Cyber Monday: ‘Tis The Start of Service Season

For many field service professionals, “Cyber Monday” marked the real start of the holiday season. Experts are estimating that U.S. consumers spent between $1.5 and $2 billion online Monday, mostly on smartphones, tablet computers, TVs and appliances, clothes, and toys. All that stuff, of course, needs to get from a warehouse to a customer’s front door. And it may need to be installed, repaired, or replaced, too. Here’s how some companies are reacting to the holiday craze:

  • Amazon Ramps Up — Way Up
    Amazon is shifting into high gear for the holidays — in fact last year the online retailer did $17 million in sales on Cyber Monday, a figure it expects to surpass this year, according to ABC. The company has hired an additional 50,000 seasonal workers to staff its network of 80 global warehouses. How does it all work? Each order pops up on a screen and is plucked off the shelf by a worker, then sorted into various bar-coded bins to be shipped out. Read More.
  • Cyber Monday Sets Tone for 2013
    A spike in sales and traffic may be a welcome problem for retailers, but a problem nonetheless. Richard Britton, managing director of CloudSense, a could solutions consultancy, told Business Review Europe that Cyber Monday would likely strain the order-management and CRM systems for even the biggest companies — with effects lasting through the new year. “Businesses need to ensure that they are not only able to offer a smooth delivery process but that they are able to utilize the new information in marketing and sales campaigns long in to 2013,” he said. Read More.
  • USPS Hops on the Same-Day Delivery Wagon
    Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart … and now the U.S. Post Office. They’re all testing out same-day deliveries — a potentially groundbreaking coup for retailers, but a logistical nightmare for delivery companies. The USPS’ “Metro” service will debut Dec. 12 in San Francisco. USPS is planning on pairing with several large retailers to offer the same-day deal, using their stores as mico-warehouses — similar to how UPS is handling its Wal-Mart same-day shipping deal. Orders in select cities placed before 2 p.m. will qualify for the service, which has yet to be priced. USPS expects to make as much as $500 million on the service — still a drop compared to the $15.9 billion loss it posted this year. Read More.

More: How to Handle Holiday Stress Without Compromising Service.

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ABOUT Ian Stewart

Ian is a veteran journalist who has covered sports for various news outlets. Previously, he was managing editor for an electronic-book publishing company and a public relations writer.