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 OMS in these situations.
Omnichannel shopping is replacing multi-channel shopping at an impressive rate. In fact, according to Nielsen, omnichannel shopping grew by a whopping 50% last year alone, due to the adjustments businesses and shoppers made during the pandemic.¹
The problem is, 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 order management system. And analytics are often siloed by channel, making it difficult to compare sales and demand.
One way omnichannel order management systems solve 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
Every year, like clockwork, orders skyrocket from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. In 2018, the U.S. postal service reported 871 million packages were shipped during that period of time.² In 2019, the number jumped to 910 million.³ And during 2020, the demand for shipping grew 25% YOY.⁴
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, in any given 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.
¹ “COVID-19 Fuels a 50% Increase in Omnichannel Shopping Across the U.S.,” NielsenIQ, December 2020
² “USPS’ Impressive Holiday Shipping Stats,” USPS, December 2018
³ “17 Holiday Shipping Statistics To Help You Prepare for Peak Season,” Conveyco, June 2020
⁴ “USPS invests in more parcel sorters, overflow facilities to prepare for peak,” Supply Chain Dive, April 2021