These are the challenges retailers must cope with at Christmas time:
Orders are increasing: There is no time of year in which more products are sold than in the fall in preparation for Christmas. The larger order volume leads to more logistical expenditure: the warehouses are emptied, and the free capacities of the freight forwarders are steadily decreasing. This results in delivery delays and products being out of stock.
Susceptibility to errors rises: With growing order volumes and the simultaneous demand to deliver at the usual pace, stress-related errors may occur more frequently. For one thing, this can have a negative impact on logistics costs, and for another, it can lead to a decline in customer satisfaction if customers suffer from these errors.
More return orders: If more products are being ordered, correspondingly more products are being returned. This is most noticeable in January, when the gifts may not have gone down as well as expected with the presentees. Thus, the logistics effort not only increases in shipping, but also in the processing of returned goods.
Staff shortage in logistics: In most cases, the additional workload cannot be met by permanent employees alone. Auxiliaries are needed to provide temporary support in the Christmas business. Due to the global logistics crisis, the pressure on retailers is growing and the lack of personnel is also having an impact on them.
Competition is becoming more intense: Especially at Christmas time, retailers are busy vying for the attention of their target group. For all market participants, this ultimately translates into higher marketing costs. The same applies to personnel and shipping charges. That makes a successful Christmas business all the more necessary to compensate for rising costs. The pressure is growing on everyone involved.
The challenges of the Christmas business are well known and nothing new. This year, however, the situation is special because of the pandemic. In particular, the lack of personnel is hampering stable supply chains.
Logistics Preparation for Holidays: Focus on the Customers
Indeed, the Christmas business presents logistical challenges – fortunately, there are solutions for them. Those in logistics who act early and prepare themselves for Christmas can keep their supply chains stable, avoid cost increases due to spontaneous bailouts, and keep customer satisfaction high.