As the holiday season inches closer, companies need to prepare themselves for the onslaught of online buying that is set to take place. According to the 2016 Holiday Outlook from PwC, shoppers will be spending 10 percent more money on gifts this year than they spent last year, while 62 percent of retailers expect their overall sales to rise this holiday season.
All of this means that logistics companies will have no shortage of work, but they will also have to adapt to meet the varied ways in which people want to receive their goods.
Shoppers Open to New Last-Mile Options
While just under two thirds of people say they prefer to receive their packages via home delivery, a growing number of shoppers are willing to try new last-mile options. A third of people said they’d be willing to try curbside pickup, while 28 percent say they would be open to picking up their items at designated locations. These options can speed up deliveries by a few days while also saving on shipping fees. In fact, nine times out of ten, orders will be ready to be picked up within 24 hours.
Logistics companies that want to stay ahead need to use software and algorithms to track inventory through multiple warehouses. They also must make use of real-time data analytics and mobile apps in conjunction with retailers to determine the best channel in terms of cost, speed and convenience for each order. Multiple delivery channels are an indispensable tool throughout the holiday season.
With 60 percent of retailers saying they will offer free delivery as well as free returns this holiday season, there will be a great need for sound logistics operations. It’s important to be prepared to give shoppers what they seek – namely, convenience, simplicity, and plenty of options to meet their various needs.
This blog post was based off of an article from Forbes. View the original here.