opened package with gift inside

Holiday Shipping Tips For Retailers

by Ann-Ghilianne Laguerre

It’s never too early to unlock a few holiday shipping tips for retailers. Our first is pretty simple… Ship early. We know you’re still carving monsters into your pumpkins, but the retail and logistics industries have shucked their Halloween costumes. They are battening down the hatches in preparation for the holiday shopping season. Sales during 2017’s holiday season exceeded projections, with 1.1 billion packages moved by UPS and FedEx alone in the span of six weeks. This year’s forecast is looking just as festive, so to keep everyone from feeling like the McAllisters running for the plane in Home Alone 2, we’ve compiled some holiday shipping tips for retailers.

woman wrapping presents

Holiday Shipping Tips For Retailers

Holiday shopping happens earlier every year, with shoppers checking their lists as early as October. Peak sales occur during Black Friday, while half of the holiday shopping happens on Cyber Monday. Last year’s shipping season saw major carriers facing a high rate of late deliveries, as standard shipping methods reportedly performed two to three times worse than any other shipping period during the year. Don’t let your shipments get caught up in high-volume delivery traffic: prepare to ship early. Here are some tips for our trade:

1. Stay on top of your orders – Shoppers feel that Christmas crunch when they’re placing orders close to the deadline. To circumvent any hiccups, try to ship orders the same day they’re placed or at least within 12 hours of the order. It’ll drastically reduce your risk of delay.

2. Prepare packages during downtime – You know what your biggest sellers are, so stay ahead of the game by boxing popular orders in advance and noting the weight of the package. You’ll be saving loads of time when orders start pouring in, and all you have left to do is slap a label on, and voila! You can send your package off.

3. Keep supplies on hand – By looking at last year’s packaging habits, you can predict what you’ll need and have a fully stocked inventory of supplies.

4. Check delivery addresses – High-volume delivery traffic means a higher chance for incorrect labels. This can make a mess of your supply chain. Check and triple-check addresses with your shipping provider before printing labels.

5. Prepare for returns – Return policies affect the buy-a-bility of an item. A solid 68% of shoppers make their purchases on return policies alone, so keep your returns simple for your customers. Include a return shipping label to simplify the return process.

6. Protect from loss – With such high shipping volumes only projected to increase this holiday season, protect yourself from loss and damage by asking your provider for options for preventative measures, like delivery tracking and requiring customer signatures.

7. Clearly define your shipping terms – If you’re a routine shipper, you know that shipping terms are often overlooked on days ending in Y. Misunderstandings skyrocket during the holiday shopping season. Nothing gets more mixed up than the estimated time of delivery.

Get Your Holiday Shipping Done with FreightCenter

As a retailer, the holidays are your busiest shipping period. Following the holiday shipping tips for retailers listed above will make your holiday shipping smooth. However, consider using a third-party logistics (3PL) provider if you need more assistance. Utilizing a 3PL such as FreightCenter can alleviate the stress of holiday shipping and allow you to achieve your holiday shipping goals. Let us help keep you moving this holiday season and all year round! Get a free online quote, or give us a call at 800.716.7608 to get started today.

stacked holiday packages topped with santa hat



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