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Guide to 2022 Holiday Season Prep: What E-Commerce Businesses Should Be Doing Now

It may still be summer, but for online retailers, now is the time to start prepping for the 2022 holiday season.

Your readiness for the 2022 holiday season starts with Black Friday prep–or even sooner if you’re trying to encourage or incentivize early holiday shopping. With consumers being savvier about shipping delays and the possibility of out-of-stock items, peak season shopping will likely start even earlier this year–as soon as November 1st.

In this article, we’ll cover what e-commerce businesses should be doing now to prep for the busy 2022 holiday season, including:

Prepare for E-Commerce Supply Chain Delays and Shortages

E-commerce businesses are painfully aware of the global supply chain delays over the last two years. The pandemic was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, due to worker shortages, lockdowns, strikes and port congestion.

The supply chain for healthcare essentials is often a good canary in the coal mine for the greater supply chain and shipping system. If hospitals and clinics can’t get high-priority life-saving goods for patients, it doesn’t bode well for less vital merchandise. With recent lockdowns in China, unpredictability around COVID, inflation, international conflicts and the onset of the 2022 hurricane season, it doesn’t look like Q3 2022 supply chain woes will ease up.

There are two things e-commerce businesses should do now to mitigate supply chain delays and shortages.

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to order materials or goods you need for peak season–order them now. Now is also the time to work out any kinks in your inventory management program. Does your software need updating? Do you have enough storage or warehouse space? Are you able to report in real-time?
  • Encourage customers to shop early. Prepare them for the possibility of holiday shipping delays on your website, and entice them to get ahead of the game with discounts and perks, like free shipping.

E-Commerce Tips for a Successful 2022 Holiday Season

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that the unexpected can be right around the corner. Of course, you don’t have a crystal ball, but an ear to the ground combined with agile planning can help you weather whatever comes your way this holiday season.

In addition to preparing for supply chain issues, e-commerce businesses should also:

  • Deploy tactics to fight shopping cart abandonment. Push notifications and reminder emails can help customers remember they have items waiting to be purchased. Abandoned cart emails often have a higher open rate since the consumer has already initiated the relationship.
  • Audit and streamline the checkout process. For example, multi-recipient functionality is a growing component so customers don’t have to place separate orders for different addresses.
  • Start communicating with customers now about special offers for early shopping and communicate with them consistently to keep your brand top-of-mind.
  • Ensure your website and third-party integrations are working properly.

You’ll also want to take some time to analyze insights from last year’s holiday season. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Which items sold the most during the 2021 holiday season? Least?
  • When did demand peak? When did it taper off?
  • Do you have excess inventory from 2021? Can it be bundled with other products as part of a 2022 holiday promotion?

A full audit of how your business handled the 2021 holiday season can provide valuable insights and set you up for continued success in 2022.

Measure and Evaluate Last Year’s Holiday Season

Nationally, e-commerce retail sales increased 11% in 2021 compared to 2020, a whopping 64.1% over pre-pandemic 2019. However, it’s not all good news. Prices increased due to inflation and shipping, and consumer confidence dropped to an all-time low. With customers expressing increased concerns about inflation this year, it’s important to look at how that and other elements factored into your 2021 performance, so you can plan for it in 2022.

Every e-commerce business is unique, but here are a few areas you should examine:

  • Total sales volume in 2021.
  • Sales profit overall.
  • Profit margins on individual items.
  • Total return rate after the holidays.
  • Return rates for specific items and reasons why.
  • Order accuracy rates.
  • Abandoned shopping cart rate.
  • Best-selling items.
  • Shopping trends and peak buying days.
  • Items that sold out.
  • Customer service concerns and buyer feedback.
  • Website performance.
  • Biggest order processing or shipping challenges.
  • Number of parcels delivered after the expected delivery date.
  • Number of packages lost in transit or not received by the customer.

The more granular you can be, the better prepared you’ll be to handle whatever is coming this holiday season.

Prepare for the 2022 Holiday Season with GLF E-Commerce Fulfillment

One of the easiest ways to prepare for the 2022 holiday season is to outsource e-commerce fulfillment to the experts at GLF.

Partnering with GLF E-Commerce Fulfillment can help expedite delivery times, lower shipping costs and improve customer satisfaction. As an all-in-one fulfillment partner, we can handle every aspect of fulfillment, including:

  • Receiving and warehousing.
  • Pick and pack.
  • Kitting and packaging.
  • Inventory management.
  • International shipping, importing and Customs.
  • Third-party integrations.
  • Print marketing.

With 20 years of experience in e-commerce fulfillment, GLF takes pride in offering transparent pricing, unmatched reliability and personalized services. Our team takes the time upfront to learn your business and work with you as a proactive partner to create personalized solutions that sync with your processes. Plus, our marketing fulfillment and global logistics divisions allow us to provide e-commerce businesses with turnkey access to a state-of-the-art print shop, commercial mail house and global distribution network.

Contact us today and let us help ensure your 2022 holiday season is the best to date.

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