The inventory is stocked, the website is optimised, the carriers have been alerted, and the world of eCommerce is ready for peak shipping season 2023. But, like every peak season the stress of shipping is overwhelming and eCommerce business owners are relying heavily on shippers to guide them through it. We did the research for you. ShippingChimp asked logistics experts and veterans in eCommerce to weigh in on the Go-To Strategies to ship during the Peak Season so that this time, no stones are left unturned. This expert roundup will widen the way you see peak-season shipping and make decisions about it.
Unlike top tips to make profits, top tips to ship better are highly subjective and depend on a host of factors. Even then, when we tossed the question in the air, the responses were something most eCommerce owners would second.
We asked on LinkedIn, What are the top two things eCommerce businesses should focus on when it comes to shipping during the peak season?
The following factors were kept in mind –
Early Shipping – Shipping early should always be a priority but letting your customers know that their orders might come early if they order before a certain date is a win-win. You avoid the rush while informing your customers about the state of things.
Multicarrier Shipping – Most eCommerce businesses prefer having more than one carrier during the peak season. This is because carriers have a limit up to which they can successfully deliver orders on time, beyond that, you need additional help. It’s imperative that you decide this month in advance so that you get the best rates and find a carrier that is reliable.
Real-time tracking – Patience is perhaps one of the greatest virtues of man. However, this is a rare trait to have during the peak season/holiday season. Suddenly, everybody wants their order as fast as they can and rightly so because what good are Christmas gifts after Christmas? This is why real-time tracking is a great feature for eCommerce brands to provide. This feature keeps you and your customers updated on their orders and reduces the anxious calls that are made to the support team. Investing in this feature is like preventing major chaos.
Support – The global e-commerce market is expected to total $6.3 trillion in 2023. This means that your business would be competing with businesses all around the world. Not every business can afford an entire team of support staff but during the peak season, you need at least two people to help you in this segment. If you empower your staff with the proper answers and tools, you won’t lose customers even if there’s a mishap.
Here’s what the polls said.
As we can see, Real-time tracking and customer support are what most eCommerce businesses and logistics professionals consider non-negotiable. However, some experts had a holistic view of the matter.
Why shipping season is your most important season
According to Forbes Advisor 87.12 million people shopped online for Black Friday in 2022. This period is the most important and busy season in shipping. The world of logistics goes crazy and this is when eCommerce businesses can make the most profit.
The most important dates are –
- Halloween – Oct. 31
- U.S. Thanksgiving – Nov. 23
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday – Nov. 24 to 27
- Super Saturday – Dec. 16
- Christmas – Dec. 25
- Boxing Week – Dec. 26 to Dec. 31
During this season, you as an eCommerce brand owner should be expecting certain situations and be prepared.
What to expect?
- Congested warehouses
A common sight during the peak season is the lack of space in warehouses located in densely populated areas. Do not be taken aback when suddenly all the warehouses are full and there is no more space for your inventory.
- Freight rates will be up
All kinds of surcharges make an appearance from Aug to Oct. The invoice will look messier and you might not be able to understand the logic behind most rates.
- Lot of last-minute orders
Holidays are a tricky time and most shoppers are lazy. Expect last-minute orders and prepare accordingly. Your customers would still want all the orders super early though. Also, keep in mind that the right options at checkout matter a lot!
It’s nice to imagine that all the things we as businesses would do will result in a more organized shipping experience but the reality is different. In the real world, there are time-tested strategies that work during these chaotic times and experts swear by it.
- Prepare your site for traffic
Your website should not crash. However, you must absolutely expect it will and take preventive steps for it.
- Ship Early
As mentioned before, ship as early as you can.
- Use Multi-carrier shipping
Do not put all your eggs in one comfy basket. Have a mix of national and regional carriers ready.
- Give options in shipping – Free/Standard
Some customers would happily pay the surge to get their order superfast and you should have that option up on your website. Others who don’t mind waiting should be able to do so as well.
- Get Real-time tracking
Invest in this feature and ease the pressure on your support staff.
- Reduce WISMO calls with Delivery Notifications
A feature that alerts your customer for potential delays shows proactiveness and accountability. During the peak shipping time, customers actually trust the brands that make shipping an absolute no-brainer.
Another expert, Amod, has a similar step-by-step method for eCommerce businesses to follow as strategically as possible.
Why ShippingChimp is an ideal choice for SMBs
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