How to Streamline Holiday Shipping
7 tips for hassle free shipping during the holidays
The holiday season is the most profitable time of the year for eCommerce merchants. With 30 percent of eCommerce purchases occurring during the months of November and December, it is important for online retailers to prepare for this seasonal increase in business. Stakes are high and competition is plentiful, so the same shipping model you follow during non-holiday months are not ensured to succeed during holiday months. It's not too early to begin thinking about streamlining your shipping process - the holidays will be here in no time!
Determine Which Holidays to Participate In
First and foremost, it is important to determine which holidays your company wants to participate in. If you are a small eCommerce company or this is your first time prepping a game-plan for the holidays, you likely don't have the resources to participate in every holiday this season. Instead of splitting your time between all major holidays, pick 3-4 that you can put all your efforts into. Some of the largest online spending days you might consider participating in are Cyber Monday, Green Monday, Free Shipping Day, and virtually every day in December leading up to Christmas.
Switching Vendors and Updating Software
You may want to switch your vendor to take advantage of a better pricing system or more refined software system that allows for custom integrations. You may also want to improve your website design to draw in consumers and maximize revenue. Whatever it is your company wants to change, just be sure to do it months before the holiday rush sets in.
Stock Up on Employees and Merchandise
You will need all hands on deck during the holiday season to ensure orders are processed and shipped in a timely manner, and for many companies this means hiring seasonal employees. In addition to hiring, your company needs to stock up on top-selling merchandise. It won't matter how many extra employees you've hired and how quickly you're able to ship orders if you run out of stock.
Free Shipping and Returns Drive Sales
90 percent of consumers say they would spend more if a company offered free shipping, and 72 percent said they would look for alternatives if their online retailer of choice eliminated free shipping. So if you don't already offer free shipping, now is the time to do so. If your company cannot afford to offer free shipping, consider offering discounted shipping, faster shipping, free shipping when consumers spend a set dollar amount, or free returns. Another option is to include the cost of shipping in the price. Lastly, if your business has brick-and-mortar stores, offer click-and-collect shopping to allow consumers to purchase online and pick up their goods in store at a discounted or waived shipping fee.
Shipping ETA's and Last Day Emails
Provide consumers with tracking data and give them an estimated time of arrival for their purchases. This gives your customers a peace of mind, and you will cut down the number of people trying to contact your in regards to their purchases. It's also wise to send out "last day to order" emails, or have a countdown on your online store to ensure that your customers get their packages in time and you are not hit with an influx of orders at the last minute.
Put In Extra Care
At this point you have your holiday calendar figured out, you have potentially switched vendors, you have hired employees, stocked up on merchandise, and you have provided your consumers with an ETA for their order - you are ready to take on the holiday season. Despite all of your preparation, you could still have problems if you don't put in a little extra care and pay attention to details. Make sure you have set up email notifications so if a consumer incorrectly types in their address they may fix it before you have a chance to send purchases to the wrong location. Also be sure to package your products for a safe travel - no one wants to unwrap a damaged gift on Christmas. Lastly, this is your chance to win over customers for repeat purchases, so add a coupon, free samples, or simply a candy cane with a handwritten "thank you." Your customers appreciate the extra thought during this busy time of year.
Clarity Can Help
At Clarity, we specialize in eCommerce solutions. Our team has decades of combined experience helping our clients optimize and improve their online stores and presence by integrating business systems, creating marketing strategies, and using our eCommerce platform, Clarity eCommerce, to make their stores more versatile and user friendly. Our team of experts would love to help your eCommerce business grow. To find out more about how Clarity can help your eCommerce, call or click to contact us today!