Whether you own a traditional delivery business, an online retail outlet or even a physical shop, it’s worth already thinking about how to make sure that you are meeting demand over the Thanksgiving period this year. With millions wanting to compensate for the time they spent away from their loved ones last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, industry experts are all agreeing that the demand for goods could be at the highest we’ve ever seen. This means that your business should be doing everything in its power to make sure that it has enough in store to meet this demand. If you are interested in learning more, then you have definitely found yourself in the right place. Read the complete overview that has been created for your reading pleasure below.
Order Everything You Need As Soon as Possible
While the latest reports say that the worst of the global supply chain crisis is over, it’ll still take a while for the bottlenecks at ports to properly abate. This means that if you are ordering materials from overseas — for example, from a factory in China — you should be expecting your deliveries to take up to four times as long. This means that if you want to have everything in time for Thanksgiving, the best time was a month ago, while the second best time is right now. Additionally, while a lean approach would tell you only to have enough in stock to compensate for how much you are expected to sell, this time it’s better to:
Stock More Than You Need
Thanksgiving shopping is going to be affected by two different, but interlinked coronavirus phenomena: both the resurgence of the economy and demand as well as people actually having more money in their pocket than they want to spend on presents during this time of the year. That’s why, if you are a business owner, it makes sense to stock far more of what you sell than you believe that you need. You will be surprised by how busy this time of year can be. Additionally, if you haven’t managed to sell it all before Thanksgiving, there is always Black Friday and even Christmas for you to sell your remaining stock.
Use Load Boards
The tricky part in meeting a difficult logistical schedule can be having your truckers all in the right place, ready to take deliveries and to make sure that your materials arrive in time. This is also true when it comes to taking ordered goods and making sure that they arrive in distribution centers in time to reach people before the holidays come around. One way that you can make sure that you do this is by using load boards, allowing you to assign jobs that truckers can then choose at will.
Clearly Communicate With Your Customers
Customers can be much more appreciative and understanding than perhaps the average retailer gives them credit for. This is especially true if you communicate that there is simply not enough of a particular product to go around. What you should be doing is allowing pre-orders well in advance of the holidays, so then you can have a clear idea of how much product you need, before also clearly communicating on your website if a product has run out. This way customers don’t get disappointed by ordering a product only to find that it simply does not arrive. Additionally, if you have run out of a particular product, you can offer vouchers for your products instead, thus allowing you to still make a sale even if you don’t have a product. Just make sure to look up the pros and cons of such a decision first.
Hire More Employees Than You Need
The holidays can be a particularly stressful time for businesses because so many employees are off work, whether they have to spend time with their families or they have caught the flu or are simply burned out from this period of the year. This is why you should definitely make sure that you have enough employees on your roster to cover any demand that you might have. This is especially true if you are experiencing more demand than you have expected. As a general rule it’s better to make sure that you have 25% more staff than usual to make sure that everything can go properly to plan. You can easily find these workers by posting online on job boards. Just be aware that currently, across the USA, employees are demanding higher wages, meaning that you might want to adjust your own salaries accordingly.
Make Sure Your Website Can Handle Extra Traffic
Before people start frantically looking online for presents to give their loved ones, it is absolutely imperative that you double-check and stress-test your website for dealing with additional demand. This is because the last event that you want to befall your website is that it actually crashes as a result of too many people visiting it at the same time. You can simulate this process well in advance so that you can see how you can make sure that your website is much stronger. Additionally, one of the biggest turn-offs for people visiting your website is going online only to find that the pages aren’t loading as quickly as they hoped. Do as much as you can to speed up loading times and you will find customers much happier as a result.
As the above guide has shown, while the holidays can be a stressful time, especially compounded by the global supply chain crisis exacerbated by coronavirus, they need not be for your business. It is deeply important to make sure that you plan in advance to make sure that you have all of your stock ready for the customer to purchase, and if this isn’t possible, to communicate clearly about where you are lacking. By having the right preparation in place, your holidays are likely to go a lot smoother than those who haven’t prepared in the right way.