Months after COVID-19 temporarily slowed the global economy to a crawl, we’re all learning how to rebound, navigate newfound complexities and shift processes to meet ever-changing consumer needs. And while retail peak season looked slightly different with the e-commerce expansion, retail fixtures and the in-store shopping experience remains critical.
To help ensure you’re well-prepared for your upcoming projects, we’re providing some useful insights into multi-stop delivery and retail fixture shipping, how to ensure a smooth experience and what to look for when choosing a carrier.
Why Retail Fixture Shipping Is Critical in a Pandemic World
This year, retail fixtures are still essential for two key reasons, even though many consumers are still spending the majority of their time at home.
- In-store experiences still matter: As in-store shopping continues to ramp back up, stores need to be presentable, warm, welcoming and current. As always, the most inviting stores will earn the most foot traffic.
- Social distancing: As the pandemic continues, retailers are rethinking store layouts and designs, and new fixtures will be critical to ensuring customers and employees can maintain social distancing.
3 Things to Do to Ensure Your Next Fixture Shipping Project Is Successful
As a shipper, there are a few things you can do to ensure your next fixture shipping project goes smoothly:
- Plan early: While it’s always crucial to plan ahead when working with carriers, it’s more important today than ever. That’s because carriers are grappling with limited capacity. As the market rebounds from the economic slowdown earlier this year, demand is surging, and there are fewer Drivers and trucks available. This makes it more challenging to coordinate larger and more complex shipments (such as those to multiple stores), especially during retail peak times. The earlier you begin planning, the better you can maximize the likelihood of your project’s success.
- Consider your options: Think outside the box for what’s going to be most efficient. Multi-stop, full-truckload shipping, for instance, offers great efficiency for larger projects. With multi-stop, full-truckload shipping, your product stays on the trailer all the way through to delivery, vastly limiting the potential for damage and claims.
It’s also crucial you choose carriers with technology that facilitates these out-of-the-box options like multi-stop shipping. For example, ATS' proprietary software ensures the most efficient process for each shipment. If a retailer needs to deliver a specific number of pallets to each store, our software will help make sure we’re delivering those pallets in the fastest, safest and most cost-effective way possible.
- Work with an experienced carrier: While it can be tempting to simply opt for the cheapest carrier, it’s critical to do your due diligence. Even if an experienced carrier doesn’t appear to be the most cost-effective on the front end, their knowledge of the market can help mitigate any issues during planning, transit and delivery. If you’re not careful in selecting a carrier with the experience you need — especially during peak seasons — delays, damaged freight and unhappy customers can end up costing you far more in the end.
3 Things to Look for in a Carrier
When selecting a carrier for your next fixture shipping project, be sure to choose a dry van truckload carrier with the following qualities:
- Flexibility: Always choose a carrier that can adjust services and tailor processes to meet your unique needs. In a time when things are rapidly changing, you need a carrier that can quickly shift gears and do whatever it takes to get your shipment where it needs to go.
- Transparency: A great carrier is not only communicative, but they provide plenty of visibility into their process. For example, ATS has proprietary technology that helps manage multi-stop planning to ensure the most efficient process — this allows customers to track shipments through delivery.
- Responsiveness: Choose carriers that have the scale, technology and service experience to respond efficiently — especially in the case of irregular and one-off projects. In retail, things can change quickly, and you need someone who can support you through the unexpected.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to retail fixture shipping. But, by working with a dedicated and experienced carrier, you can ensure your project is a success.
ATS has the expertise to handle all your fixture shipping needs. Reach out and request a quote for your next critical project.