Holiday Inventory Management Services
Preparing inventory for the holidays takes extra planning and additional resources.
It can be a challenge to think ahead and prepare for the busiest shopping season of the year.
But you don’t have to tackle the holidays alone.
ShipBob is a best-in-class 3PL that can help you prepare for the holiday season.
Learn more about ShipBob’s inventory management services.
Even our previous 3PL was unable to scale at the level we needed years ago, which became apparent my first holiday with them.This past holiday season would have been completely unmanageable for both our old 3PL and us. ShipBob does it seamlessly.
VP of E-Commerce Operations at TB12
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What is holiday inventory?
Holiday inventory involves optimizing your existing inventory management process to handle a high volume of orders during the holiday season. It also consists of additional returns support.
To survive the holiday season, online brands will need to prepare their inventory in advance using a combination of the right resources, technology, and support.
How to plan inventory for the holidays
To prepare inventory for the busy holiday season, you will need to start planning in advance.
Here are some tips from the experts at ShipBob on how manage holiday inventory.
1. Communicate with your suppliers
As you can expect an influx of orders during the holiday season, you need to contact your suppliers and let them know that you will need to place a higher order volume to avoid any potential stock outs.
Share information with your suppliers on predicted order volume to make sure you order enough to avoid potential stockouts. Like you, they also need time to successfully deliver orders.
2. Assess your SKU level history
Looking back at your SKU history, you can predict the items which are more in demand and will need to be stocked accordingly.
Using historical inventory data like SKU performance, you will likely have an idea of what will be your top sellers, which will help you make better estimates before ordering more inventory.
3. Track inventory in real time
If you haven’t already, be sure to implement an inventory management software with real-time tracking capabilities.
There are a lot of solutions on the market, but the best bet is to take advantage of your 3PL’s technology.
For instance, ShipBob’s fulfillment technology includes real-time inventory tracking across their fulfillment centers allows retailers to have a transparent view of their inventory at all stages of the ecommerce supply chain.
Once your store is connected to ShipBob’s dashboard, you get a number of valuable inventory management tools at your disposal. View inventory levels in real-time, set reorder points, keep a safety stock, and allocate inventory strategically so you always have product in the right place at the right time.
3. Prepare for an influx in returns
Before the holiday rush heats up, make sure to have a straightforward returns process that is clearly communicated across your website.
If you partner with a 3PL, work with them to figure out an efficient returns management process, which includes providing your customers with a shipping label and tracking information once their return is shipped.
Even though they’re returning an item, a great returns experience can encourage them to purchase from you again — and potentially turn a seasonal customer into a year-round one.
4. Partner with ShipBob
The holiday season is already busy enough, so leave the order fulfillment process up to a 3PL like ShipBob to get you through this high stress period.
Whether this is your first holiday season at a quickly-growing business, or you need to switch 3PLs before the holiday rush, the sooner you get in touch with a new 3PL, the better.
With ShipBob, you can offer affordable and fast shipping to your customers with access to a global fulfillment network. With ShipBob, you can reduce shipping costs and transit times across the US, or take advantage of one or more of our international locations.
“Q4 was hard for ecommerce brands between the election (causing ad spend to increase), the pandemic, the carriers being overloaded and overburdened, and other competitive forces and costs. Speaking with friends who run other brands, including those that do $200 million in annual revenue, I learned they faced the same issues.
Being with ShipBob this past Q4 went a lot better than most companies experienced. We know some brands still with our old 3PL who struggled a lot. For them, it would take 5-6 days to get orders fulfilled, and they had to cut holiday sales very early. We of course experienced some challenges with the holidays and pandemic like every company, but it was a very small percentage in comparison. ShipBob was a great partner to get us through Black Friday and the holidays.”
Torii Rowe, COO & Co-Founder of MANSSION
How ShipBob works
Partnering with ShipBob as your 3PL is easy.
We offer fast onboarding, direct integrations with leading ecommerce platforms, and inventory and order management tools to provide transparency into the entire fulfillment and shipping process.
“ShipBob is not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for. I’m really happy with my decision. It’s a huge load off myself and my family not to have to manage logistics in my house — especially during Christmas.”
Andrea Hamilton, founder of The Finer Things 1920
Read on to learn more about how ShipBob works.