Ship with success this festive season
Christmas is the most widely celebrated holiday in the UK and one of the busiest periods of the year for retailers. During the 2022 peak season, 50% of e-commerce customers
increased the quantity of their online shopping. Despite cost of living increases
, online purchasing over the festive period is expected to rise this year
With this in mind, it's a good idea for retailers to prepare for extra shipping volumes. Planning ahead is crucial to ensure smooth operations and a positive delivery experience for customers. It’s important to get this part right, with 85% of online shoppers
unwilling to forgive a brand after a negative delivery experience. Read on for our Christmas shipping strategies to help your business to prepare for this busy period.
Our top tips for festive shipping
1. Communicate Christmas postage cut-off dates
It's a good idea to let your customers know when your shipping cut off dates are for arrival before Christmas Day. Check with your shipping service provider what their last postage dates for Christmas are as this will vary by provider.
Apart from helping to promote any seasonal offers you might have, social media is a great tool for keeping customers informed. Use your social media accounts to remind customers about your final postage dates for Christmas. This can help to avoid disappointment for customers who miss the cut-off date. For example, if a customer has their eye on the perfect gift for a loved one, reminders can help them to make sure they purchase it in time for Christmas.
2. Prepare for increased shipping volumes
If possible, let your shipping service provider know your projected sales volumes in advance. This gives them time to plan ahead to meet demand, which can lead to fewer logistics issues when demand starts to ramp up.
Unsure how to predict your sales volumes? Taking a closer look at your sales figures from last year could be a good place to start.
3. Consider free shipping where possible
Delivery costs can add up, especially during the festive season when many gifts are on the shopping list. Although online shopping provides convenience, the prospect of additional delivery costs may deter customers. Reducing or removing shipping fees, where possible, may remove this barrier and provide further incentive for customers to shop online. For example, you could remove shipping fees for items over a certain price threshold.
Data shows that shipping costs cause 47% of online shoppers
to abandon their carts at the checkout. Additionally, another study by Inmar Intelligence suggests that free shipping has the potential to significantly increase sales, with 78% of customers
willing to spend more to qualify for free delivery. This strategy won't work for all businesses, but it may help to reduce cart abandonment.
4. Prepare for potential shipping disruption
The festive season is a peak shipping period with high demand. Unexpected events such as bad weather conditions can cause delays and impact the delivery process.
A good shipping service provider with an extensive transportation and logistics network can help here and will be the most resilient to unexpected delays, providing the most reliable delivery service.
5. Provide parcel tracking
When your customers are shopping for gifts for their friends and family, they want to be reassured their items will arrive before Christmas. Keeping your customers informed during the delivery process is a great way to build trust. It will give customers peace of mind that their parcel will arrive on time. Check your shipping service provider is able to provide your customers with delivery updates.
It's not just your customers that this will benefit. Transparent delivery services can mean less customer queries, taking some much-needed pressure off your customer service team.
6. Factor in returns
With the increase in purchasing over Christmas, it's important to have a plan in place to handle a potential increase in return demand.
Extending your returns policy during the Christmas period can take some pressure off, and customers are likely to appreciate the extra time to return items.
Get Christmas-ready with Amazon Shipping
It's never too early to start your 2024 peak season preparations. Get started with Amazon Shipping to give your customers the gift of reliable shipping all year round.