Black Friday, Christmas, sales: how to reduce pressure in the warehouse?

Published on 3 December 2021

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Black Friday, Christmas and winter sales: the end of November is a busy time for the retail industry, with an increasing number of sales highlights. To cope with this large flow of orders, retailers must not only be well prepared in advance, but also manage warehouse operations in the most efficient way possible. To achieve this, a powerful management tool such as Generix's WMS will prove to be an undeniable asset.  

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The boom in internet orders at the end of the year

In 2020, the shutdowns of physical stores, the lockdowns and social distancing measures linked to the pandemic have strongly accelerated the sales of products on the web, which have jumped by 32% according to the FEVAD1. This momentum is clearly sustainable, as in the Christmas season of 2020, despite the reopening of physical stores, e-commerce accounted for 13.4% of retail sales, compared to 9.8% in 20192. It is a safe bet that these new shopping channels, adopted today by a majority of consumers, will again be in demand at the end of the year, starting at the end of November: the week of Black Friday is still going strong, generating online sales peaks of around 20% for the past 3 years in a row.3    

Facing the logistical challenges of high demand periods

While customers are ordering a lot at the end of the year, they are not lowering their expectations, they are still demanding an irreproachable experience. They are probably even more demanding. Indeed, as Christmas approaches, the delivery time - already a key component of expectations - takes a central place: a Christmas gift must imperatively be under the tree on D-day, no delay is acceptable. 
 

It is then essential for retailers to anticipate order peaks by building up large stocks of the most promising products. It is also important to plan with suppliers for exceptional replenishment arrangements in case of excess demand, to avoid missing out on sales opportunities.
 
Another imperative: make sure you have everything you need to pack and send your goods, cardboard boxes and envelopes, tape and labels, peanuts and wrapping paper...  
 
In addition, retailers will have to be concerned about the ability of their delivery service providers to take charge of their packages and deliver them on time. In order to meet customers' demand for "à la carte" delivery, retailers will have to be able to offer various delivery methods: at home, but also click & collect, delivery in a relay point, in a store...

Lastly, in this very busy period, customer service plays a major role. Communication must be as clear and transparent as possible. This means anticipating "classic" customer questions - which can be answered via a detailed FAQ or a chatbot - and offering efficient order tracking. And if ever a problem arises, informing customers immediately of any delays in the order is a must.
 

Manage your warehouse with peace of mind thanks to Generix WMS

Generix's WMS solution is perfectly equipped to meet the needs of companies faced with such an inflow of multiple orders.

Generix WMS makes it possible to size and allocate resources appropriately during these periods, offering greater reactivity, agility and visibility on logistics operations.
 
Orders no longer have to be completed in a single wave: thanks to the WMS, cut-offs with accelerated frequency are now possible. The WMS also enables a wide variety of picking methods to be combined, from the traditional pallet to the single order.
 
In addition, to gain flexibility, companies can, via the WMS, position a reference in several different locations, which multiplies the options of preparation circuits.

Generix WMS is able to take advantage of new technologies that are transforming the face of warehouses: mechanization and robotization, voice or visual assistance, new graphic and tactile interfaces, radio frequency, AI.... 

And that's not all: by offering fine traceability and visibility on current operations in real time, and by truly connecting the warehouse to the supply chain, Generix WMS provides a global vision and a permanent and efficient quality control

At any time, it is possible to ensure that an order is accurate and complete. And therefore, at the end of the day, accurately inform the customer of the status of his order.
 
Generix WMS optimizes omnichannel logistics management on all essential dimensions - preparation, storage, traceability... 
 

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et 2 Bilan du e-commerce en 2020, fevad.com, 2021. (in French)

3 Black friday sur internet : ventes en hausse de 20%, fevad.com, 2020 (in French)