With consumers planning their holiday shopping earlier this year, it is necessary for businesses to bolster their planning and forecasting capabilities to meet the surge in demand. The foundational step in this direction is to know the trends of this year’s holiday season.

Here are six crucial supply chain trends that businesses can expect for the 2021 holiday season.

Emergence of pop-up fulfillment models

Emergence of pop-up fulfillment models

Retail brands have started to set temporary storefronts or fulfillment spaces during holiday seasons called pop-up stores. Big brands like Walmart leveraged this trend during the 2020 holiday season to improve their sales and maintain high service levels for speedy deliveries.

Rise of D2C Business Model

Rise of D2C Business Model

For the Consumer Packaged Goods(CPG) industry, Direct-to-Consumer is a relatively new business model. It helps brands to produce, market, distribute and sell their products to consumers directly without any involvement from intermediaries. With in-person shopping hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, D2C business models have gained significant traction.

Increasing focus on sustainability and green logistics

Increasing focus on sustainability and green logistics

Sustainability has become more crucial due to increasing consumer consciousness around the environmental impact of their purchases. As a result, retail businesses during this peak season hold an added responsibility in carrying out their businesses with green logistics. The trend of green logistics is rapidly growing and it helps brands elevate their goodwill and boost brand loyalty.

Optimizing last-mile logistics

Optimizing last-mile logistics

One of the core focuses for a majority of businesses this holiday season is streamlining last-mile logistics. As the demand for online shopping has skyrocketed, any inefficiencies in the last-mile delivery can heavily cost the retail business. Optimizing last-mile delivery helps businesses to effectively counter last-mile inefficiencies and devise strategies for a faster delivery.

Adding convenient return options

Adding convenient return options

With a surge in returns anticipated this holiday season, the biggest challenge for a majority of businesses is to manage their reverse logistics. Retail businesses will be looking to add more choices and improve the convenience in return options this peak season by implementing safer and economical return options like curbside returns.

Omnichannel edge for businesses

Omnichannel edge for businesses

An omnichannel presence of retail businesses will heavily contribute to the acceleration of e-commerce activities this holiday season. A majority of retailers will interact with their consumers online, but they will provide added convenience through their physical store networks. They will also leverage physical stores for offerings like buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, curbside returns, etc.

2021 holiday season sales: An acid test for many businesses

This holiday season sales will provide a host of new opportunities for various businesses to improve their e-commerce and omnichannel capabilities. The success of this holiday season entirely depends on how businesses will effectively cater to their in-store foot traffic and online shopping channels. But the acid test lies in how they manage the last-mile delivery operations.

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  • Locus’ proprietary geocoding engine converts the fuzziest of the addresses into precise geographical coordinates thereby helping your on-ground executives locate addresses easily.
  • Digitize all your operational variables such as fleets, delivery persons, etc to come up with the best route plan every day.
  • Track your orders in real-time with the Locus Live Dashboard. Locus’ last-mile delivery app Locus On The Road (LOTR) helps delivery partners process orders.
  • Visualize and tweak your scheduled plans via three key metrics— geography, time, & vehicle(fleet)—with a birds-eye view of your entire operations.
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