In the months leading up to December, most stores and eCommerce businesses are already bracing themselves for the rush of holiday shoppers. But often, the most overwhelming aspect is the unprecedented volume of orders that you need to ship in such a short amount of time. This problem is often referred to as the holiday shipping season.
Today, you need to have a proper holiday shipping strategy and fulfillment processes in place if you want to keep your customers happy. Not only that, but you should also expect a surge of item returns and refunds that can be quite a headache for any entrepreneur. This guide is all about holiday shipping woes and how you, as a business, should prepare for it.
Tip #1: Plan & Organize Before the Holiday Shipping Season
Businesses unprepared for the holiday shipping season usually end up making mistakes that they’d otherwise not make. As a business owner, you need to create a solid plan on what you need to do to ensure smooth operations. Specifically, how to keep the orders coming and make sure you’re shipping items without any disruptions. The best way to do this is to forecast the demand for the things you’re selling accurately. By doing this, you can easily optimize stock levels and make sure you don’t run out of inventory during the holiday shipping season.
Tip #2: Know the Seasonality of Your Store
Before you start worrying about managing an increase in orders, you should first understand what times of the year are the business’ most profitable. A quick way to determine if your product is an excellent holiday gift is to check the orders of your most popular items in November and December. If a significant number of your orders come from this period of the year, you probably need to stock more of those items. In addition, you should make sure you have enough supplies to last the holiday shipping season.
Tip #3: Order Early
The holiday shipping season begins in October, so that’s the time when you should place your initial order with your supplier. If you act sooner, you’ll enjoy the benefits of having the items before the actual holiday season, which means you can make sales early. But remember to check your supplier’s lead time. Sourcing products from overseas can take time, especially if you want them to arrive before December. Remember, this only applies to non-perishable items. If you’re in the business of selling food items or anything with a short shelf life, this may or may not apply to you.
Tip #4: Create a Holiday Shipping Schedule
As part of your efforts to keep things organized in preparation for the holidays, it’s best to craft a holiday shipping schedule for your business. You’ll want to create a plan for your staff and delivery provider to meet the increased demand. Working with an eCommerce delivery partner like FlashBox can be hugely beneficial for your online business. You’ll be able to create a shipping schedule that works with you and your third-party logistics (3PL) provider. That way, you can expect things to be done in time for the holiday shipping season.
Tip #5: Give Your Customers a Heads-Up
A heads-up for your customers is essential. While it’s not always possible to give customers a heads-up about delays or problems that could arise, you can at least share the progress of their packages. When feasible, give your customers an idea of when their orders will arrive. This shows that you’re working hard on fulfilling their orders. It also allows them to revise their plans accordingly. For instance, if they have a party to go to on the weekend, they can plan accordingly.
Now, you should understand the tip to prepare for any upcoming holiday shipping season. Once you have these things under control, you can work on more important tasks like making sure you have adequate inventory stocked up.
In short, FlashBox understands your customers’ needs for quick and reliable shipping services. That’s precisely the reason why FlashBox is here to partner with you. We make sure to give you affordable delivery options with our industry-leading logistics solutions. If you’re looking for a dedicated delivery partner you can trust, FlashBox is the one for you. Contact us today.