India is the land of festivals where people love to enjoy jewels, delicacies, and gifts across the country. The festive season in India generally starts from mid-September (Navratri, Dussehra, and Diwali) to December (Christmas and New year); during this tenure, the D2C sector witnesses a tremendous spike in sales. Be it jewelry, food and beverages, fashion and clothing, or even personal care products, every business in D2C gets hyperactive during the festive season in India.
According to a report by RedSeer, in 2021, the Indian festive season registered a 60% growth in gross sales for online sellers compared to 2020. It is notable that 2021 also witnessed this growth as customers overcame missed festivals due to extended lockdowns.
However, during festivals, the 3PLs and shipping companies experience various challenges in catering to the brand and customer demands.
Logistics Challenges Faced by Online Sellers during the Festivals
Though logistics play a crucial role in the success of online sellers during festivals, the shipping industry faces multiple roadblocks during this period. Let’s look at some of the challenges that logistics companies face during the festival period in India:
Higher Order Volumes
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, customers have to spend most of the festivals away from their family and friends. Since today there are no such restrictions, people wish to celebrate the festivals with their family and friends. To reignite the spirit of celebrations, customers are renovating their wardrobes with new-fashioned clothes, upgrading their house with the latest equipment and appliances, and sending gifts to the people still living apart due to work or other reasons.
As a result, the sellers are getting a higher number of orders which are difficult to ship to the customers. Moreover, if a delivered order is returned, transportation becomes even more difficult. The rising order volumes make it challenging for the brands to deliver the products to the customers on time.
Heavy Traffic During Festivals
As the on-ground market rush increases during the festivals, it creates enormous commotion on the road. As a result, there is heavy traffic during the festive season, further resulting in delays in product deliveries.
Delivering the products to the customers is of utmost priority for brands. However, with limited resources available at the delivery partner end, the courier companies are overburdened with the product deliveries. As a result, the commitment to meeting the deadline is impossible.
Increasing order numbers also put pressure on the warehouses as they cannot store the products. The storage shortage can result from delayed pickups, lack of transit facilities, lack of delivery agents, and delivery vehicle shortages.
How Can Brands Overcome Logistics Challenges During Festivals?
Since the logistics challenges an online brand faces during festivals are clear, let’s look at some of the best practices that can help brands overcome the above mentioned barriers.
Partnering with Tech-Enabled Logistics Partner
Technology provides better visibility of inventory and optimum routes for timely delivery. The tech-enabled logistics providers such as Pickrr allow the brands to plan their pickups so they can be dispatched quickly. Moreover, the tech-enabled logistics companies provide a smooth communication channel between the customer and brand, making update sharing easy between the two entities. Additionally, Saas-based end-to-end logistics solutions provided by the 3PL companies are now easily integrated into the brand’s environment.
Implement Route Optimization Tools
Route optimization tools allow brands to identify and plan the best possible routes for product delivery. The tool uses advanced technologies such as real-time GPS and IoT to pinpoint the exact location of vehicles. It then augments the vehicle location with the traffic conditions on the road, alerting the driver about the traffic condition of a particular route.
Offer Free Shipping
Shipping cost is one of the significant concerns that hinder the customers’ shopping experience. During festive seasons the brands can offer free shipping to improve customer retention rates and attract new customers.
Provide Real-time Delivery Updates
Offering delivery updates in real-time can be a valuable tool for the brands to upscale their delivery rates during the festive season. As the anticipation of getting the desired product increases during the festivals, customers wish to know the precise location of the order before it reaches them. Additionally, the penetration of smartphones into the shopping psychology of Indian consumers has also propelled the brands to provide real-time delivery tracking updates.
How Pickrr Helps Brands During Festive Season
Pickrr provides end-to-end logistics solutions to the brands. The company uses cutting-edge innovations to ensure that the deliveries are made on time, resulting in a better customer shopping experience. Moreover, the shipping organization encapsulates multiple courier partners to ensure that the product reaches its destination in the allocated time. The features such as estimated delivery dates, same-day delivery, and next-day delivery assure that the sellers’ RTOs are decreased by 50%.
Moreover, Pickrr also provides value-added services, such as Pickrr Connect and Pickrr Predict, that allow the brands to connect with customers and provide delivery updates. With the help of Pickrr’s value-added services, brands can identify the risky zones during the festive seasons and take preventive measures to reduce the RTOs in these locations.
Festivals are essential in Indian markets as they play a crucial role in boosting the country’s economy. As the occasions bring festivities to the house, brands need to uplift their inventory and logistics division to cater to the growing demand by the customers during festivals. To cater to the exponentially growing demands of consumers in the festive seasons, brands must partner with a sound and efficient logistics partner. To know more about how a 3PL can help the brands during the festive season, visit here.