SANTA ANA, CALIF. – Christmas may be five months away, but it’s not too soon for dealers to begin getting their cellular ducks in order, according to Ingram Micro Mobility, North America. Doug Pasquale, executive VP of the distributor’s logistics division, shared the following tips with TWICE.
Pre-holiday planning: “I can’t stress enough that there needs to be a dedicated holiday supply chain strategy put in place well in advance, as retailers are dealing with higher-than-normal spikes in demand,” Pasquale said. “I always recommend that mobile device retailers begin forecasting demand, working with device manufacturers and strategizing the intake, stocking and return of devices at least six months out. Mobile device/electronics retailers should have already begun to map out their overall holiday supply chain strategy by this point and should now be focused on executing it, as well as on collaborating closely with device and component manufacturers and supply chain partners on delivery schedules, finalizing promotional packaging designs and production schedules.”
Holiday assortments: “There are many holidayspecific offerings and in-store displays that retailers commonly use and should do so to differentiate themselves at the holiday time,” he noted. “It’s always common to see new holiday deals such as family packages, rebates, extensions on returns policies and new channels to route returns, same-day or next-day shipping and delivery options, free shipping, and bundling products. Additionally, retailers shouldn’t forget that creating a holiday-centric, in-store experience through the use of special signage, pallet displays, endcaps and promotional packaging is just as important.”
Bundled accessories: “Not every bundle makes sense from a strategy standpoint, but if done smartly, this can help retailers increase unit sales volumes, increase margins, enhance product exposure to consumers who may have otherwise not purchased a product in the set, and present new retail channel opportunities,” Pasquale advised. “From a logistics standpoint, bundling can present challenges as it requires multiple manufacturers, logistics partners and the retailer to clearly and quickly communicate the demand for that particular bundle. In many cases the logistics partner will physically repackage the products into a new bundled retail package.”
Final advice: “Those who spend the time and energy creating a lean and agile supply chain during the holidays will be better equipped to adapt to swings in demand, deliver products faster and guarantee product availability.”