Holiday Shipping in 2015
Suppliers be aware: The holidays are coming! With shopping events like Cyber Monday and impending weather issues in the near future, it’s time to review best practices to help your small or midsize business stay ahead of any potential issues.
Crisis Teams No business owner wants their customer to have issues receiving a shipment, but smart business owners prepare for a crisis ahead of time. As we wrote earlier this year, it’s important to choose a team of managers who will make decisions during a crisis. Choose your team early and provide them all with proper crisis plans and training programs.
Shopping Events With the advent of shopping “holidays” like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s important to have a shipping strategy in place. Will you send out packages on a rolling basis or wait until you have enough items for a full truckload? Create a detailed list of items available for shipping and their normal shipping costs. Proactive planning will help you avoid a backup of shipments on days when orders will pour in.
Shipping Deadlines The USPS recently announced it’s own shipping deadlines for the 2015 holiday season. Follow suit and create your own national and international deadlines. Promote them on your website and social media accounts to ensure that customers see the news, and encourage representatives to communicate these deadlines with clients via email.
Holiday Bonuses The holiday season is a time when giving feels good. If your budget allows, provide holiday specials or discounts to loyal customers. Monitor competitors so your products and services will arrive in a timely manner. Some major retailers like Amazon and Walmart are expediting their shipping processes with standard two-day delivery. While two-day shipping isn’t possible for every company, there might be some wiggle room in your own budget.
Inclement Weather In certain parts of North America the weather can be difficult to deal with during the holidays. If customer deliveries are headed to areas where ice or snow are common, plan on making multiple delivery methods available. In areas where air and land deliveries could become problematic, communicate with your customers to create effective backup plans so that no one’s holiday is ruined by a missed delivery.
With a solid shipping plan in place before the holiday rush, your customers will receive their products with no issues. And if weather issues out of your control threaten deliveries, you’ll be prepared. As always, remember that you’ll receive best-in-class shipping options with our streamlined services.