How to Optimise your Operations for Successful Peak Trading

October 2022

How to optimise your operations  for successful peak trading

When managing a warehouse, there are certain steps you need to take when it comes to logistics planning for peak which some commentators are expecting to start as early as Halloween.  We have put together this guide to ensure you are all set up for peak trading as well as how to deal with any challenges that may arise.

Some key dates for your calendar:

Nov 25 - Black Friday

Nov 28 - Cyber Monday

Dec 3 - Small Business Saturday

Dec 14 - Free Shipping Day

Dec 17 - Super Saturday

Jan 9 - Peak Returns Week

Organise your operations

Use this time to organise your warehouse, review your operations to identify and rectify any pain points.

If you have traded before, analysing your data from previous peak seasons can help forecast and ensure that you have enough stock to meet the spike in order volumes. It is better to be overstocked, particularly your bestsellers, to avoid disappointment. Equally, it is important to get the stock in early so that it can be checked and processed ready to be picked and packed before the rush begins.


Automation will help your business by optimising processes to deal with the increase in volumes. Apps like Shopify Flow can be used to build custom workflows to automate campaigns, notifications and processes.

The mantra of efficiency is at play here – minimum input for maximum output.  Automation not only saves you time, allowing you to focus on more important aspects of your business, but can also reduce errors from manual intervention or when staff are overloaded with higher order volumes.

Make sure to prepare your E-Commerce platform for traffic spikes. Reducing loading time and having a backup will eliminate the risk of basket abandonment due to technical issues. Don’t forget to ensure that your website is fully optimised to cater for users who shop through their mobile devices.

Get your workforce ready

For any business, the team plays a core role in effective and smooth operations. The team is responsible for the growth, expansion and success of the company. If you are to get through peak as smoothly and efficiently as possible, regular and proper training for all employees to refresh skills and review processes is vital. Additionally,  make sure there are enough trained staff to cope with the increased demand, not just in processing orders but also dealing with increased enquiries, and quite likely, returns as well.

Review your delivery options

You’re almost there! Now, all we have to do is get all these orders to your eager shoppers.

You may want to make the order cut-off time earlier to ensure that you can get all the orders dispatched on time without putting too much pressure on your staff. How about setting a minimum spend for free deliveries if you charge for this to increase your transaction value or minimise your shipping costs? It may even be worth adding a little note to inform customers that deliveries may take a little longer than normal, and charge (more) for next-day deliveries for those that want their orders more urgently.

It goes without saying that you should try and use the most reliable delivery partner possible for the delivery address  to ensure that the orders arrive on time (and undamaged), for example, use Royal Mail for Highlands and Islands or RELAY for low emissions <2kg deliveries in London zones 1 & 2.  Don’t forget to keep an eye out for industrial action taken by delivery partners and use alternatives during this time to avoid delays and disruptions to your orders.

If you want to further improve the customer experience and reduce missed deliveries (not to mention co2 emissions), consider offering a Click & Collect service where possible which will give customers more flexibility as they can decide when to pick up and worry about missing deliveries.  

If you have international customers, integrating with Shopify Markets or Global-e will not only localise the shopper’s experience but also calculate duties and taxes at check out to improve transparency and avoid delays caused by orders being held at custom.

Optimise Returns

While returns is an unavoidable part of E-Commerce, which can increase to 40% during sales season as more consumers impulse buy, there are still several things that could help with managing them or reducing in numbers.

If you remember to organise your stock properly and ensure that staff are well trained then this should help to reduce the number of returns that happen from the wrong item being sent.

Next up, do you need to revise your returns policy? Will you be offering credit notes or exchanges? Make sure that your return policy and process is clear and easily accessible on your website to build trust and avoid any surprises.

Finally, there are platforms like Swap and Loop  that offer an exchange-first solution which helps to reduce refunds and therefore retain more revenue in your business. They will also help you to collect data on reasons for returns which will help you to take action and avoid future returns.


Logistics planning is key for peak trading and having an effective strategy in place is vital in ensuring success, saving you both time and money.  At Tu Pack, we work with our clients to simplify processes, minimise manual intervention, and maximise automation to offer them and in turn, their customers, the highest service quality with a pick-and-pack accuracy of over 99.5%. Get in touch here to find out more on how we can improve your service level and add value to your fulfilment.

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