With Halloween now in the rearview mirror, consumers and those within the e-commerce industry have now set their sights on the next major holidays. Even though peak season shipping and shopping started before Halloween this year, it’s now set to ramp up even further.
Many e-commerce merchants may have experience with an increase in volume given the fact that over the course of the pandemic, over half of consumers increased their online spending habits.
But, peak season is a beast of its own.
Peak season shipping in particular might be a bigger challenge this year given the fact that at least one-third of merchants have experienced supply chain disruptions.
But even with the increased volume of sales, there are some secrets for how to stay ahead, as shared by some of Shippo’s resident shipping experts, Amanda Jamamillo and Blake Bryant during a recent Shippo webinar.
The full webinar can now be found on demand, but here are some of the highlights.
Try To Perfect Your Peak Season Shipping Preparation
If you haven’t already, there are some key actions you can take to stay ahead of the peak season shipping rush.
- Prepare your budget – Use last year as a guide to figure out your estimated costs for this year. Keep in mind other factors such as peak season price increases from certain carriers like USPS.
- Stock up on inventory – Since the global supply chain has seen delays at every step, it will be best to stock up on inventory so that you don’t run out during the holidays.
- Be aware of Christmas shipping deadlines – Be sure to communicate these deadlines to your customers so that they know what shipping services to choose in order to get their gifts before the big day. Some shipping services have a cut off during the first week of December.
- Have a good carrier mix setup – While there are some benefits to using a single carrier for your e-commerce business, having a good mix of carriers will give your business more flexibility and give your customers more choices.
Shippo can help in regards to that last step. Shippo users have access to dozens of carriers including regional and international carriers so you can spread some holiday cheer this year no matter where your customers are.
Set up Automations To Prevent Human Error and Free Up Time for Running Your Business
E-commerce merchants know that time is often one of the most important resources to ensure their businesses run smoothly. Technology automations can help save time when it comes to repetitive tasks.
There are a few different ways to set up automations in Shippo, and any of them can help prevent human error and streamline your shipping process.
This is true for those using automations through the Shippo API and web app.
For instance, you can automatically assign package templates and/or carrier service levels to common order types by creating if/then rules.
You can also automate which carriers or service levels show up for you before purchasing a shipping label. For example, if you know you only use USPS and you are only shipping domestically, you can filter out any international options or other carriers.
As orders ramp up during peak season, you’ll want to make sure you’re always purchasing the optimal shipping labels for your businesses. Automations are one possible way to ensure this.
How to Show Some Extra Customer Love This Season
While your customers are likely buying gifts to delight their loved ones, there is a way to show your customers some extra love during the holidays. Some examples of this include:
- Send out products in custom packages – Some techniques include gift wrapping the item before sending it to the customer if they are planning on gifting your product. Another technique could be something as simple as choosing a package with your brand color on it. You’ll want to make sure your packaging doesn’t break the bank but is still enough to stand out.
- Personalize tracking pages – Customers now more than ever are going to keep a close eye on where their packages are throughout the delivery process. Be sure to create tracking pages that speak directly to your customers and are updated accordingly.
- Offer free shipping if possible – Some ways e-commerce sites offer free shipping is to apply it only to small items with low shipping costs, have it as part of a rewards program, or apply it only to a certain threshold of sales. For example, orders of $50 dollars or more qualify for free shipping.