Even with the right data, predicting your peak season inventory needs isn’t easy. But when you don’t have enough information, making an educated decision is virtually impossible.
Let’s look at a few of the reasons inventory prediction can go awry during peak season and dig into the benefits of an omnichannel order management system (OMS) in these situations.
Omnichannel shopping is replacing multi-channel shopping at an impressive rate. In fact, a recent study found that over 60% of omnichannel retailers in the U.S. reported higher year-over-year sales growth last year, including 21% of retailers who reported “significantly higher” revenue.
The problem is that while many businesses have created a smooth omnichannel experience on the frontend for their shoppers, backend operations are usually much bumpier. Orders might need to be transferred manually from your eCommerce store, social media channels, and brick-and-mortar locations to the OMS. And analytics are often siloed by channel, making it difficult to compare sales and demand.
One way an omnichannel OMS solves for this is by automatically logging all orders in a single dashboard in real time. From here, data can be segmented by channel to show you where products are popular and how much you need to keep up with the peak season demand.
Hundreds of Transactions Per Hour
Like clockwork, orders skyrocket from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day—and shipping and delivery needs increase every year. In 2021, for example, the U.S. Postal Service exceeded the 12.7 billion pieces accepted in 2020 by roughly a half-billion and expects to receive about 40 million packages on its busiest days during the 2022 peak season.
For retailers and eCommerce brands, this means hundreds (if not thousands) of transactions rolling in every hour that have to be picked, packed, and shipped out quickly.
Having a system in place that provides real-time eCommerce visibility allows you to handle this demand easily, as you can see where your inventory levels are at any given moment and location. Your team can also leverage predictive inventory management capabilities to look ahead several weeks or months and plan new inventory shipments accordingly.
Rapidly Fluctuating Inventory Levels
While inventory levels will fluctuate throughout the year, they’re most volatile during the peak season months. Not only do orders pour in, but returns are also frequent. And when you have multiple locations and channels to manage, real-time inventory management can get even messier.
An omnichannel OMS like Radial’s resolves this by managing every order as it’s placed and adjusting your inventory levels accordingly. This to-the-minute visibility enables you to effectively keep up with peak season demands without burdening your fulfillment centers and warehouses with overstock. It also finds the optimal inventory location based on enterprise goals.
Peak season is coming, which means it’s time to start getting your inventory levels where they need to be for the duration of the shopping surge. Fortunately, with an omnichannel OMS that offers real-time visibility, you can successfully navigate the challenges of inventory management before and during your peak season rush.