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Optimize Shipping and Fulfillment for Those Special Occasions

How to optimize shipping and fulfillment for those special occasions

Show special attention on special occasions.

As one of the first major shopping occasions of the year, Valentine’s Day presented a significant opportunity for eCommerce companies to attract online shoppers. This year, shoppers’ sales were expected to reach $23.9 billion leading up to the celebration of love, up from $21.8 billion in 2021. Given the bottlenecks in delivery due to disruption in supply chain, transportation, and delivery, retailers need to focus on optimizing these sales events as they represent significant opportunities to exceed expectations when the network is not operating at peak capacity.


Key take-aways we saw from Valentines 2022 were:

● Focusing on Fulfillment and order orchestration with gifts is key
● Leveraging your fulfillment assets optimally adds real value for last minute gifting
● Preparation for these ‘mini’ peaks with thought leaders allows you to see friction coming before it happens, and prepare

On the horizon for 2022, there are several more holidays where shoppers will have an increased desire to splurge on their loved ones – Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and long weekend getaways throughout the summer.

Most importantly, the items shoppers desire need to arrive on or before specific times and dates, at a disparate set of locations, and accuracy in supply chain management will be critical.

Prioritizing fulfillment

With customers very invested in the delivery of their items, retailers’ systems need to work seamlessly to deliver the right product to the correct address and in the right quantity. Big occasions such as these can come with complications: the more sub-brands you operate, the more product ranges you provide, and the more locations you cover, the more that shopping period can push your systems and operations to the limit.

Additionally, having the right Order Management System (OMS) is at the core of peak operations. This is a critical tool in creating a frictionless experience for shoppers, and providing supply chain control for the retailer. It allows for visibility before placing an order, traceability of the order, scalability, efficient fulfillment and much more.

Optimizing your shipping

When it comes to delivery, it’s essential to take into account that your shoppers need to get their items promptly, with flexible options available for their varying lifestyles. Retailers must proactively address new trends in the market, such as buy online and pick up or return in store (BOPIS or BORIS), curbside pickup, and the increased preference for convenience of online shopping after the pandemic. The more options provided that fit the shopper’s needs, the more likely the shopper is to place their order with you.

In the customer experience of the check-out, make a real-time call to get the list of shipping carriers and methods that are optimized for one or the other above, or perhaps a blend. The set of shipping carriers or methods may change day-to-day based on their supply and demand, so you don’t want to be stuck with a static set of options that may be more expensive or not be able to deliver by the promised date.

Finding the right partner

Meeting the demands of peak periods is where the right supply chain partner comes in. It’s not just about selecting the suitable systems. It’s also about having the proper support when you need it. The right integration will make sure that eCommerce, supply chain, and even data are all working together to provide the best customer and delivery experience.

With the pandemic continuing to cause real-time supply chain disruption, Pivotree’s expertise and solutions in supply chain are playing a crucial role in guaranteeing retailers meet peak demands and deliver their products on time. Pivotree’s portfolio of managed and professional services provide retailers with true end-to-end service to manage complex digital commerce platforms: from strategic planning, platform selection, deployment and hosting, to data and supply chain management and ongoing support.

Let your shoppers experience frictionless commerce. By prioritizing fulfillment, check-out options and delivery solutions, you’re supporting the emotionally significant moments during the year, and you stand to create a new group of returning shoppers for future occasions.

James (Jim) Brochu is a career supply chain professional, and VP, Operations for the Pivotree Supply Chain Group, overseeing the consulting operations for the company. He has experience architecting and leading complex, high-impact enterprise supply chain IT and Business projects designed to give immediate value to clients. Jim has a strong pedigree of successful implementations for complex retail and B2B solutions. Prior to co-founding Bridge Solutions Group, Jim helped grow the Supply Chain consulting groups as Marketing Leader and Applications Architect for 2 other boutique Supply Chain IT firms. Jim graduated with a BS in Business Marketing from the University of Maine. Jim is also an avid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, having achieved his Brown Belt and competed in National Competitions.

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