We had a rather interesting Cyber Monday Week (the name I’ve decided to give to our week of promotions that starts a few days before Thanksgiving and ends with Cyber Monday).
From a numbers standpoint it was pretty successful. Last year we obliterated 2011 so I wasn’t sure where to set my expectations for this year. Sales were still up this year compared to last, so it’s hard to complain, but the % growth didn’t match last year so I was a little bummed about that…although matching that rate of growth might have been an unrealistic expectation. We made a few mistakes with our promotions that probably didn’t affect sales much but that we need to clean up next year. There’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Operations-wise the week was an overwhelming success. We’ve streamlined and simplified the order packing process even more than I previously had realized. On busy days those improvements really shine. My partners and I didn’t really need to help at all – we did for a little while just to socialize, help chip in, and show the newer employees that we actually know how to pack boxes! Even the full-time guys weren’t overworked. The part-timers were able to really take care of the majority of orders. With our current team we’re set up to handle much much more volume than we’re doing now. That was a pleasant realization.
The Box Pile Picture?
Other years I’ve always posted a photo of our nice monstrous pile of outgoing shipments. This year FedEx contacted us a few weeks beforehand and offered us a Saturday evening pickup. We jumped at the opportunity – our customers packages got moving two days earlier and we saved the warehouse space. However, that meant that we didn’t have that great big photogenic box pile come Monday afternoon. Friday was actually bigger because it contained orders from Wednesday evening, Thursday, and Friday:
Bigger != Funner
My biggest takeaway from this week is the realization that as we get bigger and better on paper we may not actually be having as much fun…particularly as it pertains to the rush that accompanied big sales in the past. We’re not out there scrambling around, taking pictures of this huge box pile, celebrating our very visual successes. In prior years I was much more fatigued physically but there was also a euphoria that went along with it that was missing this year precisely because we did such a good job planning for the sale. In general I’m enjoying work more so than ever before (I don’t want it to sound like I’m not). I think I just need to recalibrate my expectations for what Cyber Monday Week should feel like when I’m doing more managing and less box-packing.