How Should Retailers Prepare for Thanksgiving Online Order Fulfillment?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but holiday shopping is still in full swing. Leading up to the first holiday season post-COVID-19, there has been uncertainty about the percent of shoppers sticking to online retail instead of traditional brick-and-mortar shopping. Luckily, neither party need worry. Thanksgiving weekend proved to be omnichannel holiday spree with records in both in-store foot traffic and online orders. With these wins, though, come the next challenge for retailers: Thanksgiving online order fulfillment.

While Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, and other major retailers have an efficient logistics footprint to tout during peak online ordering season, the same can’t always be said for SMBs, and a confident fulfillment plan is essential to capitalize on what proved to be unexpected consumer confidence during the holiday shopping season. If consumers are left out to dry with poor delivery times, lack of order transparency, or bottlenecks from legacy carriers, retailers could find themselves struggling to rebuild confidence with consumers who are still facing tough economic times, even if macroeconomic trends point to potential deflation in 2023.

David Packee, VP, Sales and Client Success at AxleHire, a last mile economy driver supply and logistics solutions provider, broke down the Thanksgiving online order fulfillment challenge that all retailers face coming out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

David’s Thoughts

“Online retailers need to understand that they’ll always be compared to Amazon. When holiday sales hit, and these companies make record sales, that’s just the first part of the customer experience. As soon as the consumer clicks by, the clock is ticking, and they’ll expect their packages fast, handled with care, and to arrive on time at the right location.

The majority of retailers struggle to make these promises because of the legacy carriers they rely on, which typically care more about volume than the quality of their deliveries. By diversifying their carrier base and including regional carriers, retailers will maintain on-time delivery rates and customer brand loyalty.”

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