Regional Utilization Smart Merchandising Warehouse Management

Riding the E-commerce Wave: Prepping for Peak Season Sales

The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for e-commerce brands. With the rise of online shopping, it’s more important than ever for brands to prepare for the peak season sale. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you can take to ensure your e-commerce brand is ready for the holiday rush

Why Is peak season preparation important for e-commerce brands?

The holiday season is a crucial time for e-commerce brands to drive sales and revenue. In fact, according to Adobe Analytics, online sales during the 2020 holiday season reached $188.2 billion, a 32.2% increase from the previous year, and during the 2021 holiday season, online retail sales grew by 14.1% compared with the previous year.

With the increase in online shopping, it’s important for e-commerce brands to be prepared for the peak season to capitalize on the surge in sales. E-commerce brands must prepare for the peak season due to increased online competition and the need to meet high customer expectations to drive sales and revenue. This entails optimizing websites, offering attractive deals, and ensuring a seamless shopping experience, including timely shipping and easy returns, ultimately empowering brands to capitalize on the online shopping surge.

How to prepare your e-commerce brand for peak season sales?

Now that we understand the importance of peak season preparation let’s discuss the steps you can take to ensure your e-commerce brand is ready for the holiday rush.

1) Stock up on inventory

The last thing you want during the peak season is to run out of stock for your popular products. Make sure to stock up on inventory in advance to meet the increase in demand. Accurate inventory planning hinges on various factors, such as lead time, safety stock, planogram limitations, dynamic trends, and reorder thresholds.

Analyze your sales data from previous peak seasons to determine which products are most popular and make sure to have enough stock to meet the demand. You can also consider offering pre-orders for popular products to ensure that customers can still purchase them even if they are out of stock.

2) Ensure inventory accuracy across platforms

To ensure precise inventory and enhance customer satisfaction, deploy diverse inventory management methods. Begin by choosing a primary inventory management system, then seamlessly integrate it with various platforms. 

Many popular e-commerce systems provide APIs and apps for real-time cross-channel synchronization, a critical factor for multi-location sales. For further insights on streamlining warehouse operations during peak season sales.

3) Plan your pricing, promotions, and deals

Dynamic pricing during peak sales season is a savvy strategy to boost profits. It involves monitoring competitors’ pricing for similar products and adjusting yours to stay competitive. While this may entail occasional price reductions, it can also mean increases when warranted. 

Shoppers seek deals and promotions during the peak season, so plan and promote discounts, free shipping, and bundles in advance. Create urgency with limited-time offers and utilize effective merchandising solutions for pricing strategies and dynamic markdowns.

4) Prepare for shipping and fulfillment

During the peak season, shipping and fulfillment can become a bottleneck for e-commerce brands. Make sure to have a plan in place to handle the increase in orders and ensure timely delivery to your customers.

Consider a solution to help you optimize inventory distribution in a multi-warehouse network. Enhance proximity to customers, minimizing delivery time and logistics expenses effectively

Consider partnering with multiple shipping carriers to have backup options in case one carrier experiences delays. You can also offer expedited shipping options for customers who are willing to pay for faster delivery.

5) Streamline return management

Effectively managing returns is essential in the e-commerce business, especially as customers demand swift refunds and hassle-free return processes. This challenge intensifies during peak seasons, necessitating practical solutions. Utilizing software that allows sellers to record videos and streamline the SPF (Seller Protection Fund) claims process can significantly increase revenue and recoup losses from failed claims. Automate return procedures and offer convenience with curbside returns, ensuring a seamless experience for customers and retailers alike.

