5 strategies for managing increased delivery demand during peak season
Last year, global parcel shipping volume was recorded at over 161 billion. But the number of deliveries in transit would not have been consistent throughout the year. Peaks and troughs in demand are to be expected and your shipping software needs to be able to handle these fluctuations.
Let’s take a closer look at last year’s Black Friday sales as a case in point. Data from International Card Services showed that transaction numbers in the Netherlands were up 12% and spending up 30% for Black Friday week. Across Europe as a whole, parcel volume grew by 70% during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday event in 2021. Other events during peak shopping season, such as Christmas, cause similar spikes in demand.
However, the increased package volume seen during peak season won’t result in higher long-term revenue figures if retailers and ecommerce outlets can’t guarantee a positive customer experience. Businesses need to manage increased delivery demand with the right shipping solutions.
Below, we’ve outlined five strategies to keep in mind when preparing for increased delivery demand so you can meet customer expectations no matter how many parcels you’re managing.
1. Adopt the latest technologies
The need for supply chain stakeholders to be prepared for fluctuations in delivery demand has never been more obvious. The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recovery that followed saw delivery numbers fall and rebound dramatically. The companies that were best able to manage these shifts in demand were those that integrated technology into the delivery process – whether this concerned delivery in ecommerce or from a brick-and-mortar store.
According to a survey by Ernst & Young, 64% of supply chain executives believe digital transformation will accelerate due to the pandemic. In the delivery space, this means increased adoption of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, and advanced analytics. The next major disruption to delivery – whether it leads to crushing lows or soaring peaks in demand – should be preempted by retailers as much as possible. A technology-first mindset will help.
“Businesses need to manage increased delivery demand with the right shipping solutions”.
2. Invest in automation
Peak season can really stretch resources to the limit for retailers and logistics firms, which is why automation is increasingly seen as essential. Automation has the potential to lessen the burden on your delivery personnel significantly – something that is all the more important given the recent labor shortages the industry has experienced. In fact, a survey from August 2022, found 57% of senior-level supply chain decision-makers agreeing that labor shortages had hindered their ability to meet demand.
Automation can boost worker productivity, delivery efficiency, and customer satisfaction. In light of this, it’s little surprise that the global postal and parcel automation market is projected to grow from $2.26 billion in 2021 to $9.6 billion by 2028.
3. Implement a seamless checkout experience
Before retailers have to manage the challenges around heightened delivery demand during peak season, they need to ensure the checkout experience is a positive one. This means ensuring that the customer has access to flexible delivery options, personalized interactions, and secure payment processing.
Given the average cart abandonment rate for ecommerce stands at around 70%, retailers can’t afford the slightest amount of customer friction at the checkout stage. Black Friday’s online sales last year, which reached $65.3 billion, highlight that any failure to optimize your checkout will result in a lot of lost earnings.
4. Manage multiple carrier contracts
Multi-carrier shipping can be essential during times of peak demand, but it undoubtedly creates challenges. One of these is the fact that retailers have to integrate and maintain multiple carrier contracts. This can create system fragmentation and add complexity, which makes it easier for delays and disruption to occur.
However, certain shipping solutions, including Paazl and its single API integration, configure all the relevant carrier contract information so you (and your customers) can enjoy all the benefits of multi-carrier shipping – without the headaches.
5. Don’t neglect sustainability
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important factor within the ecommerce space. Research indicates that almost eight in 10 shoppers would consider a more sustainable delivery option for their online orders.
The desire for green delivery options is year-round, of course, but is particularly notable at times of peak demand, with this year’s Black Friday expected to produce 429,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from product deliveries alone. During peak season, your customers will appreciate if you champion your sustainability credentials.
Peak delivery management during times of peak delivery demand
Times of peak delivery demand may create challenges for retailers, but don’t forget there are shipping solutions that can mitigate them. Paazl can contribute to a smoother peak season by allowing you to integrate multiple carrier contracts, implement a seamless checkout experience, and facilitate an all-around smoother delivery process.
Don’t miss out on sales this season. Meet your customer delivery demand head-on.