4 Tips to Navigate eCommerce Peak Season

3 Min Read • 08-04-2023


Reading Time: 3 minutes

For brands and their fulfillment partners, eCommerce peak season can be challenging. During this period, people, processes, and technology are tested to their maximum capacity, but there are also opportunities for improvement that will take eCommerce operations and brand experience to the next level.

Man in warehouse checking boxes of ecommerce orders.

Here are four ways eCommerce brands can navigate through peak season:

1. Communicate openly and consistently

To foster successful partnerships, it’s crucial for brands to effectively communicate their peak season expectations to their partners, including volume, service level, and timing, among other essential metrics.  Transparent communication extends beyond performance indicators and entails providing insights into product sourcing, shipment methods, as well as sharing details about planned promotions and their schedules. By facilitating a fluid exchange of information, brands can build stronger partnerships and optimize their seasonal performance.

It is also essential for fulfillment partners to maintain a similar level of transparency by openly sharing their capabilities. Performance assessments in the lead-up to peak are invaluable, and it’s more effective to strategize on any potential roadblocks and work together to develop solutions. By fostering a collaborative approach, partners can optimize their collective performance and deliver the best possible outcomes during the peak period.

2. Maintain your stock levels

In previous peak seasons, brands frequently encountered the challenge of running into out-of-stock issues. According to Adobe Analytics, shoppers encountered a staggering 2 billion “out-of-stock” messages in 2021.[1] Precise stock management is crucial as product shortages can negatively impact customer loyalty, satisfaction scores, and revenue opportunities.

To proactively avoid such stock shortages, a comprehensive approach is necessary. Analyze peak season data from both past and current sales, delve into consumer purchase patterns, and keep an eye on economic trends to identify high-demand brand products. By doing so, you can plan ahead and source those products in advance to ensure sufficient inventory.

Together with your fulfillment partner, utilize shared tools and technology to establish real-time inventory tracking and strive for high inventory accuracy rates. This partnership will enable you to maintain a well-stocked inventory and swiftly respond to fluctuations in demand, enhancing your overall performance during the peak season.

3️. Be present

Remaining actively engaged and present during peak season demonstrates loyalty not only to your own team but also to your customers. A study pooled from 2,000 employees by Bain & Company showed that, among 33 leadership traits, the ability to be mindfully present stood out as the most important.[2] 

When your team and processes are under pressure during peak season, the presence of strong leadership can make all the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful peak performance. Being mindful and attentive to the needs of your teams during this critical period helps ensure smooth operations and reinforces a sense of dedication and loyalty among all involved.

4️. Continuous improvement is key

Post peak, companies often conduct evaluations. These evaluations aim to analyze the operational outcome, identify aspects that were successful or could have been improved, and determine how to leverage these insights for future endeavors. Similarly, it is crucial to allocate time for a collaborative review of the supply chain network strengths and weaknesses with input from diverse management levels and partners to gauge overall performance. 

In the midst of the challenging eCommerce peak season, working with NFI eCom as a partner has been the difference maker for small and large eCommerce brands alike. By fostering open and consistent communication, mitigating out-of-stock issues, having a presence in times of peak season pressure, and making a commitment to continuous improvement after the fact, our team has led eCommerce brands to forge long-lasting partnerships and optimize seasonal performance. By leveraging these advantages, NFI eCom proves to be an invaluable partner during the high-pressure peak season, unlocking opportunities for growth and success. Visit our eCom solutions page to learn more about NFI’s eCommerce capabilities.