Other things to keep in mind

  1. Optimize your website– Your website serves as your brand’s digital storefront, making peak season optimization essential. Prioritize mobile-friendliness, quick loading, and intuitive navigation. Please do so during high-traffic periods to avoid slow loading, frustrating users, and losing sales. Test and enhance website performance in advance to guarantee a seamless shopping experience during peak season.
  2. Train your customer service team– In the high-demand peak season, a skilled customer service team is paramount. Training on products, policies, and procedures equips them to handle inquiries. Temporary staff can alleviate the workload, ensuring efficient customer support.
  3. Enable seamless cross-channel shopping behavior- Customers often navigate between online and offline channels. Only 10% start product discovery on a brand’s website. Retailers must ensure a seamless cross-channel experience, optimizing mobile apps and offering features like wishlists for in-store shopping assistance. Read more about implementing BORIS, BOPIS, and BOSS in the sales season
  4. Leverage technology– Technology is a game-changer for e-commerce in peak season. Personalize the shopping experience with targeted emails, product suggestions, and custom landing pages. Leverage automation tools for predicting inventory & sales, facilitating omnichannel, tracking progress, and return management.

Real-world examples of peak season preparation

Let’s look at how some successful e-commerce brands have prepared for the peak season in the past.


Amazon’s Prime Day, established in 2015, serves as a paradigm for peak season sales strategy. Held twice a year, this massive online shopping event features exclusive deals for Prime members, driving substantial sales. Amazon, a global e-commerce giant, excels in peak season readiness, commencing preparations as early as a year back. They stockpile inventory and employ temporary staff to manage surging orders. Moreover, Amazon entices customers and enhances sales through special peak season deals, such as the yearly Prime Day sale.

Another example is BFL (Brands for Less) Group, UAE’s leading off-price retailer for fashion and homeware. The brand was finding it challenging to manage busy warehouses and distribution centers efficiently. To discover how BFL overcame peak season challenges with Increff’s cloud-based warehouse management system.

Who is responsible for peak season preparation?

Peak season preparation is a team effort and involves multiple departments within an e-commerce brand, like planning and merchandising, warehouse management, website team, etc. However, the responsibility ultimately falls on the e-commerce manager or director, who oversees the entire process and ensures that all departments are working together to prepare for the peak season.


The holiday season is a crucial time for e-commerce brands to drive sales and revenue. By optimizing your website, planning your promotions, stocking up on inventory, and leveraging technology, you can ensure that your brand is ready for the peak season sale.

Make sure to involve all departments in the preparation process and have a plan in place to handle the increase in orders and customer inquiries. By following these steps, you can set your e-commerce brand up for success during the busiest time of the year.

Remember, the right technology partner can help you achieve your peak season goals and pave the way for long-term success. Book a demo today!

Warehouse Management

A more fulfilling season with retail’s dynamic trio: BOPIS, BOSS and BORIS

The festive sales season always brings a whirlwind of activity, and in the midst of this hustle and bustle, convenience reigns supreme for shoppers. Retailers have recognized the importance of providing in-store pickup and return options for online orders in this chaotic shopping frenzy. They’re leveraging their entire inventory, regardless of location, to ensure online shoppers can get what they want when they want it.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the importance of omnichannel retail, especially during peak season sales, where consumers have already cast their votes.

The above-presented data leaves no room for doubt – retailers have transcended the debate of whether to adopt omnichannel strategies. Instead, they find themselves at the cusp of a profound transformation, where hybrid models are erasing the boundaries between online and offline consumer experiences, fostering a dynamic omnichannel ecosystem. This evolution in shopping is a call to action driven by both consumers and retailers alike. 

At the heart of this transformation are retail stores themselves, which have evolved from mere transaction hubs into versatile fulfillment centers. They adapt with agility to meet the changing demands with innovative strategies like BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In-Store), BORIS (Buy Online, Return In-Store), and BOSS (Buy Online Ship to Store).

BOPIS, BOSS, BORIS: The Winning Trifecta for Modern Retailers

As more and more customers are opting for the convenience of online shopping over traditional in-store visits, the implementation of fulfillment options like BOSS (Buy Online Ship to Store), BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In-Store) and BORIS (Buy Online, Return In-Store) has become not just a choice but an essential strategy for retailers to thrive in this changing environment.

BOSS – Buy Online Ship to Store.

BOSS allows customers to place orders online, and instead of picking them up in-store or returning them in-store, the products are shipped directly from the nearest store location to the customer’s address. This approach optimizes inventory management and leverages the retail store as a mini-distribution center.

