The holiday shopping season is here. For the next two months eCommerce businesses will see increased website traffic and a spike in sales, making it the most profitable period of time during the entire calendar year.
In fact, the National Retail Foundation has found that a staggering 20 to 40 percent of all yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year.
Online orders are particularly common. Nearly 16 billion pieces of mail and packages were delivered last holiday season in the US alone by the US Postal Service, with nearly 900 million packages sent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
In Canada, Canada Post reports eCommerce retail sales are expected to hit 56 billion by 2020.
Meanwhile, a study from LiveChat found that, on average, eCommerce websites receive 63 percent more visits during the festive holiday season. They can even expect up to 120 percent more website visits on their busiest days.
With Black Friday just around the corner, Cyber Monday following shortly after and the festive holiday season in just over one month, your eCommerce brand is going to be extremely busy over the next month.
This increased demand means it’s absolutely crucial that your business has a shipping strategy in place to ensure your customers receive their products in a cost-effective and timely manner.
To help your brand prepare for holiday shipping, Freightcom has listed a few tips here that will save you money on shipping costs, ensure your packages arrive on time and allow you to improve the overall delivery experience:
1 - Offer a variety of fast and free delivery options
If your organization only offers a limited number of delivery options, the holiday shopping season is the time to add more. This doesn’t mean you have to keep them all year round, but during the festive season consumers will certainly want more choice when it comes to delivery speed and cost.
Some shoppers will want to order products early and benefit from free shipping options in what is considered an expensive shopping season while others will leave their online shopping to the last minute and want to pay for fast delivery.
For more tips on creating a shipping pricing strategy that improves website conversion rates, read our recent blog ‘How to Develop an Effect Shipping Pricing Strategy for Your eCommerce Business’.
2 - Ensure you have a shipping cutoff date
No matter how many delivery options your brand ends up choosing, it’s absolutely crucial that you select cutoff dates for each delivery method. Customers must know the last day they can purchase a product in order to receive it before Christmas Day and other festive holidays.
Things to consider when choosing your cutoff dates will include where you’re shipping to, the carrier that is transporting your products, international holidays that may impact shipping times and your internal fulfilment times.
It’s always a good idea to give yourself a little extra padding on these dates as you never know when an unexpected hold up could occur.
3 - Make sure deliveries arrive on time
It’s true, excellent shipping really does differentiate your company’s customer experience (CX). That’s why it’s essential that your product deliveries arrive on time, particularly if your customers have paid for that service.
By ensuring your customers’ have a good CX, your organization will be able to enhance brand loyalty, improve customer satisfaction and drive profit growth. Timely deliveries go a long way to ensuring your customers are happy.
4 - Choose the right carrier
Your choice of shipping carrier will impact every aspect of your shipping, from how much it will cost your business, the rates you’ll have to charge your customers, the arrival times of your packages and the quality of the entire shipping experience.
It’s about finding a courier that works for the unique needs of your business, not just about finding the cheapest on offer. Take the time to analyze the various prices, features and values of each carrier for your holiday deliveries.
5 - Use an innovative shipping technology solution to automate your entire fulfilment process
Fulfilment is complex. There’s a wide range of aspects that must come together - from sales, inventory, logistics and delivery - if you are to ensure your customer has a high-quality experience with your brand.
Conventional shipping processes are manual and inefficient but this doesn’t have to be the case for your company. By using an innovative eCommerce shipping technology solution, such as ClickShip, you’ll be able to manage your entire shipping process and access exclusive discounted rates in one easy to use software.
The use of a shipping management solution can help your organization find the best carriers for your needs, decrease costs in your logistics supply chain, access exclusive carrier rates and improve your overall delivery experience.
What are you waiting for? Get in touch with ClickShip today to learn how we can transform your order fulfilment processes and improve your bottom line.