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Peak Season: Holiday Season Shipping Strategy

The holiday season is a major revenue driver for most merchants, and one of the keys to ensuring customer satisfaction is providing a top-notch holiday shipping experience. Holiday shipping deadlines are a vital tool to help merchants manage customer expectations and minimise poor customer experiences resulting from late delivery.

What are holiday shipping deadlines?

Holiday shipping cut-off dates refer to the last day that packages need to be shipped by a parcel carrier in order to reach their final destination in time for the holidays. If an order is shipped following the holiday shipping deadline stated, the carrier cannot guarantee it will arrive by the expected delivery date.

Holiday shipping deadlines help to ease the pressure by spreading out deliveries and helping merchants to plan their holiday shipping strategies more effectively.

The shipping deadlines chosen will depend on several factors. International orders, for example, have much earlier cut-off dates than domestic shipments, which can have deadlines as late as Christmas Eve for priority services.

Ready or not, the holiday buying season is here. While you can’t be 100% prepared for the busiest e-commerce season of the year, you can take a few steps to ensure it goes smoothly.

First, you can take the time to optimize your checkout process. Then, take a look at your inventory management. Next, you’ll want to analyse the shipping process itself. How will you ship? What options will you give to your customers? And how will this impact your bottom line?

The answers aren’t always easy to come across, but with some time, effort, and careful planning, you can make holiday shipping a snap.

Creating a holiday shipping strategy

Forecast Demand:

Most companies begin to prepare for the peak season in Q3 around September. This means you'll want to evaluate two things: 1) demand for your products, 2) your business performance during last year's holidays.

Forecasting demand for the coming year is critical because it allows you to buy the right inventory and staff up based on data – not guesswork.

Stock Up on Inventory and Packaging:

It isn't ideal if if you run out of packaging supplies as orders pile up, more so, if you run out of stock.

As such ensure you have enough stock of your goods as well as any packaging materials for the increased demand during peak season. We suggest always carrying a small surplus of packaging if distributing the goods yourself.

Create Shipping Deadlines:

We talked above about the importance of creating shipping deadlines, broadcast this through your social channels, on your online store and anywhere customers have a touch point with your product. These shipping deadlines once advertised will ensure orders are placed in time to ship out in this peak season.

Partner With A Trusted Logistics Provider:

Last but definitely not the least, ensure you are partnered with a trusted logistics provider like Image International Freight. A great and trusted logistics provider will work with you to ensure your holiday shipping strategy runs as smooth as possible! If you have any questions concerning your shipping strategy or how Image International Freight may be able to assist your business please contact us today!


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