In the Mile-High City, holiday shoppers have elevated expectations for retailers. Not only do they have larger budgets, but 70% more consumers are moving their normal holiday purchases online. In order to succeed this season, you need to consider more than just product variety.
Shipping matters now more than ever. Mistakes can severely hurt your overall profit. This season, focus on creating loyal customers and a seamless shopping experience by avoiding these major eCommerce shipping mistakes.
Failing to Communicate Carrier Cutoffs
Traditionally, shipping carriers have multiple cutoff dates to help ensure your Denver customers receive their packages by December 25. This year is no different. USPS, UPS, and FedEx all have shipping deadlines set in the first two weeks of December for standard and ground delivery. As the month moves closer to Christmas, shipping prices will increase – as will the demand for express and overnight requests. Failing to communicate this information with holiday shoppers will result in late packages, overwhelming shipping costs your business will have to cover, and terrible customer experiences.
Avoid ruining the holidays and give yourself enough time to process packages and meet deadlines by having order cutoff dates stated on multiple areas of your site and in your overall customer communications. Include production cutoff dates in product descriptions, on checkout pages, in FAQs, and even in your marketing messaging on social media and in emails. The more you communicate this information ahead of time, the more you can cut down on shipping headaches.
Not Recruiting the Proper Help
Over 50% of Denver consumers will be looking at online retailers like you to help them complete their holiday shopping lists. Can your business handle the influx of customers? Whether it’s prepping your site to manage increased traffic or hiring seasonal workers to manage the fulfillment and shipping process, recruiting the right help for the holidays is crucial. It’s unlikely your previous in-house fulfillment methods will continue to work in the coming 2020 holiday season. As we’ve seen in trends throughout the year, many retailers have skyrocketed by selling unique products and tripled their customer base. Holiday sales will likely increase the pressure eCommerce sellers already feel. In turn, limited assistance will lead to late deliveries, wrong orders, missed deadlines, and very angry customers.
All of these pain points are easily avoidable with the right help. In addition to seasonal staff, you also want to consider working with a professional shipping company to handle your logistics. Whether it’s shipping, fulfillment, warehousing, or returns, a third-party logistics company like Rakuten Super Logistics can take care of all your needs. Let an experienced professional handle the heavy burden of shipping and ensure you achieve 100% accuracy on every order.
Running Out of Packing Material
For those sellers that are focused on fulfilling all Denver orders in-house, running out of packaging for holiday purchases is a real possibility. Whether it’s boxes, labels, or even tape, ensuring you are fully stocked for the upcoming season is imperative. The worst eCommerce mistake you can make is not securing your merchandise properly and having to replace it once it arrives damaged to your customer. Not only will it take you more time to make that customer happy, but it will also cost you more in the long run. You’ll likely be responsible for return fees, lose money on the damaged products, and have to pay to resend out the replacement item.
Avoid these problems by setting your business up for success before the holiday shopping season has even begun. Use your previous year’s sales as a basis for how much material to begin with and factor in sales from this year. This should help you get an accurate estimate of how much you will need to fulfill every holiday order.
Underestimating Shipping Costs
As the increase for eCommerce had grown, US parcel delivery services have also begun to increase their pricing to meet new shopping demands. FedEx announced an increased surcharge of $52.50 for oversized packages that will also include a $4.90 handling charge per package. Additionally, retailers can also anticipate an extra charge of $1 - $4 for ground delivery during peak season.
UPS was previously implementing an additional residential surcharge of $.30 per package and plans to increase that to $1 - $4 as well during the holiday season. If your business ships more than 500 large packages a week, expect to pay an extra $50 plus a $5 handling fee during the peak season as well. Also, don’t leave USPS out. The postal service will be bumping up pricing up to a $1.50 extra per package during the holidays as well.
As an eCommerce retailer, it’s your responsibility to factor in all of these new changes with your holiday sales. This may require you to increase product or shipping prices. Failure to accurately estimate pricing, especially a shipping and handling quote, to your Denver shoppers will put your business in a very bad position. You’ll likely end up eating hundreds if not thousands of dollars in extra holiday shipping costs. Avoid going over budget by preplanning your sales in accordance with shipping carrier increases.
Holiday shopping is the busiest time of the year for eCommerce retailers. Many rely on the peak season to maintain their year’s revenue numbers. eCommerce shipping mistakes, whether major or minor, can cause your Denver shoppers to turn to other retailers and negatively impact your holiday sales.
Prepare your business now to avoid eCommerce delays, and keep Denver shoppers coming back all year round by partnering with Rakuten Super Logistics. With a fulfillment center located where your customers live and access to a nationwide network of warehouses, we can ensure your holidays run smoothly.
Contact us to see how Rakuten Super Logistics can transform your business.
Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is the leader in eCommerce order fulfillment services and freight brokerage. RSL offers national fulfillment services and a network of 15 US fulfillment centers located in Anaheim (CA), Atlanta (GA), Austin (TX), Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Olean (NY), Reno (NV), Salt Lake City (UT), and Scranton (PA). Their state-of-the-art technology allows for integration with popular shopping cart platforms and online marketplaces including Amazon, Big Commerce, Channel Advisor, eBay, Magento, ShipStation, Shopify, Volusion, Walmart Marketplace, and WooCommerce.
RSL offers modern fulfillment solutions for leading eCommerce retailers focused on reducing shipping costs, improving order accuracy, decreasing shipping times, and increasing customer satisfaction.