The 2021 holiday season is primed to be one of the strongest this decade for most retailers. TotalRetail is reporting an expected 7 to 9 percent sales increase from consumer demand. This is thanks to rising prices of goods associated with increased costs for materials, shipping, marketing, and labor. Most of the price increases come from the pandemic and supply chain disarray. But that’s not the end of the story!

Best Practices to Prepare for Holiday Shipping

In order to prepare for holiday shipping, start with understanding when peak shipping seasons will commence. Typically, the peak season runs from October to December. The season ramps up typically after Black Friday. This is always the day after Thanksgiving, on the last Friday in November. You then have Cyber Monday on the following Monday, which ramps up ecommerce sales.

However, this year analysts say it’s anything but normal as holiday shopping started in August. This can put a damper on the spirits of some ecommerce and retail stores that are not quite ready to showcase holiday sales. By now you should know if your sales have picked up due to the season.

As you continue to prepare yourself for the rest of the season, you need to be ready to roll with managing inventory and shipping orders. You want everything lined up to be ready to fulfill orders at a high rate to take advantage of this timeframe. Otherwise, you can lose customers and brand loyalty due to failing to meet customer expectations.

Ways to prepare your shipping operations in the holiday season include:

  • Order extra shipping and packaging supplies ahead of time.
  • Set up an automated system to handle back-office processes like invoicing and shipping labels — consider Ordoro as an option.
  • Employ staff temporarily for the holidays to help you cover the spike in order fulfillment and shipping.
  • Outsource logistics and transportation needs to a third-party dispatcher or a local trucking company.

Now that you have scheduled the peak season, take into account common shipping challenges for this time of the year. You also want to set up your shipping strategy, which we will discuss at the end of this article. First, here are the most common peak shipping season problems and some ways to get around them.

Managing Expenses During the Holidays

During the holiday season 2021, you’re going to need more inventory, supplies as well as unique one-off marketing and advertising for seasonal sales. Not only will you be spending more due to increased volumes this season but you will also have to take into account price surges on bulk products as well as increased shipping costs or fees.

Plan accordingly by looking at last year’s expenses in these areas. Identify what percentage increase was incurred for each variable and budget for these costs accordingly. Planning ahead and budgeting your expenses during the holiday can make or break your bottom line. To help you cope with rising costs on products—and to help ease customers’ woes about pricing increases—offer free shipping.

Offer Free Shipping

Free shipping is a huge benefit for you and your customers. Free shipping is a proven strategy for increasing order size as well as increasing customer satisfaction. Make sure that you stay profitable by covering your shipping costs when deciding your minimum order value.

There is a psychological benefit as well. The customer gets a set price, and does not have to feel the sting of shipping and handling costs—especially if they are shipping holiday gifts to someone with exorbitantly high shipping fees.

Shipping Strategy to Sell More This Season

Prepare for holiday shipping and sell more at the same time with these strategic tips:

  • Utilizing shipping as a selling point by providing the best shipping deals on the market.
  • Give customers several popular shipping options, including same-day and 2-day shipping to help with last-minute shoppers.
  • Provide international shipping options, but know that these will incur a higher shipping rates and expenses.
  • Providing an unforgettable unboxing experience will ensure the first physical impression of your brand sticks with your customer’s. 
  • Making the return process straightforward will help attract customers. Painful returns keep many people away from online shopping.
  • Follow Ordoro’s Ecommerce Holiday Checklist for more tips and tricks this holiday season.

These shipping strategies will streamline your holiday season sales and fulfillment. We also have another tool you can use—the shipping deadline calendar by Ordoro.

Utilize Ordoro’s Shipping Deadline Calendar

Here at Ordoro, our holiday shipping calendar is all the rage. Download our free 2021 Holiday Shipping Deadlines calendar now and print it out for your office space. This calendar features USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL shipping deadlines for domestic shipping.

The shipping cut-off time for all shippers meeting the Christmas tree deadline is December 23. Find out more about how you can maintain your ecommerce holiday planning for 2021 with Ordoro. We have the best shipping software for your ecommerce business.

Start Shipping Products With Ordoro

In order to best prepare for holiday shipping chaos, consider our one-stop app for handling batch print labels and getting the lowest USPS shipping rates on the market. We provide dropshipping services with both manual and automatic route dropship capabilities. Using a custom API integration, our software is able to offer automated and advanced insight into your business. From total revenue to discounts and products overall value, you can easily see exactly how much money your company takes in during the holidays with our inventory management and order processing software.

Schedule your demo today for more information on our product features.