Holiday Season Shipping Guide for Small E-commerce Businesses

Posted by Benjamin Meskin on Nov 20, 2020 9:00:00 AM
Benjamin Meskin

One of the top questions shoppers ask during the holiday shipping season is, “When will my order arrive?” It can be challenging to provide your customers with a precise answer, especially when you don’t have the necessary tools to help with tracking and logistics. By creating a shipping strategy for your company now, you can help eliminate a lot of the stress and anxiety associated with shipping products to your customers. One way to start is by looking at the statistics for holiday sales and shipping in recent years. 

freight shipping

Preparing for the 2020 Holiday Shipping Season by Comparing Past Sales Records

In 2018, e-commerce sales during the holidays reached a record high with a sales growth of 16.5%. That number has grown steadily every year and is expected to be even higher for the 2020 shipping season. This increase shows why e-commerce merchants should invest in their past purchase experience. Here are a few more statistics to consider when preparing for the upcoming shopping season. 

In recent years, mobile sales through e-commerce sites have been higher than desktop sales. More consumers were using their phones or other mobile devices to purchase products for the holidays instead of relying on their laptops or personal computers. Because people more frequently access their mobile devices, there is a higher chance of these consumers making a purchase. 

holiday packages outside of a home

The use of omni-channel sales strategies has also helped increase e-commerce sales in recent years, and it should play a massive role in the current holiday shipping season. E-commerce stores choosing to use brick-and-mortar stores for exchanges or picking up orders placed online have significantly increased e-commerce sales. Major retailers such as Kohl’s have recently started accepting returns from Amazon’s customers. After doing so, the stock for Kohl’s rose to 12%. With this in mind, retail experts predict the trend of buying products online and picking them up in-store will continue to grow among retailers and consumers alike. 

Statistics from the past few years have also shown that more shoppers are waiting until closer to Christmas to purchase their gifts. Merchants need to be prepared to meet the needs of these consumers by offering reliable, fast shipping options, and keeping their inventory fully stocked well into December. 

 

How to Develop Your 2020 Holiday Shipping Strategy

As customers rely more on deals by e-commerce merchants, traditional marketing strategies that focus on retail events such as Black Friday are no longer as important. But keep in mind that although holiday shipment volumes are higher in demand later in the year, early safe packing and shipping practices are still essential. The timing for delivery during the holiday season has shifted in recent years. Now, 40% of all holiday shipments happen during the week of Thanksgiving due to Black Friday, and early in December. This means there is less volume during the week before Christmas. Plan to offer less expensive shipping during the early weeks of the holiday shopping season. By offering low-cost shipping to your customers, you can guarantee your business will gain revenue. 

It’s essential to keep in mind that while more sales mean more revenue for your business, this also means it is more likely delivery issues will occur. That is why safe small business shipping and packing practices are essential. By offering fast shipping and reliable insurance, you can set your e-commerce business apart from others. These tactics will guarantee you can provide an extraordinary customer experience not only during the holiday season but throughout the year. 

online shopper during Christmas

Tips for Meeting Important Deadlines

For most e-commerce companies, the third quarter is the start of the holiday season, usually at the beginning of September. That is when you need to make plans for your inventory and create a shipping schedule to ensure you meet all the critical deadlines. You don’t want to ship out a customer’s order containing several Christmas gifts only to have it arrive after the holiday. 

To avoid these issues, look at sales activity for past years and find the busiest days for your company. Also learn about potential restrictions with shipping to foreign countries if you plan to offer international shipping

To have a successful e-commerce business throughout the holidays, you will need a well-defined plan in place. All areas of your business, from inventory to staffing, will affect your company’s ability to succeed during the peak shopping season. So, make sure all areas of your business are prepared for the challenge ahead. 

Ecommerce business shipping packages

The Importance of Shipping Insurance

Shipping packages to your customers on time and without damage is crucial to your business. This is true all year long, but it is especially important during the holiday shipping season. You want to take every precaution to ensure your items are packaged well to secure your company’s bottom line. To do this, you will need to pick the best carrier for each product you ship. 

Keep in mind, each shipping provider has their own policies for shipping methods, restrictions on packaging, and guidelines for weight and dimensions. If your e-commerce business uses more than one courier, it is recommended that you keep a cheat sheet handy with vital details about each provider. 

Shipping insurance deal

How to Increase Your Sales Through Shipping

The shipping options you offer can increase your sales and gain more repeat customers. Provide flexible shipping options through multiple carriers or offer services such as next-day shipping. You can substantially improve your profits by meeting the shipping needs of more consumers. 

One of the easiest ways to ensure customer satisfaction is by using a shipping insurance software app. Cabrella’s multi-carrier shipping software allows small e-commerce businesses to integrate their shipping systems to quickly insure and print labels for shipments. It’s one of the most seamless ways to make sure all holiday shipments are covered this season.

Cabrella's shipping software

Using an address verification system is a great way to reduce the risk of shipping errors as well. This feature helps eliminate typos at checkout and ensures your customers have their shipping details correct before the order is submitted. It’s a simple yet essential precaution that helps reduce the chances of a failed delivery. 

Another way to increase customer satisfaction is to preview the total for taxes and customs fees. Doing so can help your international customers avoid any surprises when they receive their package from the carrier. And if you want to make the delivery process even smoother, offer a pre-pay option for customs fees and taxes. 

 

Final Thoughts

Cabrella is here to help you save on your company’s holiday shipping costs with our affordable, high-quality e-commerce shipping insurance. To learn more about how our shipping services can assist your e-commerce business this holiday season, contact our insurance experts here at Cabrella. Our professionals will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. 

Tags: Shipping Insurance

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