3 Burning Questions: Overcoming Peak Season Challenges With Fossil

Jan 30, 2023

For retailers, the holiday season is by far the most important and challenging time of the year. From managing inventory levels to dealing with increased customer demand, there are a lot of things to keep track of. As such, operating a retail store or e-commerce business during peak season is no easy feat. With so many shoppers vying for the same products and services, it can get extremely difficult to stay ahead of the competition.

In the latest episode of our new series – 3 Burning Questions, we sat down with Candyse Yip, Fossil's Head of E-commerce, to unpack the secrets to overcoming challenges during peak season.

Our 3 burning questions for this particular session were as follows:

  1. What does peak season in the “new normal” look like for retailers?

  2. What are some of the top logistical challenges Fossil faced during peak season?

  3. What was Fossil's strategy to maximize holiday season sales?

Prefer to hear her answers? Watch the full recording here

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What Peak Season In The “New Normal” Looks Like For Retailers (1:42 - 3:47)

First and foremost, Candyse mentioned that a hybrid shopping experience is what customers are looking for in the “new normal". While we cannot deny the joy and convenience of online shopping, the satisfaction of physically looking, touching and interacting with products remains unmatched. 

As customers’ buying habits and preferences evolve, merchants must learn to diversify their selling channels rather than stick to their comfort zones. That being said, Candyse advised against blindly diving into a new channel as she believes in the importance of thorough research beforehand. Additionally, she also suggested that shops should primarily focus on providing satisfying shopping experiences for their customers. “Planning is particularly essential, especially considering how frequently the ‘new normal’ may vary. But keep in mind that the strategy should be adaptable to the rapidly shifting e-commerce sector.”

A further point Candyse stressed was that businesses need to know how to make their own e-commerce store stand out from the rest. One way to do so is to ensure the user experience for shoppers is consistent across every single one of their online channels, starting from retailers’ websites to other third-party marketplaces like Amazon, Shopee and Lazada.

Top Logistical Challenges Fossil Faced During Peak Season (3:49 - 6:16)

The high amount of pickups and deliveries to customers is one of the biggest issues facing retailers during the picking season, according to Candyse. The huge volume of sales that have occurred over this time period is the primary cause of this issue. In addition, we have a variety of holidays towards the end of the year, including Christmas, which actually falls during some of the busiest times. This undoubtedly has a detrimental impact on timely delivery services and immediately affects the way clients shop.

Retailers must also deal with package thefts as well as transit problems. In fact, Candyse emphasized that Fossil has previously encountered a number of parcel theft incidents that had a negative impact on customers' experiences with delayed shipments. She added that the brand name Fossil printed on the top of packages might be the primary reason for parcel thefts. Since then, they have made the decision to alter the packaging of their packages by printing their brand name within the package rather than outside as they had done previously.

Fossil’s Strategy To Maximize Holiday Season Sales (6:18 - 10:06)

According to Candyse, there are 3 main strategies that Fossil always concentrates on: relationship management, the right product, and targeted digital marketing.

In regards to relationship management, Fossil always focuses on developing strategic relationships with the marketplace that will actually boost traffic at this time. They also make an effort to allocate resources to meet customer demand at the busiest time of year. Candyse said that during busy times, inquiries could arrive at any time. In fact, the highest peak time is often from 12 to 2am, not the regular working hours. In order to avoid a breakdown, businesses should be sure to have the proper resources available to customers at the appropriate time.

When it comes to the right product, Fossil frequently offers the appropriate selection on online stores and ensures that the inventory is ready to support sales activities. In terms of marketing, Fossil has developed digital marketing initiatives to direct traffic to their landing page from outside sources like EDM and paid media. Additionally, attracting clients' attention is essential prior to the peak period. Fossil usually has announcements on their social media channels where a huge number of Fossil fans are active. Customers who notice the news can first decide which things they wish to buy during the peak season before adding them to their shopping carts.

At the end of the day, the customer – their expectations and experience – should always be the first consideration for merchants. With Fossil, they constantly work to build strong client relationships, provide them with the ideal selection, and then get in touch with them through the appropriate channels while they are actively looking through products.

About Candyse Yip 

Candyse Yip has over 15 years of experience in fashion retail, specializing in eCommerce, digital marketing, and merchandising. She currently heads the E-commerce team in Singapore and Malaysia for Fossil Group. Previously, she has worked for companies such as Clarks, aCommerce, and Trendz360. She has worked to initiate and accelerate E-commerce businesses for multiple global brands. With her passion for eCommerce, she firmly believes a successful eCommerce leader should deliver an exceptional online experience leveraging on technology.

About Unpacking E-Commerce Logistics Series

Unpacking E-Commerce Logistics brings together some of the best experts in the e-commerce logistics and supply chain space to unpack key concepts from a variety of trending topics, ranging from the use of Artificial Intelligence in the industry to embracing hyperlocal delivery in the e-commerce world. An integral part of this series is our “3 Burning Questions” interviews that zoom in on important industry sub-topics that we all want to know about.

For more exclusive reports, insights, and interviews on the latest updates in e-commerce and logistics, follow us on LinkedIn or join our community as a member.

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