by Brian Gibbs, Refund Retriever
‘Tis the season of shopping… and shipping. In fact, in 2017 it was reported by Shopify that $1 billion in sales took place online everyday from November 1-22, and on Cyber Monday alone $6.6 billion in online sales were recorded. Collectively, the holiday season saw $108.15 billion in e-commerce sales – an impressive number that undoubtedly could not exist without shipping. Keeping this in mind, there is no time like the present to get your shipping strategies in place to ensure you’re ready for the upcoming shipping influx that will take place this holiday season.
To help your online business become holiday ready, consider these five shipping tips:
1. Sort Packaging Supplies Now to Be Prepared Later
There are many logistics when it comes to shipping, but among the most important will be how you actually package your shipments. Ensuring you have the right materials that include boxes, labels, tissue, tape and more is among the first steps you should take to become holiday ready. Identify what your current stock levels are of these products, then order what you will need to get your business confidently through the holidays — and even beyond. It’s better to over-order vs. under-order to help avoid shipping delays or worse, losing a sale in general. Another tip to consider? Don’t forget to order holiday gift wrap if this is an option for inventory ordered by your customers.
2. Know Shipping Black-Out Dates
On-time deliveries are not just ideal for customers, but for business as well. To trust you can meet the delivery expectations set by both your customers and yourself, know what black-out dates may impact your shipping schedule. UPS and FedEx alike both identify Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day as official holidays and as a result, will not pick up or deliver on these days. Keep this in mind as you both plan and promote your shipment options.
3. Identify Extra Shipping Fees Upfront
Surprises are good when they come in the form of a present under a tree or delivered as a gift from your favorite online store, but surprises when it comes to shipping expenses are never fun. Unfortunately, however, many businesses find out after the fact that their carrier of choice – whether UPS or FedEx – have applied an additional charge to a shipment due to the holiday season. Among the fees to look out for during the holidays include FedEx applying a peak surcharge to shipments that qualify as unauthorized, oversized or require additional handling in addition to existing charges beginning November 19 and concluding December 24, 2018. Be sure to review your carrier contracts – or speak directly to your carrier representatives – to gain clarity to what other fees may be applied to your shipments this holiday season.
4. Incorporate Parcel Auditing into Your Strategy
Parcel auditing allows companies to monitor over-charges, late-shipments, damaged packages and other actions that qualify for refunds – ultimately resulting in money back for shippers. When incorporating parcel auditing into your holiday shipping strategy, companies gain clarity to the complexity of shipping as well as the extra expenses they may be charged for. The best part, however? This automated service makes it nearly turn-key for busy online sellers to save money when deserved. You can find out more about parcel auditing at RefundRetreiver.com.
5. Protect Your Packages with Insurance
With Shopify reporting over $100 billion in online holiday sales in 2017, it’s fair to assume carriers such as FedEx and UPS stayed very busy. Keeping this in mind, the reality is that even with the best care from your carrier of choice accidents, weather, and unexpected circumstances can surprise carriers, senders and customers alike. Protect your shipments and gain confidence from these likely – though not ideal – scenarios with shipping insurance.
Discover more best practices on shipping this holiday season at RefundRetreiver.com.