The COVID-19 pandemic has taken up more than its share of headlines in 2020, and we are more than ready to read about something positive. Contrary to rumors that have been circulating saying the holiday season is going to be canceled for this year, it appears shoppers have quite the opposite in mind. This is going to be a record-setting year for the e-commerce sector, and overall retail sales will increase.
Of course, one must always be on the lookout for any grinches that might have the idea they can interfere with the Holidays unfolding as they should. By investing in the right warehouse software, you can ensure your business is ready to meet the demands of customers’ orders at any time of year.
Would you like to learn more about how Scanco’s warehouse software offers automation solutions to help your business become more efficient? It’s easy! Just contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to book an appointment with a Scanco Solutions Expert.
US Retail Holiday Trends Mixed for Brick and Mortar Retailers, E-Commerce
CBRE Group has released a report on 2020 US Retail Holiday Trends. The commercial real estate services and investment firm found that consumers will be more selective when purchasing gifts this year. They will be focusing their attention mainly on buying for close family members as opposed to friends and their extended family.
- Part of the reason for consumer caution is due to financial constraints since the unemployment rate is predicted to hover around nine percent in the fourth quarter.
- Retail sales in brick-and-mortar stores are expected to slow to less than two percent in 2020. This prediction was made assuming there will not be a major wave of the virus or any government-directed store shutdowns.
- The same predictions do not hold true for e-commerce, however. Year-over-year sales are expected to jump by at least 40% during November and December. Total holiday retail sales are expected to reach $741.2 billion in 2020, compared with $730.2 billion in 2019 and $626.1 billion in 2015.
- Increased e-commerce traffic is creating a challenge for some companies in terms of order fulfillment. Consumers expect that their orders will be filled seamlessly; products will be available and delivered to them without delay. At the same time, carriers are increasing delivery charges and implementing surcharges during their peak season. Retailers need to stay competitive by avoiding price increases for their products or passing on the higher transportation costs directly to their customers if possible.
- Consumers who do shop in person are not spending a lot of time in stores or at shopping malls. They are opting for an “in-and-out” type of experience instead. Some stores are investing in pop-up locations to appeal to these buyers. They want to make it convenient for shoppers to find what they need quickly and be on their way so they can be mindful of social distancing requirements.
Plan for Shipping Issues Before They Happen
The carrier your business usually deals with may be one that you have dealt with for many years. It may offer good rates and favorable payment terms. You may know and like its accounts receivable staff. However, if the company doesn’t have the capacity to handle the volume of orders you are shipping during your peak times, you need to have a backup plan.
Consider what would happen if several people on staff at the carrier became ill with suspected COVID-19. At the very least, all of them would have to self-isolate until they could be tested to find out whether they have the virus. In the meantime, your company has orders waiting to be delivered (and disappointed customers who will be contacting your team wondering why they have not received their order yet). This situation is not anyone’s fault; however, you still have disappointed customers who may not order from your business again. To avoid this kind of scenario, it’s a good idea to have backup carriers in place.
If one carrier is not available to move your shipments and deliver them in the time frame you (and your customers) are counting on, then move on to a different company. Ask whether they have the capacity to pick up orders going to particular destinations or to take some of the volume you need to have delivered. You may even feel more comfortable splitting your shipping between carriers from the outset, so that no company is getting all your shipping business.
Scanco’s Warehouse Software: Robust Automation Tools for Modern Business
Whether you are looking to start automating your business or want to upgrade your existing system, Scanco has the solutions to keep your business competitive this holiday season, into 2021, and beyond.
Scanco Mobility is our physical count app for Sage 100 and 100cloud users. It automates your cycle counting and year-end physical inventory counting and can be used with either an iOS or an Android device. You can actually throw your clipboard and spreadsheets away when you implement Scanco Mobility, since your team can scan barcodes and the data will be uploaded into Sage 100/100cloud in real time. Physical counting speed is increased by up to 75% and you eliminate the human-error factor when you choose the Scanco Mobility app.
Scanco Warehouse was specifically developed to provide distributors with speed and efficiency. It is particularly user friendly and will only take a few minutes to get your team up to speed on how to use it. This app comes complete with several pre-built hardware profiles, making it easy to configure for your business’s needs. Scanco Warehouse allows you to automate several warehouse transactions, including:
- Item Inquiries
- Directed Picking
- Inventory Transfers
- Bin-to-Bin Moves
- Physical Counts by Item
- Invoice Data Entry for Shipping
Scanco Warehouse also gives you the power of voice-command capability. Your pickers do not have to hold a piece of paper or look at a device screen when pulling orders.
Scanco Enterprise is our most advanced Sage 100 warehouse solution. It gives you the capability to manage new pallets, pallet transfers, and the pallet on pallet activities with ease. Scanco Enterprise’s built-in messaging feature lets your managers stay in close contact with your team members to alert them when rush orders come in or they have direct orders to process. Once the sales order and the items picked are entered into Scanco Enterprise, the information is sent directly to Sage Invoice Data Entry. The Dashboard function allows you to see where all inventory is in real time. You will be able to tell at a glance when to restock, as well as which items are slower movers.
E-Commerce is Not Going Away. Be Prepared With Warehouse Software From Scanco
Consumers have embraced the idea of e-commerce in a way that is more than a fad. This trend is growing in popularity and is not going to slow down any time soon. There is no better time than right now to automate your warehouse to be ready to embrace it and meet your customers’ expectations. Reach out to us online or call (330) 645-9959 to schedule an appointment with a Scanco Solutions Expert.