With ecommerce orders at staggering highs, what will you do if your carrier refuses to accept packages this peak season? Metapack’s Bruce Fair advises retailers on how to ensure they can fulfil customer promises this Golden Quarter.

Ecommerce has been running at usual peak levels since May and we’re now staring down the barrel of a holiday shopping season that will overwhelmingly take place online. 

On the one hand, this is a massive opportunity for retailers. It’s a chance to recover lost profits offline, win new customers and even drive new revenue streams.

However, if retailers don’t take the necessary precautions, they could quickly find themselves in a situation where they can’t fulfil customer promises.

Imagine a situation where you have high demand and freshly mobilised sales channels – but no carrier availability to get orders to customers.

Here are three ways to avoid that situation happening:

1. Build backup into your network

Many enterprise retailers rely solely on one or two carriers all year round. This poses a big risk going into peak, when providers quickly reach full capacity.

In the US, for example, we’re already seeing carriers like UPS and FedEx announce holiday surcharges. It’s a sign of what’s to come. 

Don’t rely on just one or two carriers at peak season

The solution is simple – retailers must diversify their partner ecosystem to build the agility they need to come out on top of this year’s peak season.

It’s essential to select a partner with substantial coverage, as well as multiple delivery services, in the geographical markets where you do business.

2. Flex your supply chain

Scaling your fulfilment operations can quickly become a drain on resources – especially if a team is tasked with manually processing activities like carrier allocations or international shipping documentation. 

Retailers with intelligent infrastructure can automate these processes to scale more efficiently as they expand into new markets.

At the same time, these capabilities also allow brands to build personalisation into the front end to cater to different delivery preferences all over the world.

Automate your processes to build in agility

Reliability is once again key here. Retailers must ensure they are operating from a system that’s highly responsive and available.

3. Manage returns with intelligence

As retailers get ready for a peak season like no other, they must also prepare for a rise in returns. Delivery management software can add intelligence and efficiency to your reverse supply chain.

The best solutions help brands retain greater visibility over returns and ultimately get stock back online faster and more intelligently.

It’s another way to ensure the spoils of the holiday season aren’t eroded – this time by the cost of mismanaged returns. 

Invest in software that will cater to a rise in returns 

As volumes continue to rise, retailers must ensure their experience can keep pace with demand.

That’s why Metapack invests so heavily in equipping our customers with the resilience they need to succeed when it matters most – through the world’s largest carrier network, and one of the most available and performative platforms on the market.

And it’s why we were recently awarded Best B2B Ecommerce brand and Best Innovation in Delivery/Logistics for our Delivery Tracker solution.

In a peak season like no other, it’s resilience that matters most – and it will ultimately be the deciding factor between the businesses that seize the opportunity and the ones that end up disappointing.


Bruce Fair is chief revenue officer at Metapack

Find out how the world’s leading retailers are minimising their risk this peak season. Download the Metapack eCommerce Delivery Benchmark 2020 report.

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