Shipping can sometimes feel like the bane of a small business’s your existence, but with sufficient time spent outlining a shipping game plan for the holidays, you can pull things off without a hitch. Here are 6 tips to help you avoid the rush and pull off holiday shipping:
1. Plan ahead. There’s no way to pinpoint what your holiday sales will be, but you can estimate a potential range so you have enough inventory and extra help with packing and shipping. Preparation is one of the only variables that you have complete control over as a shipper. Own it.
2. Don’t delay. Try and ship products out the same day you receive the order to keep you, your carrier and customers happy. Also remember that shipping times will vary because of the high volume over the holidays. Use this helpful printable shipping calendar from ShipWorks that will provide “ship by” dates for all the major carriers so you get it there on time.
3. Communicate in advance to customers and carriers. December 17 is “Free Shipping Day.” If free shipping isn’t a standard option for you, consider providing free shipping on the 17th as an extra incentive for customers. Also, communicate to carriers and let them know any changes you may have to your business during the holiday so that they can handle your pickups.
4. Manage customers’ expectations. During the holidays, you want your shipping terms to be more crystal clear than ever. Misunderstandings about the finer details of shipping can breed unhappy customers and take up valuable time to smooth over on your end—time that could be spent on other important tasks.
5. Pack wisely. Remember, carriers’ process more boxes during the holiday peak season than at any other time. Extra packaging is worth it to avoid possible damage en route.
6. Protect your investment. Thousands of packages will be sent this holiday season. Chances are, your packages will arrive at the destination, but you also don’t need to take undue chances. Consider using insurance on larger shipments.
ShipWorks is a Magento Gold Partner and supports Magento Enterprise and Community Editions. ShipWorks helps thousands of merchants ship more in less time by automating post-sale tasks, including processing hundreds of shipping labels with one click. Learn more