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What is Peak Season Planning and Why Does It Matter?
In the parcel industry, peak season planning is a supply chain strategy targeted around specific holiday shopping seasons in an effort to serve as many customers as efficiently and quickly as possible. The season with the most concerted effort across all brands is generally the winter holiday/Christmas season, though peak season planning can encompass any season that your shoppers increase shopping activity around, such as Easter or Halloween.
Why is Peak Season Planning Important to Your Parcel Network?
- Online shopping increases during peak holiday seasons. Holiday shoppers are seeking more purchases at the best available prices, and much of that shopping begins online. In fact, for many retailers, online sales during these times can account for up to 40% of annual sales.
- Increased shopping brings increased activity – for you and your carriers. From new sales opportunities, record sales, and increased returns, your parcel network will undoubtedly experience growing pains for any unpredicted or planned for changes, but don’t forget about your carriers, too. They’re busier than normal also, and that means you’ll do well to monitor your parcels closely, seeking out delayed or lost packages, as well as unexpected surcharges or new accessorials.
- Consumer expectations are heightened. Perhaps more than any other time, shoppers are sensitive to price and shipping time. They’re seeking better deals (because they’re buying more than normal), and they want those purchased products faster than ever (because they still need to wrap it and check it off the To-Do list). A brand that delights instead of vexes during this time will likely remain favored when peak seasons end.
Overall, peak season planning is ideally meant to help your brand and parcel network prepare for a busier shopping season. That means more time proactively preparing vs. reactively putting out fires and dealing with unforeseen growing pains. The principles of Parcel Spend Management are just as valid during this time as any other, if not more so.
Our Best Peak Season Planning Advice for Today and Next Year
With peak season upon us, there’s no better time to look back on some of the peak holiday shipping advice we’ve given over the years.
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PANEL: Peak & Pandemic Fulfillment Strategies: Keys to Operating in a New Environment
Peak season brings on enough challenges. Add those to lingering effects of COVID-19 and your supply chain is pushed to its limits. Join four experts as they help you solve the challenges within your distribution center and delivery channels by providing best practices and answering your questions. Then you’ll get a chance to enter a virtual roundtable to brainstorm with your peers on what they are facing and how they are combating the disruptions.