Walking through the streets of any city at this time of year involves several things. Firstly: you’re definitely going to be hot. Secondly: each display window of every store that you find along the way will display striking signs that say SALES in very large letters. And the start of summer brings with it a wide range of discounts and promotions. Products on sale that many people have been waiting for a long time. An exciting few weeks for consumers, but one that can become stressful for traders.
During sales’ periods, it is very common for there to be an exponential increase in the number of orders and sales in any trade. And in the summer sales, of course, it’s no different. On these dates, the upward trend not only occurs at physical establishments, which may choose to increase their workforce to face the boom, but in electronic commerce too. And here the difficulties may be greater: online stores can become saturated and delivery services may be seriously affected in terms of efficiency and delivery times. A disaster as far as customer satisfaction is concerned.
Delivery challenges during sales’ periods
Increased order volume during sales’ periods can be a real challenge for any business delivery service. The number of deliveries that has to be dealt with is much higher than usual, so good planning and management are key to avoid absolute chaos. Businesses must work to avoid situations that cause delays in their deliveries or defective deliveries to the customer. Something which customers will definitely not be happy about, leading to a loss of trust which may be irreparable. Immediacy is everything in electronic commerce!
So, every trader must evaluate their circumstances at this time and anticipate what may happen by putting into place effective measures. If you have a fleet of delivery vehicles which are your own or on a renting basis: Will more vehicles be available during these periods? Will the delivery routes be increased or modified? Will larger capacity vehicles be used? Will smaller, more manoeuvrable vehicles be opted for? All these questions must have an optimised response to each case before the start of the sales period. As well as considering the possibility of hiring more delivery staff as support.
On the other hand, each store must take into account other factors in a preventive manner and prior to the start of the sales. One of them is the proper functioning of the tracking technology of the products purchased by the consumer. It is vital to ensure that in periods of high demand this technology operates correctly to avoid creating uncertainty for the buyer. Of course, it is essential to do the same with the vehicles that go to make up the last mile fleet of the business: Make sure your maintenance and revisions are up-to- date!
External factors to be borne in mind
Urban logistics is another factor to take into account when a business prepares its last-mile strategy during sales’ periods. In this regard, it should be noted that the increase in orders may affect traffic in cities. There will definitely be more delivery vehicles on the streets and highways. So, the fleet of any business must be designed to operate in circumstances of congested traffic, with manoeuvrable vehicles that can access all kinds of spaces quickly and avoiding traffic jams.
In addition, the summer sales bring an added difficulty when it comes to home delivery: absenteeism. At this time, it is very common for buyers to leave their homes for long periods to enjoy their holidays, so many doors may not be opened when delivering. A disruption of the service that may lead to many logistical problems for companies and that can be avoided by promoting the use of collection points at stores or other types of establishments. A flexible, comfortable alternative for the consumer and the trader alike.
Planning and anticipating needs is thus the key to last mile success during sales’ periods. In this way, the business will only have to worry about increasing its profits during this time. And about enjoying the summer!