How Your Business Should Be Preparing for the Holiday Shopping Season

The holiday shopping season is the busiest time of year for retailers, and it’s never too soon to start preparing. Statista predicts U.S. ecommerce revenues will amount to $79.4 billion dollars during the holiday shopping season, a 13.9% jump from last year. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just a little over a month away, it’s crunch time.

Shipping is a huge factor that can help influence your success during this peak season, as well as impact customer satisfaction with your business. In fact, according to the Pitney Bowes 2015 Holiday Shipping Survey, 93% of consumers identified shipping options as an important factor in their overall shopping experience, up 23% from 2014. Here are some other key findings from the survey:

  • Most Americans plan to shop both in-stores and online, with 94% planning to shop from a computer and 49% planning to shop from a mobile device.
  • 98% of respondents track their packages for an estimated time of delivery, with 39% via email, 30% via mobile device and 28% on the retailer’s website.
  • 88% of respondents prefer free shipping with a 5-7 day deliver over paying a fee for a 1-2 day deliver.
  • 60% of respondents have increased their purchases to qualify for free shipping.
  • 39% prefer to return packages at nearby store, and 38% prefer returning packages through a shipping provider.

When prepping for the holiday shopping season, keep these statistics in mind and consider these holiday shipping tips:

  1. Know what to expect. Based on sales from previous years and the outcomes of promotions from earlier in the year, come up with a demand forecast for the peak season. Knowing what to expect can help you get your inventory, supply chain and staff ready for what’s to come.
  1. Get staff up to speed. Your staff needs to be prepared to handle the vast influx of orders and shipments that are coming their way. You may need to hire additional staff for the peak season and provide additional training to get them ready. It’s best to start recruiting for seasonal positions early on because you will have a smaller pool of applicants to choose from as the season approaches. You also need enough time to provide new hires with the proper training.
  1. shutterstock_88205857Communicate with your supply chain. Keep open communication with your supply chain and inform them about your promotion and marketing plans. This will help ensure items are in stock when you need them, as well as ready to be packaged and shipped.
  1. Develop a shipping strategy. As shown in the 2015 Holiday Shipping Survey, many consumers track their packages and want to know exactly when it will arrive. Whether you have free shipping or charge a fee, provide your customers with a specific date of arrival, rather than a period of days.
  1. Consider product packaging. Product packaging is an important aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. First off, packaging can provide a great branding and marketing opportunity. Your packaging and gift bags can include your brand name or logo. Secondly, consider how you are actually packaging the products. Shipping boxes that are too large for the product that’s being shipped not only costs your company more money, but also it increases the risks of damage and is less sustainable. With Packsize’s cardboard box making machine, you can create custom boxes made specifically for the product you need to ship. You’ll reduce the need for unsustainable void fill and improve customer satisfaction.
  1. Adjust to the new dimensional weight pricing rules. In the spring of 2014, FedEx and USP announced their plans to price the deliveries of ground parcels measuring less than three cubic feet by their dimensions rather than their weight. These changes were implemented after the 2014 holiday season, which means this is the first peak season that shipments will need to adhere to these new rules. If your business has been greatly impacted by the new dimensional weight pricing rules, reducing your box sizes and empty packing space can help decrease your dimensional shipping costs, and Packsize’s cardboard box making machine, as discussed above, can help you accomplish this.

To utilize our packaging solutions, contact Packsize today by either calling us or filling out the form below: 1-801-944-4814!

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