Revenge Festivities: How To Power Up Your Retail Last-Mile Fulfillment To Meet Soaring Demand

retail last mile fulfillment

Between the Covid-19 waves, a trend emerged in the US and the rest of the world that earned the popular name of ‘revenge shopping’. The pandemic had people locked up in their homes for a long time and spending had been frugal. According to McKinsey’s latest consumer pulse survey, Spending in March 2020 was down by 18% as compared to two years later. In short: Consumers were aching to get dressed and go out to shop, travel, and fill up store aisles again as restriction eased. 

Now almost two years since the black swan event, the trend continues, evolving into much grander, ‘revenge festivities’. Fuelled by a strong return to normalcy, ‘revenge festivities’ is a simmering trend that picked up during this Navratri in India, leading to a 15% spike in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sales with kirana stores stocking up 18% more.

There seems to be a similar uptick across other geographies as well. According to United States Census Bureau data, advance estimates for U.S. retail and food services sales for September 2022 stood at $684.0 billion, which was an 8.2% rise in comparison to September 2021.  In the Middle East, UAE’s retail sector spending grew by 15% in the second quarter on a year-on-year basis. Looking at South East Asia, Indonesia’s latest Real Sales Index (RSI) saw a 4.1% year-on-year increase in June 2022.

Retailers the world over are seeing this as a hopeful sign after a period of degrowth in the last few months thanks to the shrinking rural markets. So even if these sales spikes would last no longer than 10-15 days, the end of the year still promises to be an eventful time all over the world line up.

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What to anticipate during year-end festivities?

As more and more people step out of their homes to celebrate the upcoming holidays, FMCG or CPG retailers can gear up for an eventful time ahead. The sense of safety has increased with vaccinations and businesses can expect to be busy until we bid adieu to the year.

Gifting promises to remain popular this time of the year, especially during Diwali, when consumer spending spikes significantly in Asia’s third-largest economy. This is also the time e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Flipkart, Meesho, Snapdeal, Myntra and the likes unveil their festive season sales in all their splendor. It is the first time in three years that Indian businesses are set to celebrate the festival in a state of near-normalcy.    

In fact, around 300,000 new jobs have already been created in the sector so far and over 500,000 more are expected to be added till Diwali, according to this report, as the demand for gig workers steadily increases. Needless to say, Christmas and New Year will look no different. 

How businesses can prepare their retail last-mile operations for the festive season

As festive season demands go up so does uncertainty in supply chains. So how do you beat this constant state of flux? The answer lies with building resilient supply chains. By optimizing last mile operations, businesses can deliver exceptional customer experiences. Here are some of the ways you can up your logistics game this time of the year:

  1. Plan. And then plan some more: Leverage data and insights to forecast festive season consumer behavior and plan your distribution networks, sourcing locations, and additional fleet requirements well in advance of the season.
  1. Make friends with your customer: Set up your fulfillment centers closer to high density order areas and urban localities to reach customers faster.
  1. Personalization is key: Stand out from your competitors with clear, real-time communication with customers throughout the shopping experience. This is the time to personalize communications as well as set delivery timing expectations right with the customer as demand goes up.
  1. Keep your drivers happy: Equip your drivers and delivery partners with accurate location and routing tools, and incentivize them for better performance. This is also how you equip them for excellence. 
  1. No last-minute scrambling: From order capture to dispatching, rider allocation and fleet management, plan your last mile logistics better to avoid last minute hiccups in deliveries.
  1. Make note of your mistakes: Monitor your on-ground logistics with live visibility tools, prevent errors in real time and learn from ground data to make better decisions.

While conducting smooth same and two-day deliveries may be vital to the success of your business during this busy season, you need to solve for more than just speedy deliveries. Carefully curated fulfillment journeys, maintaining real-time visibility driver and order status, and managing customer expectations can help you get there.  

The Locus Dispatch Management Platform (DMP) is your constant companion for last-mile excellence. From the moment the order is placed till it reaches the customer’s doorstep, Locus’ DMP tracks on-time performance, distance, cost and other business insights.  It also uncovers deep-lying inefficiencies with its advanced analytics capabilities, equip workforces for excellence, and enables companies to scale with lower emissions.

Make the best of the revenge festivities elevating the post-purchase consumer experience, Schedule a demo to know more.


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