With less than two weeks to go until the traditional kick-off of the holiday shopping season, online retailers are preparing for an onslaught of customer orders. It all begins on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving—although Thanksgiving Day is now figuring into the mix despite something of a backlash against stores that open their doors while the turkey is still on the table.
The long holiday weekend ends with Cyber Monday, the day websites try to entice shoppers with steep discounts as they return to work.
Overall, the last two months of 2019 are shaping up to be another record-breaking season, with research firm Adobe Analytics predicting that online spending in November and December will come in at $143.7 billion, up more than 14% from a year ago. That equates to sales in excess of $1 billion each day during the two-month period.
As for the peaks, online sales on Black Friday are expected to come in at $7.5 billion, up more than 20% from last year, while the Cyber Monday sales forecast is $9.4 billion, up almost 19%. Even Thanksgiving Day sales are expected to surge online by nearly 20% to $4.4 billion.
Adobe Analytics has even managed to narrow down the most profitable window for retailers, predicting that a whopping 30% of all Cyber Monday sales will occur between 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm Pacific Time on Monday, December 2, 2019. That’s $3 billion in sales in just four hours. Adobe says this unprecedented spike will be the result of customers’ fear of missing out on last-minute deals at the end of the day.
Are You Ready?
With billions of dollars on the table during the five-day period from November 28 to December 2, your e-commerce operations need to be in tip-top shape. Warehouse software systems and workers will be pushed to their limits and finding temporary help will be a struggle, and the disruptions that inevitably follow when you bring in seasonal help will weigh on the bottom line.
A better solution is to look at a comprehensive AI-driven robotics platform, such as our next-generation Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) system, which allows you to scale up or scale down depending on your seasonal needs.
When you partner with inVia, you get a fleet of robots that picks with 99.9% accuracy, which means you spend less time and resources on quality control. Our robots map your warehouse and select the most efficient item retrieval routes, using machine learning and AI to continually optimize the fulfillment process. We also direct the consolidation of products after picking to ensure that orders are accurate. Best of all, you pay for the services our robots provide—not for the robots. That way, you don’t incur big upfront costs that delay ROI.
You can also use the inVia system to improve picking results in zones where you aren’t using robots. Our easy-to-use inVia PickMate tool guides your people to move goods from the pick face into order bins with simplicity and precision. We map the optimal path, and your people follow simple commands. It’s the perfect complement to robotic picking that lets your people focus on picking goods that are non-standard sizes and shapes, while your robots focus on the routine movement of goods.
Why Does it Matter?
Investing in robotics and automation will allow you to keep up with increasingly demanding customer expectations. Faster delivery times, broader product selections, free returns, and stiff competition all make the question of automating your warehouse a matter of when—not if. Take steps today to set yourself up for the next peak season, and an even bigger holiday shopping season next year.
To learn more about how inVia Robotics’ can help your business run faster and smarter, contact our sales team today.