How to take on the logistical challenges of the Christmas season, according to Openbravo

The retail sector is preparing to face a period of two months, in which the increase in orders can be overwhelming. In fact, last December 2020, online sales soared 58% more than usual, the five days before Christmas, according to the latest Salesforce Holiday Shopping Report. This generated problems in shipments because with the increase in demand, many businesses ran out of stock.

Without a doubt, on black friday it will be the litmus test for many retailers, who put their efforts to optimize their resources for November; a key month, since 38% of Spanish consumers buy their Christmas gifts taking advantage, not only of the consolidated Black Friday, but also the Cyber ​​Monday or Single DayAccording to the latest study: “Christmas Consumer Trends” from eBay.

What is the problem retailers are facing this year?

One of the aspects that more headaches is causing in the retail sector These are the continuous delays that are occurring within the supply chain and the high cost of freight, maritime containers that merchants pay to import goods, which at the beginning of the year had already increased between 200 and 300 euros per container. This situation forced retailers to increase the final price of products up to 40%, to be able to face all logistical expenses, and to resort to the warehouse to make up for the lack of merchandise.

Although the Spanish employers’ association in the logistics sector has called for calm, in a context in which forecasting and planning are going to be more decisive than ever, what can the retail sector do so that logistics does not become the Grinch particular of this Christmas? These are some tips that they give us from openbravo:

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  1. Customer knowledge. Today, demand forecasting is very complicated because consumer habits have changed rapidly and will continue to evolve; It is no longer enough to carry out a sales analysis of the previous year. In this sense, digitization is essential in logistics omnichannel because it allows to collect more and better customer data. Powerful tools such as Artificial Intelligence allow us to understand customer behavior in the digital environment, their preferences and collect analytics that collect opportunities or weak points to improve.
  2. Centralized and real-time inventory management. A capability today essential for any retailer that allows optimizing all its inventory operations and enabling strategies such as the infinite aisle, fundamental for omnichannel success. A single and centralized warehouse and inventory management system in the cloud, allows to achieve a global vision of the stock levels of each store, warehouse or distribution center in real time, recording all the movements of the product from its entry to exit , through barcodes or RFID tagging.
  3. Omnichannel collection system. Although e-commerce is on a meteoric rise in the global context in which we find ourselves, it cannot live without the physical store. Why? The customer profile we are currently facing wants to have all the possibilities at their fingertips, buy online and pick up the product in the store or buy at the store and receive the item at home. For this reason, both models such as Click & Collect or Ship from Store have become popular. Stores become an important part of the supply chain and this is good news because it lowers delivery costs for the retailer.
  4. Master data management. Retailers can relate all of their critical data to a single file called the “master,” which acts as a common reference point for the most important data. This solution provides a centralized repository of clean, accurate and consistent data about the brand’s products and suppliers, which can be leveraged to improve local purchasing while increasing operational efficiency.
  5. Software tools for retail in the market, such as those proposed by Openbravo through its cloud solutions, allow retailers to establish a centralized control of their omnichannel operations, allowing them to react with more anticipation and speed to the possible logistics and stock-out problems that may be triggered during this process. time of great commercial influx.

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