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How Businesses Can Deliver Through The Last-Minute Christmas Sales Rush

  • Written by Steve Fanale, Founding CEO, Drive Yello

After a two-year period like no other, it’s more important than ever that businesses - retailers in particular - are able to capitalise on the business opportunity created by the festive season. Each year, consumer spending spikes ahead of year-end and with Aussies set to spend $11 billion this Christmas, 2021 is no different.

While Australia’s habit of spending big over the festive season hasn’t changed, we have seen a shift in where this spending is taking place with more consumers choosing to shop online, rather than flock to overcrowded shopping centers. This is evident in final mile delivery platform, Drive Yello, seeing 200% growth in gig-economy deliveries over the last 12 months despite less time spent in lockdown. 

However, this rapid growth in demand combined with growing consumer expectations around same-day or next-day delivery has created a strain. This burden has been exacerbated by the limited availability of more traditional courier services during the peak period as they operate within restricted delivery hours, have a finite number of drivers, ongoing strikes and the insatiable  consumer demand for convenience, leading to major delays nationwide.

So how can businesses manage their delivery offering in such a disrupted environment? 

Plan around late shoppers

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that there will always be disorganised people doing their shopping the week before Christmas! So it’s key to create a plan with this in mind. Double check that your website’s e-commerce function is running smoothly and that it’s prepared to handle an uptick in traffic. Ensure that any last-minute sales are locked and loaded and any marketing materials like emails and social posts are written and scheduled to post. Confirm any cutoff dates with your suppliers to save you being left in the lurch without stock, and finally, make sure that you have clearly communicated any relevant cutoffs to your customers. 

Consider delivery alternatives

With couriers in short supply it may be worth considering how else you can transport your goods. After months in lockdown, Australian shoppers are quite accustomed to click and collect, so you may like to offer a pick up service where customers can buy online and pick up in store at a convenient time. Another delivery alternative is a gig economy based delivery provider. The gig economy is a relatively untapped market that is free from the current delivery disruptions. Zoom2U Sydney operates with drivers in the gig economy and notes that this model offers workers a greater level of flexibility and independence, benefits that are passed on to the consumer.

Take learnings into the new year
Fast delivery has become a vital part of the customer experience in a short amount of time. With this trend only growing, businesses might like to take a long-term approach when considering their delivery offering in order to create a consistent and scalable service. Some tips that could be implemented over a longer time frame to better establish your delivery offering  are to:
  • * Ensure that retail stock management is integrated with your e-commerce platform so that you can turn your retail stores into mini distribution centres
  • * Train your staff to pick and pack to create greater efficiency 
  • * Engage a gig economy partner which can scale up and down in line with your delivery needs
As we head into the final stretch of December, any business owners feeling unprepared to navigate the ongoing traditional delivery network disruptions, remember that the best time to get organised was yesterday, but the next best time is today.
For those businesses looking to get ahead with their long-term delivery plan, Drive Yello is committed to helping retailers over this period as well as into 2022 and beyond, offering a quick, affordable, and reliable last-mile delivery option right across Australia.

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