The holiday season is quickly approaching, and e-commerce businesses are starting to prepare for the influx of orders. Despite the rise of inflation in the United States, a recent study by AlixPartners suggests holiday shopping is expected to rise 4 – 7% from last year. Meaning e-commerce businesses need to be prepared to fulfill a higher volume of orders than ever before. To meet the increased demand, many companies are turning to micro-fulfillment solutions. These systems use small warehouses or storage spaces to locally store inventory and fulfill orders. By using micro-fulfillment, retailers can avoid the cost and congestion of traditional fulfillment centers and transport.
Keep reading to learn more about micro-fulfillment and how you can take advantage of these “dark stores” to generate more revenue for your e-commerce business this holiday season.
Growth of Micro-Fulfillment & its Impact on eCommerce Holiday Fulfillment
Micro-fulfillment is expected to grow 20x by 2030 and is already being used by some of the largest e-commerce retailers in the world. Micro-fulfillment provides a higher level of flexibility, allowing retailers to adapt quickly to changing customer needs. As a result, micro-fulfillment is expected to play a crucial role in e-commerce fulfillment this holiday season.
Traditional e-commerce fulfillment centers are designed to handle large orders from a wide variety of customers. But during the holidays, when everybody is buying gifts at the same time, these fulfillment centers can quickly become overwhelmed.
Micro-fulfillment centers are smaller and more specialized, designed to fulfill orders quickly and efficiently. And because they’re located closer to urban areas, they can get orders to customers even faster. This is especially important during the holidays, when people are expecting their gifts to arrive on time, and correctly.
Tips for Preparing Your Inventory for a Successful Holiday Season
The holiday season is a busy time for e-commerce businesses. In order to ensure a successful holiday season, it is important to prepare your inventory in advance. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Analyze your past sales data to determine which items are most popular during the holidays. This will help you prioritize which items to keep in stock.
- Plan for an increase in orders by increasing your production capacity.
- Utilize micro-fulfillment strategies to get products closer to the customer quickly and accurately.
- Make sure your shipping process is efficient by testing it out in advance and having a plan for dealing with any potential delays.
McMurray Stern: Your Micro-Fulfillment Partner
McMurray Stern is providing businesses with a strategic shopping experience. E-commerce businesses are needing a solution to get products closer to the customer by allowing for on-demand delivery and cutting down the distance between the warehouse and the customer’s front door.
We have five different approaches to meet your needs and your customer’s demands, with each solution offering a different price option, rate, and speed. With our micro-fulfillment solutions you can expect quicker direct delivery, in-store, same-day, or curbside pickup, better accuracy and efficiency for warehouse growth, and automated solutions for products needing temperature-controlled environments.
McMurray Stern’s micro-fulfillment solutions include:
Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs)
Vertical lifts are the ideal storage solution for products, components, and small items. Many retail and grocery companies have chosen our lifts to help organize and improve their workflow, thanks to their flexibility, wide range of models available, superior design, and ease of use.
Carousels & Micro-Fulfillment
Carousel systems enable highly efficient storage and picking processes in the smallest possible space. Carousels are an outstanding solution for handling small parts along with medium to slow-moving products including retail, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, electronics components, media, and food items.
Our cuby and flexi shuttle system options are ideal automated storage and retrieval solutions that can be used in a variety of different industries, enhancing storage efficiency. The cuby reliably moves containers and cartons weighing up to 35 kg, while the flexi shuttle uses a modular concept, combining shuttles, lifts, and a racking system. This allows for flexibility, space optimization, and high levels of technical performance.
Pouch Sorters & Carriers Micro-Fulfillment Solutions
Pouch sorters and carriers enable the accumulation, buffering, distributing, and sorting of goods. Pouch sorters have high throughput, are low maintenance, and have universal usage for goods weighing up to 3 kg. You can connect various secondary load carriers to this adapter manually or as a fully automated system.
HAIPICK robots offer intelligent picking and handling, autonomous navigation, active obstacle avoidance, and autonomous charging. Characterized by its high stability and high precision, the robot can replace the repetitive, time-consuming, and heavy manual storage and handling work, realizing efficient and intelligent “goods to person” picking and significantly improving the warehouse’s storage density and operational efficiency.
Want to see how micro-fulfillment can help improve your business for the holiday season? Contact our storage solutions experts.