BFCM 2023: A Guide on Stock Management for Cyber Monday and Black Friday

7 Nov 2023

 

Without strategic partners, you risk losing sales, incurring cost overruns, and delivering a poor customer experience.

If you are in the B2B market, you probably already know that there is a certain time of the year that is critical, when companies are pushed to step up their game and plan their processes more carefully, lest they risk suffering missteps, losing sales, and paying higher costs.

That time has come: as the year draws to a close, we are about to begin a holiday season with no room for improvisation or second-guessing: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year are coming. With 25-plus years’ experience in international logistics, Aerodoc provides support in the US for many customers who need to clear every potential hurdle for that critical time of the year.

Inexperienced companies may make lots of unforced errors, especially in logistics, which has its peak season during the holidays.

The Peak Season in Numbers

During peak season, companies offer discounts and promotions that attract lots of shoppers. Indeed, in 2022, according to a Salesforce report quoted by the Los Angeles Times, the average discount rate on all online product categories in the USA was 31% on Thanksgiving, up from 27% the year before.

This flurry of activity leads to record spending. The latest data on Cyber Monday shows that Americans spent $11.3 billion on that day alone, 5.8% up from a year earlier, according to Adobe Analytics.

BFCM, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Stock Management

Black Friday shows similar numbers. The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics reported that a record 196.7 million consumers shopped on Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday last year. According to Adobe Analytics data, American shoppers spent a record $9.12 billion on those days thanks to massive discounts on all kinds of products, from smartphones to toys.

Saturated Logistics

For companies, the typically massive volumes handled over peak season may cause a series of operational issues.

Overwhelmed Operations

A sudden spike in demand can overwhelm business operations like order processing, inventory management, packaging, and product shipping.

High Operational Costs

To keep up with increasing demand and meet delivery deadlines, companies are often forced to hire additional personnel, increase warehousing capacity and resort to costlier shipping services. This can result in a significant rise in operational costs as transportation/warehousing prices rise along with demand.

Inventory Issues

Even companies that planned for the year-end holiday season struggle to replenish inventory fast enough to keep up with demand, leading to potential sales losses.

Delivery Delays

During peak season, companies may struggle to meet the delivery dates they promised to their customers. These delays can leave customers unsatisfied and damage your company’s reputation.

Supply Chain Management

This issue may become harder to handle during the holiday season, as companies need to coordinate operations with suppliers, shippers, and other logistics partners to ensure a steady flow of products.

Last-Mile Impact

Peak season has a significant impact on last-mile logistics, i.e., the delivery of products to consumers. As demand peaks, this crucial component of every supply chain faces multiple challenges.

The first issue is the exponential increase in home deliveries, which adds immense pressure on last-mile logistics providers.

BFCM, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Stock Management

Another key issue is efficient route planning. Logistics providers need to ensure that their drivers are using the best routes to deliver products on time. Traffic jams are an additional complication, as many highways and streets become congested due to the higher number of delivery vehicles and buyers on their way to homes and stores.

Finally, during peak season last-mile providers rely more than ever on technologies such as real-time tracking to ensure control over deliveries and provide customers with up-to-date information on their order’s status.

So, How to Prepare for the Holiday Season?

In the competitive world of B2B commerce, preparation is essential to prevent frequent logistics issues during sales peaks. Companies operating in this market need to handle several aspects to achieve efficiency and avoid costly missteps.

First, planning in advance is essential. The first step is defining which products you think you will need when demand rises. Then, ensure you have enough inventory available before demand starts rising. This implies close collaboration with suppliers and logistics partners.

Your supply chain must be carefully optimized, analyzing and improving the efficiency of each step of the process, from raw matter sourcing to final distribution. Companies need to consider investing in cutting-edge inventory management systems, diversifying their sourcing, and looking for reliable logistics partners.

The Secret Weapon – Warehousing

Warehousing is another key aspect that needs attention. As sales peak and additional stock is needed to keep up with it, that extra merchandise is going to need space. Two potential solutions here are leasing additional warehousing or proximity warehousing.

Close collaboration with logistics partners and carriers is essential. Make special deals for high-demand periods and make sure your communications with them are efficient. This will be quite helpful to ensure your company can deliver products without delays.

Proactive communication with customers is also key. Keep them up-to-date on expected delivery deadlines, order processing times and any changes in logistics policies before peak season starts to help manage their expectations and nurture a solid relationship.

Aerodoc’s Solution

Aerodoc offers its Warehouse Managed Services (WMS) solution through its own warehousing center in Miami, Florida, and operations in dozens of countries through third parties. Our company works with technology resellers and integrators, as well as e-commerce businesses from the B2B market, says Aerodoc’s COO, Dan Zonnenschein.

BFCM, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Stock Management

Aerodoc integrates your e-commerce store with marketplaces such as Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, Ebay, Woo, Etsy, and Best Buy, and other retailers selling online. According to Zonnenschein, “Aerodoc provides a comprehensive solution, with logistical services whose costs depend on usage and quantities. Also, if the customer requests it, we provide office space and a legal postal address.”

“You only pay for what you need and what you use. Differing from other providers, we charge for storage and pick and pack, meaning you only pay for what needs to be done with your products. This ensures that you won’t have to spend any extra money.

 

Carolina Muller, Aerodoc’s Director of Business Development.

Aerodoc monitors sales on e-commerce channels, transfers the data directly to your system, and coordinates delivery services to optimize your costs, under an integrated e-commerce strategy connecting online, back office, and warehousing resources to allow customers to focus on growing their business. At the same time, Aerodoc delivers products and efficiently manages its inventory.

Carolina Muller, Aerodoc’s Director of Business Development, adds that “the advantages and benefits of working with Aerodoc include flexibility, visibility, transparency, and our customer service. As for companies without a presence in a market such as the USA, we work with them on every single step of the way, from logistics, importing, and inventory management to sending samples to platforms such as Amazon to comply with their requirements.

Aerodoc provides a unique advantage for wholesale customers looking to sell on marketplaces.

“Sending your entire stock to Amazon’s warehouse can be quite costly. As a cost-saving strategy for businesses partnering with us, companies leave half of their stock in our warehouse. As the stock starts running low in Amazon’s warehouses, Aerodoc takes care of restocking it.”

According to Muller, this service also includes “Inbound/outbound air cargo and LCL exports; monthly warehousing; inventory counts; picking and packing; packaging materials; custom software integration.”

If you want to know more about our services, please contact our team.

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