The holiday season is a busy time of year − especially for online business owners.
November and December are the two most profitable months for ecommerce. They drive 30% more ecommerce revenue than any other time of year.
With this boost in sales, keeping your customers happy can be difficult.
Arguably, the most important part of customer satisfaction is delivering purchases on time and intact. From increased shipping fees and deadlines to properly packaging products, here’s everything you need to know about holiday shipping.
Waiting till the last minute to get your orders out the door can be costly. Many shipping carriers raise their prices around the holidays. For example, UPS recently announced a new pricing system that will result in increased holiday shipping prices for packages during the season.
From December 17-23, the final week before Christmas, UPS will charge
- a 97-cent surcharge on packages shipped with 2nd Day Air Residential and 3rd Day Select Residential.
- an 81-cent surcharge on packages shipped with Next Day Air Residential.
- a 27-cent surcharge on all items shipped via Ground Residential.
In addition, UPS will also add a 27-cent surcharge on all packages shipped via Ground Residential from November 19 to December 2.
Other popular carriers, such as USPS and Fedex, have yet to release their 2017 holiday pricing. Stay tuned for more details!
Combat the increased shipping fees that occur right before the holidays by encouraging your customers to start shopping earlier. Offer discounts, free shipping, free returns, and other rewards that benefit the early-bird shopper.
Getting orders to customers on time is very important to maintaining a successful business. Here are important deadlines from popular shipping carriers to ensure your packages are delivered before Christmas:
- Dec 18: Deadline for 3-Day Select shipments.
- Dec 22: Deadline for 2nd Day Air shipments.
- Dec 23: Deadline for Next Day Air shipments.
- Dec 15: Deadline for Standard Parcel Post (Mail) shipments.
- Dec 20: Deadline for First Class Mail and Priority Mail shipments.
- Dec 23: Deadline for Priority Express Mail shipments.
- Dec 12: Deadline for Smart Post shipments.
- Dec 17: Deadline for Home Delivery and Ground Delivery shipments.
- Dec 20: Deadline for Express Save shipments.
- Dec 22: Deadline for 2-Day and 2-Day A.M. shipments.
- Dec 23: Deadline for Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight, First Overnight shipments.
- Dec 25: Deadline for Same Day shipments.
Shipping carriers are busy during the holidays. Make sure your package is transport-ready by using the following tips:
- Wrap your product, especially if it’s breakable. Use bubble wrap, tissue paper, or Styrofoam inserts to make sure the product is snug in the box. Giving your product a cushy barrier is important during the holidays when it is being jostled around with hundreds of other packages.
- With unpredictable winter weather, add an extra address label on the inside of the package in case the first one falls off.
- Reinforce your box on all sides with extra tape to ensure it’ll make it to its destination.
Embrace the holiday spirit. Use one of these ideas to add a touch of magic for your customer this holiday season:
- Thank you cards: Write a generic holiday message and thank the customer for choosing your business. Have multiple cards or notes printed and include one with each package.
- Rewards: Include a coupon or offer in the package that is valid after the holidays are over. This is a win-win situation: your customer gets a reward and you are encouraging sales during a slow time of year.
- Ship directly to the gift recipient: Take a step out of the gift-giving process and ship packages directly to the gift recipient. Include an option to add free personalized notes or gift-wrapping services for a small fee.
The holiday season is a busy, but wonderful, time of year. Use these holiday shipping tips to make sure your orders are safely delivered and arrive on time.
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Have any other holiday shipping tips that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments down below!