Shipfusion Blog

How to Prepare for Peak Holiday Shipping Season and What to Expect: PART 3 

Choosing the right partner can make or break your company’s logistics, customer service, and repeat purchases. Using a fulfillment center like Shipfusion frees you from navigating the fulfillment landscape with zero stress. Below are some insights on how Shipfusion can take your business to the next level.

Here is your 3 part guide on everything you need to know on how to prepare for the eCommerce holiday season. 

10 Tips When Preparing for Peak Shipping Season Continued

As you can probably see, companies have a lot of scenarios to consider when entering into an eCommerce business. These situations are only heightened further during periods of high demand.

To help prepare, here are 10 practical recommendations that should help keep things running smoothly. Moreover, it could help you get ahead of potential problems before they even happen, saving you a ton of time, money, and heartache in the process.

6 – Allocate Enough Space

During peak shipping season dates, storage areas turn into something different. People crossing paths, shouting, and what was once a peaceful place suddenly turns chaotic. To minimize the mayhem, make as much room as possible. So everyone will have their own place to operate.

A way to do this is by using vertical racks instead of horizontal ones. In these situations, floor area becomes so much more valuable. So why not capitalize on the ceiling space as a substitute? It won’t cost much either.

Having the goods placed that high up means workers won’t worry about stepping on or knocking them over. And while this means having to buy more equipment – like a forklift – at least the risk of damages is also significantly reduced.

Most important, having enough space on the ground has a direct impact on efficiency. When this happens, everyone feels more comfortable moving from one place to another and gets things done quicker—no more tip-toeing around.

Using a fulfillment solution like Shipfusion will elevate the stress of warehouse operations planning. 

7 – Make Use of Order Management Systems

Getting from order placement to delivery requires so many different steps handled by various people. And at times, it can get extremely hard to keep track of what’s happening.

Instead of monitoring everything manually, an order management tool provides supervisors with real-time updates. As soon as packages pass through the warehouse, get packed, and are ready for dispatching, it sends out alerts automatically. Customer service specialists can likewise be given access so customers will be informed of the status of their deliveries.

Best of all, it provides an already proven system of managing your office operations, and even syncs every subdivision in a company together. Having everyone on the same page, most especially during peak shipping season dates, will reduce errors substantially and provide customers with the level of service they deserve.

Finally, and most importantly, using an order management system will prove valuable in the off chance that any package gets lost. This improves the chances of locating it while also providing enough evidence to disprove negligence if an investigation happens.

8 – Choose a Reliable Delivery Service Provider

While fulfillment centers help out with day-to-day operations, it’s an external delivery service provider whose job is to take every package from point to point. So it is imperative to choose a reliable supplier, quick to act and won’t let you down.

With so many options available, choosing just one can be daunting. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case. Businesses can always opt to partner with multiple providers while evaluating their individual performance before selecting a preferred supplier.

This situation is ideal, particularly during peak seasons when every single eCommerce platform makes use of their service. For the seller, this is an advantage, too, so if anything goes wrong, they can easily switch to someone different.

Furthermore, prior to signing a contract, businesses often provide an estimate of how many transactions to expect in a day. This is a good practice so each delivery service provider can already allocate enough resources to fulfill every order.

In summary, remember to do sufficient research before committing to anyone. Read up on reviews, ask for recommendations, and conduct thorough interviews. Deliveries are such a vital part of online selling. It’s always best to remove as many potential headaches as possible. 

9 – Provide Greater Lead Time for Shipment

Delays are a part of life, especially when juggling over a thousand different orders. Rather than spread yourself too thinly, provide a longer lead time for shipments instead. Most customers won’t mind receiving their parcel late, so as long as it’s communicated to them properly.

Now, there are several ways to do this without coming off as negative.

The first is by posting a disclaimer on your eCommerce shop. Have this appear several times, namely on the home page, embedded in the product description, and when they checkout. This way, buyers will be constantly reminded to anticipate delays already.

Another medium to utilize is social media. Brands often use this space to announce important news, connect with other users, and create awareness. Providing updates, especially during the peak shipping season, is by no means an exception. Just remember that anyone can comment on that post. So be sure to convey the message positively.

To show how it’s done, here’s an example of a perfectly crafted status advisory:

“To our valued clients:

As our upcoming sales event is fast approaching, we are so excited to have you try and take home all the latest merchandise. However, due to the increasing number of orders, please expect your order to arrive in 10-14 days, instead of the typical 5-7 day shipping time.

In lieu of this delay, we will be including a special holiday gift for every purchase.

Just a simple show of thanks, from our family to yours.”

A simple and straightforward message should suffice, assuming it exudes positivity, expresses sympathy, and ends with an attempt at righting the wrong. Truly, a win-win for everyone involved.

10 – Consider Outsourcing Completely to a Fulfillment Center

There is no shame in outsourcing the operations work to a third-party fulfillment center like Shipfusion. In reality, this would even be a wiser decision for companies with enough resources. This way, they can focus solely on implementing game-changing strategies and selling their items.

Shipfusion, which is one of the most trusted fulfillment service providers globally, equips eCommerce platforms with a quick-and-easy way to process, pack, and ship out their orders, all within a few hours.

Unlike other similar suppliers, Shipfusion manages all their warehouses themselves. Each one is fully equipped with a state-of-the-art inventory management system to keep track of all stocks. Temperature is carefully regulated, too, so it’s safe for all kinds of products.

Currently, their storage and receiving facilities are located in international hubs such as Los Angeles, Toronto, Las Vegas and Chicago. So shipping to anyone, even outside the United States of America, is a very real possibility. Soon, three more warehouses will be opened in New York, Atlanta, and Dallas, to cater to a wider audience.

Just like adding more manpower, outsourcing this service is a long-term move. Rather than labor and do everything yourself right now, this will allow businesses to focus on other more pressing concerns. Such as expansion and increasing profit.

Having another company handle shipping out orders also makes sense financially. Not having to maintain a warehouse only means less operating expenses, reduced wages paid, and even minimal utility cost.

What We Learned
 

Despite the numerous challenges, there’s no doubt that events happening during peak shipping season dates offer businesses a golden opportunity to increase their sales and move out ageing items.

What’s more critical is to prepare carefully for these occasions. Handling countless orders at a single time is no laughing matter, and must be taken with utmost seriousness. Otherwise, companies might end up losing more money than they earn.

Don’t worry, though, there are several ways already being practiced that will help streamline processes and allow everything to run more efficiently. Simple actions like hiring more employees, improving a customer’s user-experience, maximizing space, and constantly improving every program use – just to name a few – will go a long way in affecting change.

And if all else fails, companies already have the option to outsource fulfillment services to a third-party provider like Shipfusion, which owns several fulfillment centers across the US, and can effectively process orders, minus the headaches.

Shipfusion sets your business on autopilot and combines flexible, reliable fulfillment with powerful, real-time technology. Shipfusion has multiple fulfillment centers across the US and Canada– making it easy to manage your eCommerce business. For more information on how to set your business on autopilot, contact one of our fulfillment specialists today.

“Part of the theme at Shipfusion is that we don't constrain our clients. We work with them as business partners, which allows them great flexibility to work with other 3PL solutions and still take advantage of Shipfusion services.”

Dean Bentley-Falcke
Senior Solutions Architect and eCommerce Specialist
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