It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for some. As we roll into Thanksgiving, retailers, shippers and consumers are eyeing a different holiday – Black Friday, and it’s newer counterpart, Cyber Monday.
The folk-lore behind the name “Black Friday” is that in the late 1890’s, after a terrible year for retailers in which they were “in the red,” the companies would turn a profit during the Friday after thanksgiving… ie, they would go from “in the red” to “in the black.” Hence, “Black Friday.”
There are some tried and true strategies employed by shippers to handle the onslaught of Black Friday sales:
- Cross-Training Various Teams
With all the variability in demand, even with in-depth planning, requires businesses to train their teams to be able to handle tasks that might be beyond the scope of their defined roles. That’s why all team members need to be able to jump in when necessary, wherever they are needed.
While Omni-channel seems to be the phrase de-jour, it’s meaning is actually quite important when it comes to shipping. For shipping, omni-channel allows the opportunity to leverage nearby shipping options and source products from the nearest location, such as a brick-and-mortar store to get the item to the customer as soon as possible.
- Mobile Enabled
We live in a mobile world – as such, it’s imperative that employees at warehouses are given the mobile tools needed to manage inventory and shipping. This kind of technology grants access to information which enables them identify potential issues before they become actual issues, and meet them head-on.
As with years past, there will be much Monday Morning Quarterbacking once this holiday season is done as to what companies did right and what they did wrong. Will shipping partners be able to handle the influx of purchases, the increasing expectation of fast delivery, and the greater ability of consumers to voice their dissatisfaction with their overall experience? We will likely know the answer to these questions over the next month.