Tips for shipping and delivery during the holiday season

December is here…we mean, the holiday shopping season is here…and a bag load of worries for eCommerce website owners as well. It is always a big headache to manage the overseas shipping and delivery of products during holiday online shopping seasons…and eCommerce website owners know this more than anyone.

And all thanks to such worries go to a high influx of demands from online holiday shoppers…as well as the multitudes of problems which can arise while shipping internationally, such a huge volume of products. Problems ranging from poorly managed packaging, bad weather, mismatched product combinations, sending wrong products, broken products, late delivery, mishandling during shipping, returns from the customers etc can all arise.

Let’s see how we can avoid some of those problems and ensure smooth and hassle free shipping services and holiday delivery during this holiday shopping season.

  • Plan ahead: Analyze the situation properly…everything from the current market trends, possible amount of customer demands, your ability to meet those demands in terms of shipping services and holiday delivery, shipping and delivery strategies of your competitors, the efficiency and track record of your packaging, shipping and holiday delivery partners, the number of trailers and holiday shipping boxes you might need etc. Predictive analytics can give you a clear cut view of the customers’ trends and demands…and help you to plan accordingly. Once you have got a clear cut view of things, plan accordingly to overcome the drawbacks you might possibly encounter…and communicate clearly with your packaging, shipping services and delivery partners…so that, ‘poor shipping and delivery’ gets no more excuses to show it’s face  at your doorstep again!
  • Allocate some extra revenue: This revenue can be effectively used for better packaging and delivery, which can add an extra touch of smile on your customers’ faces. This money can also be used to solve any issue you might face during and after online shipping services and delivery. And don’t worry, you can always get back the money spent…through great holiday online shopping season sales!

  • Accommodate seasonal staff: To tackle the issues which accompany increased product demands, it is absolutely necessary to hire seasonal staff to your supply chain. A large number of staff working day and night, can effectively avoid problems like shipment delays, damaged products, service disruptions etc…thereby meeting the demands of the incoming rush as well as the outbound volume.

  • Optimize omni-channel strategies: Include enough transparency in your operations and catch hold of your customers’ trust. Letting your customers to track their order throughout the course of shipment and delivery through omni-channel strategies is a great idea. Optimizing omni-channel strategies benefit the eCommerce website owners as well as customers…since the shipment can be tracked at all times by both parties, ensuring a safe and timely delivery.

  • Go the tech way: …and automate things. Automating the entire process of overseas shipping and delivery can help you in a great way…when it comes to doing things with perfectionism, leaving no space for errors. Avoid manual labor and hand over as many tasks as possible to machines! Automating things can help you with everything from filling in customs forms to sorting the products in line. These days you can get your hands on many softwares which can help you with automating the online shipping services and delivery processes.

  • Pack em’ properly: No customer would like to spend money on a broken or damaged product. And that means, you have to put in extra effort while packaging the products. Use bubble wrap and Styrofoam packaging to avoid damages for fragile products. Also extra packaging with holiday specific wrapping can help impressing your customers.

  • Provide reasonable overseas shipping costs to your customers: Additionally, you can also consider providing holiday discounts in shipping services costs. Your customers are surely going to love it, and perhaps forgive any delivery error that might occur. In short, cost of shipping matters!

  • Communicate your shipping services times, delivery dates, logistics strategies, etc to your customers through social media sites, website etc. This will help you to be in control of the pulse of your customers and work accordingly.

 In addition to all these things, you can also consider extending service hours, giving delivery guarantees and implementing a good reverse logistics plan.

PS: Effective inventory management is as important as effective shipping and delivery. So don’t ignore it…

Happy shipping!

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