new efficiencies in your operations. The solution may be to outsource your total eCommerce fulfilment or to partially outsource a percentage of your orders to relieve pressure on your in-house team.
One of the key benefits of working with an outsourced eCommerce fulfilment partner is that they provide a flexible approach to storage and fulfilment, meaning that they are perfectly placed to adjust to fluctuating order volumes without impacting customer SLAs.
What’s more, peak isn’t just about an increase in orders; there’s also an increase in returns, placing even more pressure on in-house operations teams. An eCommerce fulfilment partner is perfectly placed to help with processing returns promptly that ensures that your customers receive their refund as quickly as possible, allowing you to provide improved customer service.
Can we help?
If you feel your operations are at risk this year, there is still time to outsource your eCommerce fulfilment.
Here at Synergy, we have over 600 members of staff who have been expertly trained, working 7 days a week and providing next-day delivery order cut-offs as late as 10 pm.
Why not contact us today for a free consultation to see if we could be the right fit for your brand?