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Holiday Planning: 7 Must Do’s

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Don’t let the holidays overwhelm you in 2015. Kick things off with this To Do list and then when you’re feeling more considered – hop on over to the full blown guide to eCommerce Holiday Shipping.

  1. Estimate order volume: put together an Order volume (sales) forecast using historical sales data from your 2014 holiday season, plus your store/s’ sales performance this year. This is the starting point for planning a successful 2015 holiday season.
  2. Pre-order supplies: order 20-30% more boxes, envelopes, tape, labels and packing materials than the expected demand calculated in Step 1 suggests. Determine cut-off times now and plan ahead. Remember carriers like USPS offer free supplies
  3. Recruit part-time staff: determine whether additional staff or hours will be required to pick, pack and ship the order volume estimated in Step 1. Decide on whether to hire, extend existing employee hours or enlist friends and family.
  4. Order extra scale: if Step 3 suggests you need more people, do you require an additional scale or workstation to maximize throughput?
  5. Optimize carrier selections: Start with the holiday timelines you plan to offer your customers and then do a thorough rate and delivery comparison.  Make sure to check out the cut-off dates for each carrier to help you plan.
  6. Invest in automation: break old copy/paste and manual habits.
    Ask your shipping solution to help you set up:

    1. Product catalog
    2. Shipping rules
    3. Saved packages
  7. Calculate turnaround times: become obsessed with Order turnaround time. Find the right report and/or metrics to calculate the % of Orders shipped same day and share it with your team.


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