These tips for holiday shipping success come courtesy of Taylor Short, market researcher for Software Advice.
As brick-and-mortar Black Friday sales become more crowded and chaotic, a huge segment of shoppers opt for the relative calm of their laptops the morning after Thanksgiving or, more likely, on Cyber Monday.
For the first time in history, the National Retail Federation reports that online retail will be the most popular place to shop this holiday.
This trend shows little sign of reversing, so online retailers need help during the busy seasons. We used data from a recent survey of shipping professionals to reveal three tips for holiday shipping success.
1. Offer Cheaper Shipping Options to Boost Online Sales
It’s true! You can find stats all over that show shipping costs are the largest contributors to cart abandonment. Online shoppers get a serious case of sticker shock once the shipping costs are factored in at the last payment screen.
In our survey, one of the three benefits shipping software users find is cheaper shipping (29 percent).
When software offers a variety of carriers and special flat rates for retailers, they can save money. Users can then offer shipping options to their customers, giving them more choices and encouraging additional purchases.
2. Manage the Huge Amount of Orders with Batching
Managing all the orders (53 percent) is the most time-consuming task in shipping. And as we’ve seen above, batching and shipping orders is the top benefit as a result of automating the process.
You can group orders together in a batch, then select the carrier, packing details, add insurance for all of the orders at once to save a ton of time. These packages don’t even have to be the same size or weight and you can still get all your labels in a few clicks.
3. Set Up Rules to Automate Order Details
You’ll want to turn around any orders as fast as possible, especially to get them out the door before those holiday shipping cutoff dates. A spreadsheet, even for smaller retailers, just isn’t the best way to handle this.
In our survey, we also looked at software benefits specifically for those shipping across the U.S. Aside from the universal batching and shipping benefits, we also found that users appreciated the ability to automate rules (23 percent) when batching orders.
You can create rules for any incoming orders with certain attributes, such as a particular item, weight or preferred carrier. Then the system will automatically carry out the action you set up.
For example, you can set up a rule so that a commonly ordered item is automatically assigned a weight, carrier or even print the appropriate shipping label.
Your business can’t afford to fall behind during the busiest shipping time of the year. Using shipping solutions to batch orders, automate the more time-consuming aspects of your shipping process and set up rules can help any retailer handle the rush of holiday orders.