For Customers

  • Faster delivery
  • Reduced out-of-stock
  • Convenient local pickup
  • Improved product availability
  • Reduced shipping costs

For Retailers

  • Increased sales
  • Efficient inventory management
  • Faster order fulfillment
  • Reduced shipping expenses
  • Optimized store utilization

BOPIS: Buy Online, Pickup In-Store

BOPIS is a retail strategy that allows customers to shop online and then pick up their purchases at a physical store location. This approach has become increasingly important during peak season sales for several reasons:

For Customers

  • Convenience, cost savings, and safety
  • Avoiding shipping delays and crowds
  • In-store exploration

For Retailers

  • Increased foot traffic
  • In-store upselling opportunities
  • Reduced shipping costs, especially when dealing with high
  • order volumes during peak sales
  • Improved inventory management
  • Competitive advantage and customer loyalty

BORIS: Buy Online, Return In-Store

The third player in the mix, BORIS offers another layer of flexibility, convenience, and efficiency, especially when shopping frenzy and return rates soar. This approach not only elevates the shopping experience but also streamlines retail operations, proving its significance in bustling sales seasons with benefits including:

For Customers

  • Convenience and hassle-free return options, especially for gift purchases or impulse buys
  • Swift, in-store refunds or exchanges
  • Savings on return shipping
  • Personalized assistance and in-store help enhancing the shopping experience

For Retailers

  • Boosts store visits, aiding cross-selling during peak sales
  • Streamlines reverse logistics
  • Reduces reverse logistics expenses, vital during high returns
  • Reinforces physical store presence, enhancing brand trust
  • Fosters loyalty, generating repeat business and referrals

What makes BOPIS, BORIS, and BOSS possible:

What makes BOPIS, BORIS, and BOSS possible:

As the peak season sale looms, retailers are reimagining their approach to omnichannel strategies, catering to the convenience-craving consumer. In this retail showdown, each player holds the power to craft a unique festive game plan as there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Some opt to entice hordes of shoppers into their brick-and-mortar stores, luring them with exclusive discounts on in-store pickups. Meanwhile, others place their faith in dedicated distribution centers for online order fulfillment, with physical stores standing by as reliable reinforcements.

The omnichannel landscape, rich with possibilities, hinges on the effective deployment of the right technology and the training of employees to leverage it optimally. Those who tread this path aren’t merely eyeing sales objectives but are also curating customer goodwill, setting the stage for a promising and joyous festive season.

For more assistance on how to implement an omnichannel ecosystem for your brand, get in touch with our experts today.

Warehouse Management

How to Streamline Your Warehouse Operations During Peak Season Sales

The holiday season is here, and we all know what that means—sales and discounts! Both consumers and businesses look forward to this time of the year for major price cuts and a significant uptick in order volume, respectively. While it’s a great time for customers, peak season sales can feel like an all-out sprint for businesses managing warehouse operations. The stakes are high, the pressure is relentless, and the ability to meet customer demands swiftly and accurately can make or break a business. 

During this time, warehouses often face significant challenges, from inventory and space management to quick order processing, handling returns, and reverse logistics. All this while ensuring that orders are fulfilled on time, and SLA requirements are met. So, businesses must streamline their warehouse and supply chain operations to ensure they do not have missed sales opportunities. 

In this blog, we will explore how your can warehouse can streamline its operations during peak sales season with some of the best practices that can come in handy.

Top strategies to overcome warehouse operational challenges during sales season

1) Efficient Inventory planning and management

Historical sales data can come in real handy during this time. It can give you insights into how much uptick in order volume your business generally sees during the sales season. This will help you prepare inventory in advance. Without demand forecasting, you will either end up with too much inventory that will hog capital and precious warehouse space or too little stock that your business won’t be able to take full advantage of the sale. 

Past data can also help you identify the top SKUs that sell the most and s for the entire sale. All this might sound like a real hassle, but a capable merchandising solution can make it really easy, and, in addition, it will help you reduce inventory holding, increase revenue, and manage discounts.

Now, once you have the required inventory in the right amount, it is critical to have real-time visibility over it. This ensures that if a product goes out of stock, you don’t take orders and cancel them later, hampering customer experience. 

