Consumer behavior blurs the end-points of holiday shopping seasons. However, we can still expect sales spikes at this time of year. After all, spending increases reliably every Christmas season. So, while you’ll likely benefit from specific events like Black Friday and CyberMonday, how much so can be anyone’s guess. Still, online and retailer must be ready to handle seasonal spikes.
The Mechanism to Manage a Black Friday Spike
As you’d suspect, predictions vary widely about how businesses will do this Black Friday and CyberMonday. For example, 47% of US consumers plan to shop online this Black Friday, compared to 55% last year. At the same time, they intend to use up 52% of their shopping budget online between Black Friday and CyberMonday. Thus, under this scenario, a business might first see a spike in its brick-and-mortar channel on Friday. Then, it might see online orders skyrocket over the rest of the weekend. You can’t afford to lose customers in a sales spike due to stock-outs or fulfillment obstacles. Customers will go to the next website if they can’t find what they want almost immediately. And they might like what you have in your store, but they may want options for how to fulfill the order. Cin7 gives product-driven businesses the mechanism to prepare their inventory and to handle spikes in sales.
Integrate Your Channels
You probably sell through more than one channel. But it makes life harder if you manage stock levels, order processing and fulfillment for each one separately. And a sales spike on a Black Friday will only multiply your administrative tasks. Cin7 brings your POS, eCommerce, marketplace and online channels together. So, not only will you dramatically reduce your admin tasks. You’ll also have a realtime picture of your entire inventory, making it much easier to transfer stock and route orders to meet demand with agility.
Use Data to Help Plan Ahead
You know the story. Carrying too much stock will eat your profits while carrying too little will lose your sales and even customers. While ordering just the right amount can be tricky, it helps if you know which of your products sell best, who buys them, and how they make their purchases. Cin7 provides a library of historic and realtime reports to help you stock up on the right items in time for any Black Friday.
Automate Fulfillment to Handle the Volume
A spike in online sales creates problems if you have to continuously check for new orders to process. Cin7 gives you the power to manage a Black Friday sales spike by automating order processing and fulfillment for your eCommerce and marketplace channels.
Stock Up Closer to Customers
Fast and cost-effective delivery makes customers happy. Businesses can get their products closer to where their customers live in two ways. First, if they own a chain of stores, they can dispatch orders from the branch closest to the customer. Alternatively, they can dispatch from a 3PL in the vicinity. Cin7 lets users easily route orders for dispatch from any branch, and integrates with many 3PLs.
Offer Loyalty, Credits and Gift Vouchers
Prepare loyalty programs and gift vouchers in advance of Black Friday to encourage customers to buy from you. Cin7 allows you to apply such discounts at the POS. It can also synchronize gift vouchers to be applied in-store or online, in some cases.
Automate Your Replenishment
Anything can happen From Black Friday to Cyber Monday right up to Christmas Eve. Theoretically, a business can run out of a particular item unexpectedly. Cin7 gives you the ability to automatically generate purchase orders when your stock on hand reaches a certain level.
Become a Wholesaler
Finally, wholesaling can take some pressure off your overall sales targets. When you become a supplier to other retailers, your customers will buy your products as they stock up for events like Black Friday. Thus, they take on the cost of carrying inventory. Wholesaling won’t be for every business, but if you do become one, Cin7 integrates those channels as well. First, Cin7 includes a built-in B2B eCommerce module. Even better, it provides the EDI connections big retailers require, at a fraction of what traditional EDI providers charge.
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