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Get Ready for Holiday Shopping Season: 10 Simple Tips to Prepare For Shipping Demands

Holiday Shopping Season

”When will my order be delivered?”

This is the question most shoppers ask during the holiday shopping season.

And in the business world, the holiday season is the most important time of the year.

So you need to get a handle on your ecommerce shipping.

Since in the following weeks, more sales are coming.

In other words, with the holiday rush, more sales are expected and more revenues to enjoy.

That's sounds exciting, right?

However, this also means more delivery issues.

So, it's critical for you to make sure your shipping strategy and fulfillment processes are up to par with

the unexpected surge of sales.

And, now is the time to fine-tune your strategy and ecommerce shopping solutions to...

Make this Holiday Day Season 2021 your most profitable to date!

That's why I have put together some steps to help you figure out exactly how to map out your holiday shipping plan.

So let's get the ball rolling! Let me give you...

10 Simple Tips to Prepare For Holiday Shipping Demands

1. Set Clear Goals

You should be able to set your goals for efficiency, better service, and potentially increase your profits.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you looking to increase margins?
  • Do you want to target a broader market or audience?
  • Are you considering going international?
  • Do you want to increase conversions?
  • Or decrease costs?
  • What will be your strategies and shipping solutions for the Holiday Season?
  • Are you going to add shipping times?
  • Are you working with any Affiliate Program?

Set realistic goals. Implement and measure them.

After you have set your goals, the next step is...

2. Plan it Out

Is there a specific process you follow for shipping and delivery?

You have to know this in order to plan it out smoothly.

Additionally, your shipping strategy should be reviewed to ensure it remains relevant for the coming season.

There might have been a change in the conditions that you have to know and adapt accordingly.

Consider the following:

Provide local pick-up or delivery for customers in your area.

With options like local delivery and local pickup, you are able to create stronger connections with your local market. You are also more in control and less dependent on third-party shipping services.

Make use of automation.

If your store is anticipating tons of orders, say a hundred a day, then you need to automate your process. It is necessary especially when you manage orders and shipping labels.

The next point is vital...

3. Meeting Delivery Deadlines

During the holiday season, shipping services or delivery carriers usually set shipping deadlines ahead of time to ensure prompt deliveries.

Be aware of your carrier's shipping deadlines prior to another busy holiday shopping season.

Be in communication with them to ensure smooth delivery and shipping flow.

I saw the following carrier schedule for Holiday Season 2021 which might help you. ?

Make sure to follow these schedules if you opt to get the services of these carriers:

USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines

FedEx Holiday Shipping Deadlines

UPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines

4. Shipping Material Requirements

Make sure you have enough supplies for shipping and packaging. Stock up on the items that you're going to use for delivery and shipping.

Ensure that you have enough of the needed items to handle your anticipated sales.

I'm sure you don't want your shipping and delivery process to halt because you've run out of those envelopes or sticky labels halfway through your pending orders.

Next up

5. Set Up Delivery and Shipping Strategies

Now, all your supplies are stocked up, and your process is in place.

The next step will be to figure out how to charge your customers for shipping.

There are three different ecommerce shipping options: free shipping, flat rate shipping, and exact cost shipping.

Find out which ones are right for your store with some of these tips:

  • Flat Rate Shipping

Setting a flat shipping rate that will cover most of your shipping costs is a good idea while avoiding sticker shocked customers.

You should also be prepared to cover shipping for, particularly expensive options.

As a result, your customers will be aware of shipping charges in advance.

And you will still recover most of your shipping costs.

Also, because of its transparency, flat rate shipping leads to higher conversion rates during checkout, as compared to carrier-calculated rates.

  • Exact Shipping Cost

With exact shipping cost, customers will know what their order will cost when they place it and pay for it upon check out.

  • Set Up Local Delivery

If you have customers nearby, you can offer them local methods to purchase and deliver your products.

Fast and affordable delivery and pickup options might encourage more local sales while speeding up the delivery process and improving customer satisfaction.

By offering local pickups, your customers can bypass shipping and pick up orders in-store, or at other locations or pick-up points of their choice.

  • International Shipping

If you want to expand internationally, you must understand tax laws and customs regulations in the countries where you will sell.

If you are just new to this idea, start with one country and learn the process.

Put the places or countries you ship to and the shipping options available on your website so your customers can see them.

  • Free Shipping

This is the most popular method being offered by ecommerce business owners since most often, customers abandon their shopping carts because of shipping costs.

You can use free shipping to increase conversion rates without relying on dollar value or percentage discounts.

But, take note that it's not cheap to offer free shipping to all your customers.

The cost of shipping your heaviest items and shipping to the farthest locations will affect your margins and what you're expected to cover.

Maybe occasionally, you might be able to provide free shipping to some eligible customers.

If you would like to increase your average order value, send your existing customers a free shipping coupon code to encourage repeat purchases.

