Have you been keeping tabs on eCommerce shopping trends lately? With online sales predicted to reach up to $443 billion by the end of the year, there’s no denying the steady shift towards online spending. As the holidays creep closer, what steps have you taken to make sure your online store is prepared for the busiest shopping days of the year? Here are a few tips to help you steer clear of shipping pitfalls.
Organize Your Warehouse
It may seem tedious, but cleaning and organizing your warehouse before the holidays will help your store keep up at a healthy pace during busy season. Not only will a messy warehouse slow your employees down, but it’s also a recipe for workplace injuries.
Start organizing your warehouse now and be strategic with your plan. For example, consider placing your top-selling items in easily accessible places close to your distribution center or grouping related items in the same warehouse bay. (look for one more example)
Work smarter and not harder by making sure your employees are comfortable and familiar with the warehouse layout. To keep everything efficient, make sure employees are familiar with your warehouse layout. When the holiday season arrives, your staff will be very busy, so keeping everything organized and accessible will help provide a quick shipping process.
Manage Inventory Like a Pro
Managing store inventory can be challenging, especially around the holidays. Between keeping tabs on inventory levels, managing vendors and new stock updates, handling inventory can easily be a full-time job. If you also sell through Amazon, it can easily become complicated without the right solution in place.
To prepare for the busy months ahead, look at your store’s previous holiday data and make note of your top sellers. It stands to reason that they will likely be best-selling items again this year, and you’ll want to stock more products to satisfy the demand.
Hosted platforms such as BigCommerce and Shopify offer automated management solutions that help you seamlessly manage your inventory. However, online stores who sell on Amazon should leverage additional integrations to sync their data and manage their inventory seamlessly across selling channels.
Refine Your Pick, Pack and Ship Process
Once your warehouse is organized and your inventory is stocked, it’s time to think about the right inventory flow to handle online orders. Most warehouses use the ‘Pick, Pack and Ship’ process to reduce user errors and ensure a quick, streamlined experience for their customers.
Now is a good time to start thinking about the logistics of your shipping process. Now that customers can easily track purchases, an accelerated shipping system is essential to the success of your business.
If you’re expecting a significant increase in orders this holiday season, consider hiring more warehouse staff and bring them up to speed on your fulfillment and shipping processes.
Be Aware of Important Holiday Shipping Dates
The next few months will fly by quickly and there are a few important shipping dates to mark on your calendar. By keeping track of shipping deadlines, you can reduce stress and feel confident about getting orders to customers on time.
Additionally, it’s important that you remind your customers of key cut-off dates to ensure they receive their orders in time for the holiday season. Don’t forget that your consumers are extremely busy as well, and they will appreciate a reminder to make those last-minute purchases possible.
Make Your Packaging Memorable
How you package your product plays a significant role in the overall customer experience.
Many successful eCommerce brands include holiday promos in their packaging this time of year. Want to make a lasting impression on holiday shoppers? Win them over and encourage additional sales by including a personalized note with a unique holiday promo. Whether you offer discounts, product samples or perhaps a personal note in their package, holiday promos are guaranteed to make a lasting impression on your customers
Another thing to consider is using branded packaging to heighten the customer experience. Unlike utility-focused boxes, branded packages make customers feel like they are unwrapping a gift. Consider your packaging another marketing opportunity that will help your store stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Mastering the shipping process is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your customer’s shopping experience during the holiday season. However, take a tip from the eCommerce pros and don’t forget to follow up with your customers once they receive their package in the mail.
Make smart use of post-purchase emails, and ask customers for their feedback to help improve the shopping experience. It’s also a great opportunity to send additional product recommendations or ask for a valuable customer review. This holiday season, use every opportunity to stand out from the competition and gain loyal customers for years to come!