2) Fast order processing and fulfillment

During a typical sales season, the order volume can increase 4-5 times or even more. So, it is difficult for warehouses to manage and fulfill orders on time. However, it is also a non-negotiable part because delays in shipping can often lead to cancellations from the customer end, which means missed opportunities and profits. 

So, warehouses must make order picking and packing as efficient as possible. This can be done by implementing methods like batch or zone picking and using pigeon holes that are far superior to put-to-light systems that many warehouses still use.

Optimizing the warehouse layout is another easy way to streamline the order fulfillment process. For example, there can be a picking area close to the packing desk with inventory that is in high demand, ensuring easy accessibility. There can also be another area with QC checkpoints to manage returns.

3) Reduce dependency on skilled manpower

While it is essential to plan and have extra manpower during the sales season, the most optimal way is to reduce dependency on skilled labor altogether. Considering the high turnover rate in warehouses, it’s time for businesses to switch to a warehouse management system that does not need high technical skills to operate and is easy to learn. It reduces dependency and means new workers can be hired and trained much quicker in a labor shortage.

It can help reduce staffing costs by about 20-25% and also get new workers up to speed in a matter of hours. This is particularly important, especially during sales when thousands of orders are processed every hour. Such a system can also help automate manual tasks, which further reduces dependency on people.

4) Returns and reverse logistics

Handling returns and reverse logistics during peak sales seasons can be complex, but it’s crucial to maintaining customer satisfaction and ensuring smooth operations. So, to manage it efficiently, businesses need to look at past data that gives a general overview of the percentage of returns from total orders.

After getting an idea, a separate space can be designated (as per volume) in the warehouse with all the necessary quality checkpoints to process returns and get them back live on marketplaces as soon as possible. The faster the process is, the easier it will be for businesses to clear the inventory during the sales period. 

Best practices to follow during the sales season

The sales season is a great time for businesses to boost sales and profitability, enhance customer satisfaction, and build brand loyalty. Here are some of the best practices warehouses must implement to make the most of this festive season.

1) Customer communication: Businesses should maintain clear and proactive communication with customers by providing information about order status, delivery times, and delays. 

2) Quality control and assurance: It is important to implement stringent quality control processes to ensure that products meet quality standards before shipping. This can reduce quality-related returns, saving a lot of cost and time.

3) Omnichannel strategy: Businesses can maximize their sales by offering a seamless shopping experience across different sales channels. However, ensuring that inventory levels and pricing are consistent across channels is essential.

4) Supply chain resilience: Before the sale begins, enhance the resilience of your supply chain by diversifying suppliers and logistics partners. At the same time, develop contingency plans for supply chain disruptions and have backup suppliers in place.

5) Data analytics: By leveraging data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior, sales trends, and operational performance, you can make informed decisions and adjust your strategies in real time.

Final thoughts

Managing your warehouse operations efficiently during peak season sales should always be the first priority because it directly affects your business profitability. So, are you ready to elevate your warehouse management and thrive during peak sales seasons? Discover how Increff tech driven solutions can streamline inventory management, reduce costs, and boost customer satisfaction. 

Contact us today for a demo and take the first step towards peak season success.

Warehouse Management

Why Does the Increff Digital Pigeonhole System Beat Put-To-Light Systems for E-commerce Operations

The technology you use in your warehouse for the entire picking and packing process is critical to how efficiently the different processes happen. This is especially true in the case of B2C orders, where meeting the marketplace SLAs is very critical, and the volumes are high, but the number of items per order is low as compared to B2B dispatches. 

In fact, generally, in e-commerce, around 70%-80% of orders received only have a single item. The complications increase further due to multiple e-commerce sales channels like Amazon, Flipkart & Myntra that a single warehouse might fulfill orders. 

From different types of packing materials, taping, invoices, shipping labels, and stickering to image capturing and QC processes, there are a lot of variables that apply to each order. When this is combined with a generic sorter and PTL (Put/-to-light) system, the operational efficiency and speed drastically fall. 

There are a lot of limitations that such a system has as compared to Increff pigeonhole, which makes the latter a much better choice for warehouses. Let’s take a look at them.

