Great partnerships and a plan.
After a tumultuous 2020, we have entered the home stretch, the final quarter of the year. Before we write the final chapter on what is sure to be one of the most interesting years in our lifetimes, let’s pause and take a moment to ensure we are set to end it on a high note.
Hopefully by this time, your OND (October, November, December) campaigns are carefully set and everything is staged. But if not, do not despair, there is still time and resources available to ensure you make the most of this holiday season and the last quarter of the calendar year.
Step 1. Make a Plan
Don’t have a plan in place yet for the last part of this year? Today is a great time to get out your calendar and make a plan. It has been reported that consumers are not traveling, and instead are redirecting that spend to home improvements and upgrades. Consumer spending has not slowed, but it has shifted to online. There are silver linings – we can use the focus to an online environment to our advantage, if we aren’t already (hello revenue from online sales in Q2!).
- Are we set up for more online sales? What did we learn from Q2? What can we accelerate and optimize for this season?
- How is our virtual experience game? If you aren’t doing virtual, why not? This is a newly expanding channel that can be a nice new revenue stream if done well.
- Are our phone campaigns set? This is also an expanding channel that can be a nice new revenue stream if done well.
Multi-channel campaigns that complement each other with the overall objectives and offers are best practices for ensuring the best return on your investment of time, energy and resources. Consider: What are we offering, when, and which channel? We know that some members prefer phone to email, and some follow us on social channels but don’t read email. Multiple ways of seeing information helps the message get across.
Step 2. Work the Plan
Campaigns: Once you have a plan in place, map out shipments, email, phone and virtual campaigns. Are we communicating in all channels? Are we segmenting, and watching the frequency we are touching certain fans? Be aware of what can be perceived of spam.
With that in mind, if we are shipping more, it stands to reason that all other consumer industries are shipping more as well. This holiday season is expected to be the busiest ever, combined with a reported shortage of drivers. The domestic logistics infrastructure is stressed, and this will directly impact how we ship wine. The common carriers (primarily UPS and Fed Ex) have already communicated that “guaranteed” delivery times are no longer guaranteed, so be sure to allow extra time for the carriers to deliver packages.
Third-Party Logistics (3PL):
If you use a third-party logistics (3PL) company, they too are experiencing exceptionally high volumes. Many have expanded their space and packing capabilities by adding more staff to meet our needs. We can be a better partner by communicating with them when we are expecting a high volume of orders, or if we have special packaging needs.
Special Shipping Needs:
Are we including extra collateral or wood boxes? Odd size bottles? Personal gift messages? Allow extra time for packing and shipping, especially if using a third-party fulfillment warehouse. This is a great time to have a quick check in with your 3PL account executive or main contact.
Step 3. Adjust the Plan
Think about last year – what were your bottlenecks, and what can you do to improve them? Are your SKUs set in your POS, website, compliance engine, and fulfillment center so they flow together and eliminate bottlenecks? Are your coupon codes tested, or do you need to spend some time testing and reviewing? Are your emails mobile friendly? This is a great week to ensure your final marketing messages for the year are set and ready to go.
Take a deep breath. This is the week to write out your plan, connect with your partners, and be proactive in solving last year’s bottlenecks. See you on the other side of OND!