Important Holiday Shipping Tips –
In 2020, retail e-commerce sales in November and December totaled $63.1 billion. That’s a lot of sales, and e-commerce is becoming increasingly competitive. If you want your small business to thrive during the holiday season, you must have a solid shipping strategy in place. Customers will be hesitant to buy from a company that has unclear shipping times, high delivery costs, or poor packaging, so every detail is important.
You must establish clear cut-off times, offer competitive prices, carefully package items, and be prepared to process returns. Do you want to know how to be successful with holiday shipping this year? Continue reading for our best advice.
1. Establish a clear delivery cut-off date.
What’s the point of ordering Christmas gifts if they don’t arrive on time? It is critical to provide a clear cut-off date for guaranteed delivery before Christmas, as this will save you from dealing with complaints and returns later on.
Display your deadlines prominently on your website, make them clear during the checkout process, email them to your mailing list, and share them on social media. This serves a dual purpose in that it keeps customers informed while also creating a sense of urgency that encourages them to act immediately. Compare quotes from various couriers to find the most affordable options with the quickest delivery times.
2. Publicize Holiday Promotional Offers
Only one company offers free shipping on the item you’re looking for. Which do you prefer? Of course, the free option. Free shipping is the number one incentive for 9 out of 10 consumers to shop online more, so it’s a great way to entice people away from brick-and-mortar stores.
Creating appealing shipping offers is another excellent way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and attract new customers. Offering free shipping on selling platforms like eBay can boost your position in listings, so it’s a great way to get more views.
Furthermore, offering promotions such as ‘Free holiday shipping on orders over $50’ is a clever way to entice customers to add a few extra items to their baskets. Offering discounted holiday shipping can be more appealing than lowering the price of what you’re selling in many cases. Consider adding shipping offers instead of a price reduction before offering a price reduction.
3. Understand the International Shipping Regulations
Do you ship to other countries? It’s critical that you understand the rules and regulations for each location to which you ship, or you risk experiencing delays and other problems.
If you’re shipping to the EU, for example, you should be aware that customers have 14 days to return unwanted goods. You should also be cautious when shipping items such as lithium batteries, nail polish, aerosol cans, lighters, and other potentially hazardous items.
Before sending packages, conduct thorough research and always clearly declare their contents. This reduces customs delays and ensures that packages arrive at their destinations on time.
4. Wrap Items With Care
Is it possible for Santa to deliver broken gifts? No, and neither should you. Being busy during the holiday season should not be an excuse to slack on packaging, and putting together a good system before the holiday rush is a wise move.
Here’s a quick primer on good packaging:
- Individually wrap each item in bubble wrap or tissue paper.
- Select a box that is the right size and has as little empty space as possible.
- Fill in the empty space with packing peanuts, scrunched up brown paper, or airbags, leaving no room for the item to move.
- Insert a shipping note containing the address, order details, and return information into the package.
- Include any promotional materials, flyers, or vouchers in the package.
- Securely close the package with staples, packing tape, or glue.
- If necessary, place ‘fragile’ or ‘this way up’ stickers on the outside of the package.
- Attach the shipping address securely to the front of the package. If you’ll have multiple employees dealing with shipping, creating a simple guide makes sense. It ensures consistency and prevents employees from skipping any steps in the packing process.
Poor shipping can cost you a fortune in returns, so get it right the first time.
5. Make Tracking Information Available
Is there anything worse than waiting for a package and not knowing when it will arrive? Most likely not. While tracking is important all year, it is especially important during the holiday season, when customers will be anxiously awaiting gifts, decorations, and other time-sensitive items.
It is best practice to provide tracking on all orders and provide the customer with all the information they require to track the progress of their delivery. If your budget does not allow for tracking on every order, make it a paid option when customers check out.
Tracking parcels means you won’t have to deal with as many calls to your customer service department, fewer complaints, and a better customer experience. Contact us for more information now.