We’ve all read about analysts predicting that this year will be one of the busiest holiday seasons for online retailers, so we’re nicknaming it “mega shopping year” which means “mega shipping demands,” too. With the increase in consumer demand and online shopping, it’s crucial that your business and shipping strategies are completed so that your customers receive their products in a timely, cost effective manner. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar location or you own an online store, here are some holiday business shipping success tips that will help keep your products moving as smoothly as possible.
Important 2020 Holiday Predictions
First, let’s take a look at some important 2020 holiday sales predictions. Deloitte predicts that retail stores could see a 1-1.5% sales growth with the possibility of sales increasing 2.5% to 3.5% from last year. Additionally, Deloitte states eCommerce will likely see a 25-35% increase in growth. These predictions indicate a very busy eCommerce-driven holiday season and could lead to a more modest in-person retail season.
And when it comes to major shopping holidays, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s important to keep in mind what your consumers are thinking as you build your holiday business shipping strategy. Based on survey data from BlackFriday.com and SurveyGizmo, consumers have already started planning to shop early and on the following major shopping holidays:
- 30% of consumers plan to shop Cyber Monday sales, followed by Black Friday sales (24%), Small Business Saturday sales (18%), Thanksgiving Week sales (15%) and Fall/Pre-Black Friday sales (13%).
- 56% of shoppers surveyed plan to shop online only.
- 44% of customers plan to shop in-stores.
Even though the pandemic has made the 2020 holiday season a tricky one for retailers and consumers alike, everyone is making a plan to shop and ship as seamlessly as possible.
Holiday Order Fulfillment Tips
If you have been following our blog, you may have seen some of our holiday shipping and fulfillment tips. Here are the key tips you need to know:
- Keep up with inventory and shipping supplies. Check in with your suppliers about any potential impacts they may be facing due to the pandemic or weather issues, increased demand or possible changes to their shipping capacity.
- Get ready for possible business and shipping disruptions, such as dangerous winter weather, shipping issues, and a need for increased staff for the holidays, by having a plan.
- Utilize reverse logistics to help your customers in returning items. Satisfied customers are more likely to do business with you again in the future.
- Think about offering curbside or contactless pickup options for local customers who have ordered items from your retail location because survey data shows that half of consumers are looking for contactless pickup options.
Holiday Business Shipping Success Tips
Knowing the sales predictions and holiday fulfillment tips above will help you make a plan for holiday business shipping success. You can develop a holiday shipping plan that will save money on shipping, get your goods delivered on time and keep customers happy. Here are some holiday business shipping success tips and best practices:
- Ship your orders as quickly as possible. Once you receive an order for a product, work with your team to get it packaged and shipped quickly. Delivery expectations are at an all-time high during the holidays, and slow or delayed shipments are not tolerated as well.
- Be clear about any holiday shipping cutoff dates you have. Your customers need to know when they need to place an order by, so it arrives on time for the holidays.
- Package your commonly ordered or most popular items early. Mark the weight of the package on the box, so all you have to do is put a shipping label on it when an order comes in.
- Know your shipping supply inventory levels. This is so important to shipping efficiently during the holidays. You don’t want run low on packaging and shipping materials during the busiest time of year. Make sure you have what you need before you run out. For added packaging guidance, download our free Guide to Freight Packaging.
- Prioritize your business shipping. There’s no need to run all over town to get your packages shipped. Work with a 3PL who can streamline your shipping process for you. A 3PL, like FreightCenter, can help you find the discounted rates with top carriers, source capacity and keep all your important paperwork in one convenient location.
- Communicate clearly with everyone. This includes your employees, suppliers, customers, and 3PL partners. You may have special requests during the holidays or are operating under limited capacity due to the pandemic, and everyone needs to be on the same page. When you ship a package, consider letting your customer know it has shipped. Use your 3PL’s transportation management system to track your shipment.
FreightCenter Knows Business Shipping
At FreightCenter, we are more than shipping and logistics experts. As a small business ourselves, we understand the needs of small and medium-sized businesses like yours. Let us guide you through our business shipping options and help you ship efficiently, affordably and successfully this holiday season and beyond. Start by getting an instant quote online or giving our shipping experts a call at 844-212-7447 today.