1) Throughput and scalability

Most light-directed systems can have only one person in a work zone at a time, which reduces potential throughput. In addition, since the lights are wired to the shelving location, it can be expensive and time-consuming to expand or modify a pick-to-light system.

Whereas for Increff digital pigeonhole works on concepts of zone aisle and serialization. So, multiple operations can simultaneously work on the pigeonhole at the same time.

Since there is no need for any integrated hardware, it’s as easy to scale up as to add new shelves and put barcodes on them. Suppose you need to downscale; that is also easy by just disabling the pigeonhole in the system.   

2) Maintenance and dependence on hardware 

A PTL system is highly dependent on hardware as it uses a physical light that a worker must find and press to do a put-to-light. These hardware lights require a lot of maintenance, and every item put in needs to be manually entered into the system. In case the warehouse is very large, the efficiency decreases further because multiple workers are required in different areas just to make sure when a light is turned on, it is visible to someone.

However, in the case of Increff Pigeonhole, everything is done digitally. The only requirement is to do stickering with a barcode. Once that is completed, the exact location is shown to the sorter where they need to collect their item. In the case of larger warehouses, the locations can also be divided into multiple layers like shelves, isles, and more.

3) Item count accuracy

In put-to-light systems, multiple lights turn on for consolidating one SKU in multiple orders, so there are high chances of operators making mistakes in putting the right number of items in the right order. 

Increff pigeonhole works on serialization. To keep any item in the pigeonhole, a serialized item code has to be scanned. This ensures that there aren’t any errors. 

4) Path optimization post consolidation 

In the case of large warehouses with thousands of square feet in space and 100+ pigeonholes, picking consolidated orders post-pigeonholing becomes a big deal.

If a worker has to pick items from 50 orders before bringing them back to the packing desk, just collecting them at random reduces their productivity, as it takes time to find where the next light is on, and then turning it off becomes difficult if there are 100 – 200 shelves. A PTL system is incapable of offering an optimized pick path route post consolidation because when 15 lights are on in different bins, and all of them are not even visible to a worker, they won’t know the best route to take. 

In Increff pigeonhole, once orders are consolidated, Increff shows a dashboard that tells operators which pigeonhole aisle has orders of what channels and SLA. Once an operator starts picking for consolidated orders, the Increff system automatically optimizes their pick path and gives guided picking. Increff pigeonhole also allows marketplace-wise order picking, which gives a very high rise in productivity if there are marketplace-wise packing stations. In traditional PTL systems, this kind of filtering is not possible.

Why do we even need a pigeonhole if 70% of orders are single pieces? 

Absolutely correct observation. Let’s go a step back from order consolidation and go to picking. In traditional WMS, which works on SKU bases and not on serialization, for example, if 100 items are picked for e-commerce, there is no good way to sort the 70 items that are for single-piece orders vs. 30 items that are for multi-piece orders. Hence, all have to be taken to the pigeonhole. 

Increff WMS works on serialization, and every item that is getting picked gets instantly mapped to an order. So, just by a single sorting scan, the 70 items for single pieces can be segregated from 30 items for multi-piece orders and even on channel level. These 70 items don’t need to go to pigeonhole and can be directly taken to packing stations of respective channels. 

This reduces the need for pigeonhole by a large factor and saves a lot of time as well by only doing consolidation where it’s required.

TLDR Increff Pigeonhole a must-have in your warehouses

  1. Increff pigeonhole acts as both a sorter and consolidator.
  2. A single pigeonhole can be used for multiple orders, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. In general, the first item of an order can go to any pigeonhole, and the second item onwards goes to the same one. 
  3. When there are multiple bins with fewer SKUs than the limit, they will be consolidated to empty more bins. Once this happens, the consolidated bin will be prioritized for picking.
  4. Fast-moving items like top-sellers will be kept in pigeonholes closer to the packing zones to fastrack picking and packing.
  5. In large warehouses, Pigeonholes can be categorized into shelves, isles, and zones for easy locating.
  6. For B2C orders with only one item, once the picker picks it, it will bypass the pigeonhole and go directly to the packing table.

Also Read: Top 5 KPIs That a CEO Must Be Tracking in the Warehouse