Simpl Fulfillment Blog

Helping you conquer the eCommerce world, one post at a time.

What to do When Sales Spike and You Can’t Keep up with Order Fulfillment

March 10, 2020

If your online business recently began booming, congratulations! It is a great feeling to open your inbox and see a flood of order confirmation emails. All your hard work is finally paying off.

However, keeping up with a sudden influx of orders isn’t always easy. Sales spikes can arrive unexpectedly and catch you off guard. How will you ship all those orders out on time? 

Thankfully, an eCommerce fulfillment company can help. You don’t need to have a fancy in-house fulfillment center. Third-party fulfillment companies make it easy for you to handle a sudden increase in sales.

H2: Why the sudden surge of online sales?

You probably have a good idea as to why sales suddenly increased. Perhaps you got a mention in the newspaper or a TV spot featuring your products. Maybe you hosted a flash sale on your website and sold out. If you spent extra on advertising recently, that could also boost online sales. 

While some sales increases are expected, they can sometimes blindside small business owners. Something as simple as a popular Reddit post or a blogger mentioning your products can sell out your entire inventory overnight. In these cases, it can be hard to keep up with the unexpected increase in sales.

H2: Here’s what you need to do

Planning for future growth when you aren’t as busy can make the transition seamless. An airtight logistics strategy is critical before a big product launch. Otherwise, order fulfillment errors can jam up your operations and cost you big time, both in terms of your reputation and your wallet.

H2: Some questions to ask yourself

If your online sales snowball, can you realistically handle fulfillment in-house, or will you hire a fulfillment company? Running a cost-benefit analysis can help make the decision easy. It also pays to ask yourself the following questions:

H3: How many SKUs do you have?

For companies with few SKUs, it may be possible to pre-package orders in bulk. This usually works for small companies that don’t offer a lot of variations. If you can prepare items for shipment ahead of time, all you need to do is locate the item, print the shipping label, and send it off to the carrier for shipping. But what if you have a lot of SKUs and product variations? Things can get complicated quickly. Precise inventory management and order fulfillment strategies are crucial for keeping customers happy.

H3: Can you hire temporary or seasonal workers?

If you have a sales spike due to an increase in holiday or seasonal sales, it is possible to keep fulfillment in-house if you hire temporary warehouse workers to pick and pack orders. It is essential to be realistic about how you will handle this, though. Hiring temp workers means you will need time to recruit, train, and manage new staff. This can be challenging when sales pick up, and business is busier than usual.

H3: Can you afford more warehouse storage space, materials, and fixtures?

Private storage space can be costly. In-house fulfillment expenses can also add up quickly when sales peak. You may need professional printing equipment, more storage shelves, extra packing supplies, tape, etc. And what will you do if warehouse equipment breaks and needs replacement? Plan ahead to keep things running smoothly by thinking of problems you may encounter in advance.

H3: Can you get better rates by changing the shipping carrier?

Shipping more orders means you can get more significant discounts from the shipping company. UPS and FedEx will work with business owners to reduce shipping rates if you ship a lot of orders. Even USPS offers discounts on some selling platforms. 

The bottom line is that the more packages you ship, the less you might pay. Hint: eCommerce order fulfillment companies can get the best shipping rates for small business owners since they do so much business with shipping carriers. Let them negotiate the rates to get the lowest shipping price.

H2: The important thing is to be realistic

A sudden increase in sales is what every small business owner hopes for. But when the day comes, there will be little time to celebrate. Taking steps to plan how you will handle order fulfillment ahead of time can pay off big when your business takes off. If you need help, Simpl Fulfillment will be happy to assist with your order fulfillment needs.

What our clients are saying...

Darcie Nicholson

Go Rings

"We couldn't live without Simpl Fulfillment. The decision to work with Barrett and his team has changed our business for the best! Their speed, accuracy and great communication have made our work lives SO much easier. Trusting them with our jewelry business's fulfillment needs means that we can focus our time and energy toward growing the business instead of just keeping up with it. Plus, they're kind and fun. That's the kind of people we love working with."

Phillip Van Nostrand

La Rousse

Great company. My partner and I have been working with Barrett over at Simpl for a couple of months now and he has been VERY accommodating with our particular shipping requests (pink bubble wrap, putting on pink shipping tape, stickers, etc).

Our business involves pretty boutique shipping, and when we had outgrown our garage that we operated out of, it was really helpful to find someone like Barrett and Simpl Fulfillment to help take care of our orders!

Dustin Gersch

Paleo Powder Seasoning

Simpl Fulfillment has totally helped our business.  We are a small business and by adding Simpl to our team they have saved us time and money.   Great company and very friendly people.  Orders go out on time and everything is easily tracked on my computer and cell phone.

Jeremy Maluf


Have shipped products using Simpl Fulfillment for several months and they're amazing. Great company to work with!

Peter Francis

Hang Your Keys

I've worked with over 5 different 3PL companies in the last 4 years and Simpl has been the best. It would take other 3PL's around 4-5 days to get orders marked as shipped and 5-7 days to get scanned into USPS. That was extremely frustrating as it increased customer service requests. Simpl ships my items out the next business day and also handles all of my returns. I love not worrying and having everything on autopilot. I get weekly updates and their picks are super accurate. Highly recommend working with Simpl.

Lawrence Johnson


We've been working with Simpl fulfillment for close to a year now and have only the best to say about their business and team. They are extremely responsive and able to work with us as partners to deliver a world-class experience to our customers. Everything from their integration to our Shopify, Amazon and eBay portals through to a near-instant response time on escalations makes this a partnership we look forward to continuing on the road ahead. Thanks Simpl!