It’s after the New Year, and the unrelenting challenges of 2016’s peak eCommerce season seem behind us. Or, are they? It could be a costly mistake if you misjudge the full cycle of peak season. This is not the time to prop your feet up and hit the snooze button for a few months, my friend.

Whether your peak holiday shopping season went off as planned, or hit a few sour notes along the way, now’s the time to plan for the future. Dig deep into what went right and what could have been better within your organization’s processes and logistics. Something to keep in mind: 2017’s peak will undoubtedly begin earlier. In 2016 Amazon began its 35 straight days of Black “Friday” deals 9 days ahead of the normal Black Friday.

Don’t underestimate what your team can learn by assessing your competitors’ wins and losses in the same arena. (Guess what? They’re probably already assessing yours.)

What’s Your Peak Season?

Peak season for most retailers is November and December. That’s when 30-40% of their annual sales occur. However, the growing rise and proliferation of eCommerce have created additional peak seasons. Think back-to-school, get-ready-for-summer, Valentine’s Day.

Peak season is not the season to lose sales. Sadly, many organizations often do because they’re unprepared and inefficient at handling this success-integral period. That being said, with so much focus on managing peak season, don’t lose sight on determining how to navigate an acceptable cost-per-unit efficiency while maintaining core human capability during non-peak times at volumes 20% to 30% of peak. Failure to achieve this essential objective is why some companies soar during their peak seasons and other crash miserably (and potentially go under).

Are You Ready? We Are

Let’s start analyzing what your company did well in 2016 and, possibly, what didn’t go as planned. The Progress Group is ready to step you through a closer, detailed analysis of your logistics to ensure that 2017 not only exceeds your expectations but also that of your competitors as well.

With future blog articles we’ll talk about critical-to-success information:

  • Best ways to leverage operating data
  • How to use social media to your advantage (especially for crisis management)
  • How to begin repairing the processes that must be more efficient for a better sales year

For many retailers, NOW is the time to further figure out the best way to optimize networks and leverage brick and mortar and online channels.

By the way, look out the window and see if the Christmas lights are being put up yet.

Image Credit: Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez

As of September 8, 2020, Crimson & Co (formerly The Progress Group/TPG) has rebranded as Argon & Co following the successful merger with Argon Consulting in April 2018. 

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