Online shopping is expected to enjoy another year of growth this holiday season. The growing e-commerce sector is expanding reach and ease of access to many goods, especially on Black Friday. With a broader audience, merchants can expect higher demand and some challenges to anticipate on the company side.
Preparing your shipping strategy for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is critical for a successful season. Get started with this Black Friday checklist that keeps profitability, efficiency, and the consumer experience in mind.
Utilize Demand Forecasting Tools
Demand forecasting estimates a business's order volume over a selected period. As you turn to the data, account for any Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotions, both historical and upcoming. You may even be able to forecast online sales for individual products.
It’s a safe assumption that demand for trending goods will peak during Black Friday promotions. Accurate inventory planning prevents frustration over back-ordered goods and ensures your shipping strategy will meet the mark.
If you’re already using sales tools like Shopify or Amazon, refer to available reporting from last year’s holiday season.
If you’re a new shop, look at trending data around your most popular products. This data can indicate shopping patterns during peak times and inform inventory strategies.
Prepare for an Extended Shopping Season
Demand doesn’t stop at Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events. Many big brands are expanding access to deals through the holiday season. It’s strategic to spread out demand and prevent logistical problems down the line. This practice also increases revenue beyond the scope of Black Friday weekend.
However, you’ll need to prepare your Black Friday shipping strategy for that extra volume. Start planning logistical operations to account for shoppers that take advantage of deals long after Black Friday.
Test and Retest Software Capacity for Higher Traffic
Every shop’s Black Friday e-commerce strategy should include testing (and retesting) its website and shipping software’s reliability.
Your store should be resilient to traffic surges across desktop and mobile devices. While returning customers may put up with slow page speeds, new users could have less patience. Unreliable product pages, checkout processes, and shipping integrations have a crucial impact on your conversion rates.
Check your software for built-in site health tools. Platforms like Shopify offer users online speed reports to determine whether their shop can handle increased traffic. These tools can replicate the user experience and expose areas you’ll need to tweak as traffic increases.
Black Friday shopping is very competitive. Impatient consumers will move on if they can’t navigate your store. Eliminating slow load times or cumbersome checkout processes keep customers where they should be–your site.
Streamline Checkout Processes for Easy Conversions
Keeping customers in the sales funnel can be challenging, even with a technically-savvy website. Your checkout process can easily make or break a sale. Optimize your site with and checkout with the following:
- A sense of urgency (i.e., countdown clocks for deals, low inventory warnings)
- Live chat features
- Dynamic checkout or buy now buttons
- Flexible shipping options (bonus points for free shipping)
- International coverage and fees
- Clear return policies
- Email marketing campaigns for abandoned carts
Communicate with your email list throughout the entire process, especially if shipping delays are possible. Following up with customers through automation or live chat will improve the customer experience and get users back to your site.
You’ll also need a system to manage shipping insurance, delays, or issues. Cabrella’s shipping dashboard helps your team insure packages, track orders, and manage claims promptly. Cabrella’s express shipping options will benefit your customers, and our custom shipping insurance will give them peace of mind.
You won’t need to change shopping platforms or carriers, either. Cabrella offers integrations with platforms like FedEx, UPS, Shopify, Amazon, and more.
Set Expectations for Delivery Times and Cut-Off Dates
The world is still recovering from demand surges that have caused freight shipping disruptions and delays. Experts predict demand will extend far beyond Black Friday sales. The following month is expected to be just as testing, so be upfront with customers. Clearly communicate potential delays and cutoff dates for holiday delivery, even as the outlook for supply chains is improving.
2022 Holiday Delivery Deadlines
We compiled some of the holiday delivery deadlines for UPS and FedEx. You can include similar charts in marketing materials when promoting extended sale events.
Advanced solutions through insurance and logistics companies like Cabrella are an excellent way to improve efficiency at the shipping level. We can offer companies better protection against possible, even probable, delays.
Don’t Make Shipping Promises You Can’t Keep
Similarly, if you offer rapid shipping, you must deliver on it. This sentiment is especially critical if you charge expedited shipping fees. As the cost of shipping increases, be realistic about what you can offer your customers. Pre-determine shipping fees and delivery timelines that allow you to retain your bottom line.
Customers will always want orders fast, but beginning Black Friday, the priority is simple; delivering in time for the holidays.
One way to manage delays is to promote local goods to users in targeted regions. Demographic data can help you optimize your campaigns with products local to your clients. You can then focus on out-of-region deliveries that are harder to manage.
Get creative with pickup options, especially when it saves your customers time and money. Delivering to Amazon lockers or local storefronts can increase delivery efficiency.
Have a Backup Plan
Consider the worst-case scenarios in your holiday strategy and find ways to respond to problems before they arise.
Lay out ways to support customers with complicated orders or logistical problems. Customer experience remedies include easy return policies, coupon codes for future purchases, or personal follow-up communications.
Simplify Your Shipping Insurance Strategy
The best way to simplify your shipping strategy is to streamline processes and resolve issues before they cause delays. Still, your customers won’t make a purchase if they lack trust in the delivery process. Customizable shipping insurance ensures customers get the items they need while protecting your brand from costly errors.
Ready to prepare for Black Friday e-commerce sales? Third-party shipping insurance experts at Cabrella can help you get custom systems in place. We provide insurance coverage for any commodity. You’ll never have to worry about losing money on high-value shipments.
Reduce risk and save money with comprehensive coverage and an API that fits right into existing processes.
It’s more intelligent shipping.
To get started with Cabrella before the holiday rush, get a quote today.