10 Holiday Shipping Tips for Small Businesses in 2022
Holiday Season’s Approaching and Shipping Tips are Needed!
Online sellers and boutique owners – it’s that time of year again! Yes, the holiday season is fast approaching. It’s an exciting time for your small business. Buyers are looking for the perfect gift and the holidays present an ideal opportunity for you to grow your sales. But, on the flipside, there’s the dreaded chaos of the holiday shipping season. And the best time to prepare for the storm is… well … as early as possible. My friend – don’t fret. Here, you’ll find the best tips to prepare you for the holiday shipping season. So when the time comes, your only concern will be increasing those sales!
Top 10 Shipping Tips for the 2022 Holiday Season
1. Review and Refine your Shipping Process
Our first Holiday shipping tip is to review and refine your shipping process. If you already know your process, get it down on paper. If you don’t – have a look at your next few orders. Jot down each step and how much time it takes.
From here, you can see if you need to adjust your shipping process for the holiday season. As well as how you can save time on certain steps. Also, clear processes are going to help staff or any “little helpers” you’ve enlisted for the holiday season.
The holidays are a busier time for retailers like yourself. Time is tighter! And slicker shipping processes are a huge time saver. You can then spend the time you’ve saved doing something else. Like selling your products!
2. Evaluate and estimate demand for your products
The next thing you want to do is evaluate and estimate the demand for your products. This is less of a shipping “tip” for the holiday season – it’s an absolute must.
This way, you know you have the right amount of inventory. As well as the right products that are going to sell!
Here’s what you need to do:
Have a look at how your eCommerce store performed last holiday season. What were your best selling products? What products didn’t perform so well? How much total revenue did you generate? What days & weeks were busiest?
Now, look at what’s going on at the moment. What products are currently popular among your customers? What’s trending right now?
By reviewing this information, you can be braced for the influx of holiday shoppers. You’re also less likely to run out of inventory and items your customers love. Disaster averted.
3. Stock Up on Inventory
Now that you’ve estimated and evaluated demand, it’s time to stock up! You’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right quantity of stock before the chaos begins. I know this seems more common sense than a revolutionary holiday shipping tip. But, the last thing you want is to run out of stock and lose sales.
Remember, the inventory you get should be informed by the previous year’s holiday sales. And factor in trends that could lead to increased sales. Then, talk to your suppliers about your needs. You can also get in early and pre-order stock. By pre-ordering, you can avoid the negative impact of stock shortages.
4. Order in your Holiday Season Shipping Supplies
Ready for another game-changing holiday shipping tip? Make sure you’ve got enough shipping supplies ordered and ready to fulfill orders. Again, rather self-explanatory.
However, I’m pretty sure you don’t want to run out of supplies. Especially when orders are flying in.
With the holiday season approaching, every retailer will be looking for shipping supplies. So it’s important you get them in early to get ahead and meet demand. Stockpile extra supplies where you have space. As a result, you’ll be able to ship seamlessly and keep on top of the busyness.
Wondering where to get your supplies from? Well, in fact, major carriers like USPS and UPS offer free shipping supplies on their websites. And, with USPS, you can get free supplies dropped off at your door for FREE.
5. Ready Your Cart Experience for Shipping
Over 60% of shoppers say shipping and delivery options are the decider when it comes to choosing who to shop with. So it’s important to get your cart ready for the holidays.
Now, we can’t all be Amazon. But …
Here are a couple of tips that will help you provide the best shipping options for your buyers this holiday season:
Offer flexibility with your shipping options for customers – We recommend giving the fastest, cheapest, and the best value. As a result, you can meet the needs of a wide range of customers. Giving your customers different shipping options can also boost conversions.
Offer free shipping – This can also increase sales. However, as a small retailer, we know this option can be less realistic. Even with huge shipping discounts from Ship.com. Can you afford to offer free shipping? If not, could you afford to offer shipping when a customer’s order totals over a certain amount of $? This is a great way to boost conversions and offer free shipping in a more affordable way.
6. Ensure you can meet shipping deadlines and plan for delivery delays
In recent years, rising eCommerce orders have had an impact on shipping carrier deadlines. As a result of eCommerce growth, we’ve seen delayed delivery times over the holidays. And whilst you can’t predict delays – you can be prepared.
Stay informed on your carrier’s holiday season deadlines and keep an eye on their website. This way, you can plan and set your own shipping deadlines. Then, you can confidently meet carriers cut off points.
When setting your order by date, try to achieve balance. Yes, you want to set dates as late as possible to get more sales. However, you don’t want to give yourself too much to do.