Following your pricing strategy, the next step is...

5. Weighing Your Products

Weighing Your Products

By giving customers accurate weights during checkout, you are ensuring transparency and you enable them to see accurate shipping costs.

Also, it will be to your advantage since you can print shipping labels accurately and in a timely manner.

Now, we've reached the second half...

6. Inform Your Customers About Shipping Times, Delivery Options, and Costs

It's always a good idea to communicate shipping times, costs, and delivery options to your customers.

Let your customers know the cut-off times and days to place orders so their orders arrive on time.

Communicate through email or SMS.

It's always better to over-communicate than to under-communicate.

This increases your customers' confidence in your service.

7. Order Tracking

The importance of offering shipment tracking for every order cannot be overstated.

Set up order tracking properly.

Customers who find tracking information in emails and on your order status page (where they're likely to look) can answer tracking questions on their own.

Customers love to be in the know.

They will feel at ease, even when shipping delays occur.

The more effectively you communicate available order tracking options, the fewer follow-ups you’ll get from customers.

Alternatively, you can add or customize an order tracking option on your ecommerce store.

No worries, Debutify can help you with setting your order tracking.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is...

8. Get Your Return Policy Ready

According to research, 67% of ecommerce buyers check the return policy before making a purchase.

Having a good understanding of return shipping costs will be vital.

You can create a smooth return experience for your customers by ensuring you have a strategy for accounting for and handling returns.

You can manage return shipping labels in three ways:

  • You shoulder the return shipping.
  • Your customer pays the return shipping cost.
  • Or you can meet halfway- a combination of the 2.

You should choose a strategy based on your margins and expected return rate.

But keep in mind that return rates during the holidays can be high.

If you're going to communicate your return shipping info, make sure that you do it as clearly as you communicate your shipping rates.

If a customer decides to initiate a return, you will save significant time and customer service effort.

Any information about returns can be included on your shipping policy page.

You can offer your customers return shipping labels via the following carriers:

Lastly, you should take every step you can to avoid returns, from writing correct product descriptions to picking up and packaging items as securely as possible.

You should be prepared for a few returns.

If returns happen, be sure to keep customers informed as to the progress of their return status. Consider sustainable options.

Now, once you have successfully shipped and fulfilled all of your orders, you will want customers to have an equally positive experience after opening their package...

9. Take Note of How The Unboxing Experience Unfolds

Creating a memorable unboxing experience that drives great results can be done with a bit of planning.

If you want to promote social sharing of your product, think about branding your packaging and inserts.

You can also give a little gift. You can also ask your customers to share their experiences.

An easy way to do this is to send your social handles, a hashtag, and a gentle request that if they enjoy your items, they can post them on social media.

Now, that's free advertising!

You can also put a coupon code on your packing slip.

This is to encourage customers to reorder, such as a free shipping code for their next purchase or a 5% discount for their next purchase.

Lastly...

Enclosing a handwritten thank you note with each purchase is a good idea to humanize your business.

It's a great way to let your customers know that they support not just a faceless business, but real people.

Rest assured, with these unboxing strategies, you will surely stand out.

The last and vital step...

10. Provide Guidelines And Responses For Anticipated Customer Questions

Even if you spend a lot of time and effort preparing for the holiday rush, expect that some customers will still reach out.

Ensure that you provide guidelines and drafted responses and make sure that customers receive the correct response to their questions and concerns.

In whatever situation your customers are in, it's essential to be empathic.

Do all you can to pacify disappointed customers.

Recognizing any frustration they might feel and apologizing can turn a negative experience into a positive one.

There you have it.

This year, expect a holiday season like never before.

So get ready for the holiday season...

Make Sure You Have Smooth Shipping And Delivery Strategies In Place

It's imperative that your company streamline its delivery and shipping processes to cope with holiday shipping challenges.

By this, you're not just going to satisfy customers but it will ensure repeat orders and potentially increase revenue.

Do all these strategies and stay ahead of the competition.

But wait... there's more!

Since we've been talking about delivery time and order tracking, It's always good to have control over these two important factors.

And by being transparent about delivery times and possible delays, you alleviate customers' anxiety and build trust.

You can make use of Debutify's Delivery Time and Order Tracking Add-ons to update customers.

By this, you can help them feel at ease especially when delivery times are hectic.

Fortunately, Debutify can help you with your store's delivery and order tracking— it also optimizes your revenue. With over 50+ Add-Ons, Debutify helps shoot up your conversions, drives your AOV, and skyrockets your profits.

Take Your Shipping And Fulfillment To The Next Level With Debutify's Delivery Time And Order Tracking Add-Ons

14 Days Trial. 1 Click Installation. No Credit Card Required.

Boost Your Social Proof With Debutify For Free!

14-Day Free Trial. 1 Click Installation. No Credit Card Required.


Written by

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.


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