The ultimate resource hub for retailers and merchants planning toward a successful holiday peak season in 2021

Planning for Peak in 2021

We’ve simplified your 2021 holiday sales and fulfillment strategy with quick tips and in-depth guides from Ware2Go’s team of supply chain and fulfillment experts. This  holiday season presents a unique set of supply chain challenges, but we’re here to arm you with the tools you need to make this holiday season a profitable one.

Tips to Optimize Holiday Fulfillment

Port congestion, longer lead times, and raw materials shortages have left 46% of merchants concerned that they won’t have enough inventory to meet consumer demand this year. If you’re working with limited holiday inventory, take these steps to maximize the profitability of your sales:

  1. Remind shoppers that inventory is limited and holiday shipping schedules are tight to create a sense of urgency.

  2. Offer fast, free shipping in place of product discounts.

  3. Ring-fence inventory to feed sales on more profitable channels.

  4. Optimize inventory distribution for 1-2 day ground to meet fast shipping guarantees without hurting margins.

  5. Geo-target advertising to reach customers closest to well-stocked fulfillment centers.

Final mile carriers expect to be over capacity by upwards of 5 million packages per day. All major carriers with competitive delivery guarantees will be forced to set pickup caps on high-volume shippers. Distributing your inventory across multiple warehouse locations will increase your number of daily pickups so you can meet ecommerce shipping expectations.

Warehouse space and labor are at a premium again this year. Lead times are lagging, and peak sales are starting earlier, which means warehouses are inbounding and outbounding peak volume at the same time. To ensure the best rates and highest service levels from your warehouse partners, communicate your demand forecast so they can schedule labor appropriately.


Choose a fulfillment partner with a fully integrated WMS that streamlines the inbounding process. A well-documented and timely ASN submitted digitally through a WMS will ensure a faster dock-to-stock time so you can start selling faster.

Get to Know The 2021 eCommerce Shopper

Ware2Go’s recent consumer survey revealed that 2020’s online shopping habits may be here to stay. Learn what today’s shoppers are looking for from online and in-store merchants as you plan your 2021 holiday peak strategy.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Peak shipping season is a result of the holiday shopping season. Peak season has always been a major seasonal sales driver for most merchants, but since the recent ecommerce boom, peak fulfillment and shipping have been a top concern for merchants looking to acquire new customers during the holiday season.
Peak shipping season begins at different times for all merchants, but according to Ware2Go’s merchant survey data, 30% of merchants began to see peak season sales as early as September this year. Peak shipping season ends after holiday returns have been made — typically by late January or early February. For ecommerce holiday sales, merchants should expect return rates of up to 40%.
To prepare for peak season, merchants should order inventory according to their demand forecasting models and supplier lead times, determine their marketing budget and build an advertising plan accordingly, and strategically position their inventory to achieve the best possible shipping speeds without sacrificing margins. (For more detailed tips, download our peak planning resource guide.)
Outsourcing peak shipping season to a 4PL or on-demand fulfillment partner is a great way to quickly scale up fulfillment operations to meet seasonal spikes in demand. In a 2020 survey, 44% of merchants indicated that outsourcing fulfillment simplified their operations. Additionally, outsourcing peak shipping can help SMB’s overcome the challenge of peak season carrier pickup caps.