7. Communicate last order dates and encourage early orders
Once you’ve set your order by date, communicate it to your customers. Tell them the last date they can order by and be sure that their package will arrive on time.
You want to have a permanent point of reference for your order by date. So put it on online stores’ homepage, product pages and pin a post on your social media.
You can also remind customers of order by dates using email marketing. This is a great way to create urgency and boost sales.
Bonus, super important holiday shipping tip: When you tell customers your order by date, let them know that this could change. Delays are always a possibility. By doing this, you’re covering yourself and managing buyers expectations.
How to Encourage Early Orders
One way to make sure your customers meet your shipping deadlines is to encourage early orders. Yes, this will reduce your buyers worries about gifts arriving on time. But it also means less deadline stress for you. So…
How do you get your customers to buy early?
Well, firstly, you can entice them with your awesome products and amazing gift ideas. Encourage shoppers to buy early through your socials, website, and email marketing. In addition to this, you can market your products on your Facebook live sales or live video. Or, when you’re shipping to current customers, sneak some promo materials in the box!
Alternatively, you can offer discounts if people order before a specific date. Or offer free or reduced shipping with a longer shipping time. This can give customers the motivation to purchase early. As well as allowing you to offer free shipping in a more cost-effective way.
8. Provide Order Tracking
There’s nothing worse than being left in the dark about your order. That’s why one of our main holiday shipping tips is to provide order tracking.
Your customers want to know that they’re going to get their package in time for the holidays! For them, order tracking alleviates anxiety. For you, it’s a way to build trust with your buyers.
Drop customers tracking information in post-purchase emails. For example, an order confirmation email. You can add the tracking number to the email – which will save a lot of questions down the line.
Or, you can tell customers to download the Ship.com mobile app…
Here, your buyers can auto-track their package, get real-time updates and receive delivery notifications. Plus, it syncs with their Gmail account, so they won’t even need to search for a tracking number! Your customer will also receive branded shipping notifications through the app. These personal notifications are an excellent way to keep connected to your customer post-purchase.
9. Prepare for Returns and Review your Returns Policy
Holiday return rates increase by 10% when compared to the rest of the year. To add to that, over 65% of eCommerce shoppers now check returns policies before buying. So our penultimate holiday shipping tip is: brace yourself for returns and review your returns policy.
When it comes to holiday returns, have this one question in mind:
“How can I make it easy for my customers?”
For your returns policy: make it simple and visible on your store site. As well as that, we recommend amending your policy to allow returning items past the holidays. All of this will give holiday shoppers the confidence they need to buy in the first place.
If you can, you can also provide pre-paid return envelopes to customers. It may cost – but it will make returns easier for your buyers.
10. Streamline your Shipping Shipping with a Shipping Platform
In our first tip, we asked you to think about ways you could streamline your shipping process. Well, we’re about to give you a head start …
Use a Shipping Platform to streamline your processes. They’re designed with handy automations that make shipping slicker and quicker. Just like ShipOrder…
With ShipOrder you can:
Print heavily discounted USPS and UPS labels in just 3 clicks. That includes up to 77% off UPS Ground. Just saying.
Order a home pick-up in just 2-clicks. That’s going to save you over 90 minutes per week on pesky post office trips!
Import customer order information automatically and reduce shipping errors.
Easily email return shipping labels.
Batch purchase several shipping labels at once and print multiple labels, pack lists, or packing sheets. Forget manually printing labels with ALL of the same shipping parameters.
Quickly combine multiple orders to create one shipping label. Reducing your shipments and saving you precious time and money.
And those are just the highlights. All of this is going to save you time, money, and make your holiday shipping seamless.
Summary – Prepped with your Tips – Holiday Shipping Season Can Actually be Enjoyable
Holiday shipping season is a busy time. There’s no avoiding that. But it certainly doesn’t need to be dreaded. With the right preparation and by applying the tips above, you can navigate holiday shipping with confidence. It can go from hectic, to hecka enjoyable.
Speaking of making shipping more enjoyable…
Win the Holiday Shipping Season with ShipOrder
Nail Holiday Shipping Season with ShipOrder
To help you win the 2022 holiday season, we’d like to offer you a 14 DAY FREE TRIAL of the ShipOrder shipping platform. ShipOrder is a sure fire way to streamline your processes and make shipping smooth sailing for the upcoming holidays! The trial will give you full access to our executive subscription. And that means unlimited discounted shipping for 14 days!
You’ll also have access to other awesome tools that will help you boost sales this holiday season. That includes our all-in-one Facebook live selling platform, where you can sell products, collect payments, ship orders, and manage customer communications with ease.
Happy shipping this holiday season from Ship.com!