The United States has very few holidays when compared to other countries around the world, which makes it a prime opportunity for retailers and businesses to capitalize on the momentum when each of them comes around. Even though January and February bring Martin Luther King and President’s Day respectively, these smaller holidays are not really observed outside of federal institutions, so after the New Year, the closest holiday or long weekend on the horizon is Memorial Day Weekend. This day, established to honor fallen soldiers for their service, serves as the beginning of the summer and one of the first main sales events of the year.
When these massive sales come around, the supply chain management operations hit record stress levels. When it comes to spikes in order volumes, industries such as wholesale and distribution must rely heavily on state-of-the-art platforms and solutions to help them meet customer demands at their usual service standard. For example, from Memorial Day until Labor Day it’s believed that 818 hot dogs are consumed per second, leading to sales of 7 billion hot dogs over the four-month period.
Even though Black Friday is the holiday that reigns supreme, when it comes to chaotic shopping it was estimated that 45.5% of Americans took advantage of the 20%-80% discounts that Memorial Day deals brought about, with an average spend of $486 over the weekend. This makes it an unmissable runner-up in the race to harnessing the attention (and spending habits) of holiday shoppers.
After Memorial Day, the next big holiday in the states is Independence Day, which takes place on July 4th. A big date in brewery calendars, this holiday currently holds the top place for beer sales, followed closely by Memorial Day and Labor Day.
All of these holidays are now over a hundred years old, with the sales events surrounding them being at least a few decades old. This means that there are endless amounts of data regarding past consumer behavior that can be leveraged to anticipate the trends and get ahead of the curve. This is a hugely consequential point, considering that as technology is more available to consumers, expectations for aspects such as customer satisfaction are higher than ever. It is evidently incredibly important to offer the highest level of service possible utilizing the best tech available in order to stand out and thrive in a saturated marketplace.
In this feature by Deloitte about trends in wholesale and distribution, a framework is outlined wherein the not-so-distant future distributors will need to go the extra mile. It’s no longer enough to meet customer needs; now it’s a matter of survival to also “anticipate and shape them.” The reason? To proactively “deliver solutions to problems that customers may not even know they have” (or experienced yet).
Every industry player, from wholesale and distribution, to retailers and food & beverage managers, need to arm themselves with the right tools to allow them to operate their inventory forecasting and automate as many processes as possible. This holds especially true today in the era of Amazon Fulfillment, which completely revolutionized the buying experience and set the standard for a new level of customer attention. This consequently put thousands of smaller companies out of business as they weren’t prepared to compete with the logistics giant.
Intelligent Enterprise and innovation are going to be key contributors to the survival and potential to thrive of the companies that are smart enough to invest in the right kind of solutions. Solutions that will take them to the next level of technology, following trends like automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more.
Any process automation is a path that unlocks the power of the workforce. It gives workers more time to invest in activities that require human interaction, and in turn, helps employees by boosting their morale when they feel their contributions are making a difference to the success of the company. And in wholesale and distribution, innovation can help digitize endless processes and reach record-breaking fulfillment speeds.
There are many opportunities for companies to get ahead of the curve and start anticipating their customers’ needs, and all of them start with the right technology. Whether the focus is on ERP or business intelligence, today’s technology is a catapult into the success of tomorrow.
The companies that are prepared to offer the top-of-the-line experience to customers – whether it’s a holiday or not – are the ones that can anticipate longevity in their business and can grow sustainably. To find out more about how to ensure that your business opportunities are being explored to their full future potential, please contact us.
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