Christmas is the most wonderful, magical, and exciting time of year. Except for eCommerce retailers. That is.
For eCommerce retailers, it’s the most stressful time of the year – as they have the dreaded issue of holiday shipping to deal with.
Top 3 Christmas eCommerce Shipping Mistakes
As most online retailers are aware, providing a good shipping service is all about managing expectations and preventing potential problems from arising. This is especially important during the busy Christmas period when an increase in shipments for carriers can lead to longer delivery times and delays – the kinds of things that frustrate customers intensely.
As well as angering your customers, these problems reduce productivity – as your staff have to resolve them, and can also be quite costly if you have to compensate customers.
For that reason, the organization is of the utmost importance. To help you streamline your holiday shipping service, we’ve created a list of top festive period shipping mistakes and how to avoid making them.
- Unexpected Order Volume
For those who haven’t been in business for very long and don’t have last December’s figures to look back on, it can be hard to expect an exact order volume and is therefore very easy to get caught out and snowed under.
To avoid this, there are a few preventative measures you can take. Firstly, evaluate whether or not your business is likely to be impacted by increased buying during the holiday period. For example, if you sell a product that can be purchased as a gift, the answer will likely be yes.
If so, take a look at the busiest periods you have experienced thus far and aim to provide similar or higher orders.
Also, pay close attention to online search behavior and web traffic for your product or service. If you use online tools such as Google Trends, you will see if there is any significant peak in customers searching for the keywords that bring people to your website. If this is the case, prepare for a noticeable increase in sales.
- Keeping Customers In The Dark
Cut-off dates and delivery times are very important to customers when doing online shopping. If yours aren’t particularly clear, it will make users more likely to bounce off your website and into the online arms of a competitor or another company who can assure them that their item will arrive on time.
To prevent this from happening, inform all potential customers about your cut-off dates. Put an alert message on your website during booking or create a web page or a blog post that thoroughly details them. Post the dates on your social media channels or send an email newsletter to customers informing them.
- Forgetting About Profit
As online buying increases significantly during the holiday period, companies have so much competition to snare customers. Most will do so by offering attractive discounts and deals. (You probably noticed that this year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were a bigger deal than ever before.)
One of the most common offers is free shipping. And while this might help acquire new customers, it might negatively impact your profit margins.
Shipping is a significant expense among small businesses, so if you want to provide free delivery for customers, ensure that your offer is still profitable. Also, consider upselling by offering gift-wrapping or including a personalized message for a small fee.