Why Accurate Forecasting is Important for Holiday Prep

No customer wants to see the perfect gift float by in their feed, only to come to the purchase site and see that it’s out of stock or backordered and not shipping until after they need it. For most ecommerce brands the holidays are the most crucial time of year to get an accurate forecast of their projected order volume.  

No matter how much you incentivize customers to shop early for the holiday season, it’s inevitable that most shoppers will have last-minute gifts to get. This means the highest peak of your order volume will likely be in December, and you need to know that you’ll have inventory to fulfil the spike in customer demand.  

What is an Ecommerce Forecasting Model? 

Getting an accurate projection of your holiday order volume requires forecasting. There are many great forecasting models you can follow, the one that works best for your brand will take into consideration the type of product you sell, how it is made, historical order volume data, plus any sales or promotions you plan to run during peak season.  

It’s impossible to predict with 100% accuracy what your order volume will be. A good forecasting model will use data from prior holiday seasons, plus the year-over-year growth that you’ve seen. Consider any trends in the market, for example, travel accessories weren’t on many gift lists during COVID-19 pandemic, but sweatpants were. This means using a combination of demand forecasting along with sales forecasting.  

If you are having trouble getting an accurate forecast, reach out to your fulfillment provider for help, they are experts and can quickly help you improve your inventory forecasting 

While most ecommerce businesses think about forecasting for products, there are other aspects of forecasting for the holidays that are just as important. Here are a few less common ways accurate forecasting is important for a smooth holiday season.