Paul Doble, chief sales and marketing officer at DX, asks whether, as we approach a busy Cyber Monday, retailers are in danger of biting off more than they can chew?
“According to Visa, £360,000 is expected to be spent every minute on Black Friday (28th November) – with a further £281 million forecast to be spent on the busiest day for online shopping; Cyber Monday.
With such a huge volume of purchases needing to be delivered to consumers, retailers with an online presence are in danger of overwhelming the capacity of their distribution networks and run the risk of leaving unwelcome spaces under the nation’s Christmas trees. As such, throughout the busy Christmas trading season, retailers must try to forecast as accurately as possible the volumes that will need to be sent, and then communicate these expectations to their logistics partners, who will take up a huge percentage of this volume.
The alternative is the situation many retailers have faced in previous years, where through a combination of inaccurate planning, poor communication and unanticipated weather conditions, demand outstrips capacity and leaves retailers unable to meet their promises to online shoppers.
It’s a problem that is often exacerbated when retailers try to maximise the online shopping window, pushing back their Christmas order deadlines and thereby drastically increasing the risk of delayed deliveries when bad weather and other factors disrupt the supply chain.
Ultimately, when Christmas presents fail to arrive, it will be the retailer that bears the brunt of disgruntled Customers and negative publicity. As such, retailers need to be asking themselves the question: just how robust are my Christmas delivery plans?”