The holiday season is almost here! In the age of social distancing, more consumers will shop online in the upcoming months. How can ecommerce entrepreneurs prepare for the influx of customers? Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Understand your shipping process

First, understand the steps involved in your shipping process. Meet up with the team who handles fulfilment and write down each step and the approximate time it takes for each. 

Here’s an example of a shipping timeline from International Cargo Express:

Next, identify potential bottlenecks and discuss strategies to speed up the process. Maybe you can save time by buying and printing multiple shipping labels in bulk?

Again, this seems simple, but speeding up the process by 30 minutes per package matters a lot when you have hundreds of packages to deliver during the holiday season.

Understand Holiday Shipping Deadlines

At this time of year, most people will be shopping for gifts for Christmas. Of course, they’ll want packages to arrive before December 25 hence why you’ll want to avoid shipping delays and supply chain delays. 

While some events are unexpected, understanding holiday shipping deadlines will enable you to set clear expectations for delivery dates. In the image below, Shipping Easy has listed down the holiday shipping deadlines for 2020. You may want to consider creating a similar timeline for your own processes to give you a better understanding and create a strategy for how you can meet these deadlines. 

Communicate shipping policies

ShippyPro reports that 93% of online shoppers demand updates about their shipments. Some excited or panicked customers even send a bulk of “Where Is My Order?” emails to support teams. To avoid this situation, communicate your shipping policies. 

Create or update your shipping policies page with the following information:

  • Delivery times
  • Shipping options
  • International shipping availability and fees
  • Lost or damaged packages 

You could also ensure that your CRM automated email flows are all set up to send emails to customers updating them on the progress of their order. Here’s an example of the website page to highlight the shipping policy of lifestyle brand Smoko:

Enable order tracking

You can also send an email with real-time tracking to keep customers in the loop.  Having an order tracking option will help you avoid an influx of customer inquiries. For example, Polaroid’s shipping email gives customers the option to track their packages. 

They also send customer emails to update them of the progress of their order in real-time, assuring them that their package is being processed and on their way to them.  By sending this type of email management to customers, it will reduce the amount of emails/messages you will receive from customers who haven’t heard updates about their order. 

What steps have you taken to ensure your Christmas season runs as smoothly as possible? If you need support, get in touch with our team today.