The holiday season is the busiest time of year for just about every business, but ecommerce tops the list in terms of volumes, sales, and shipping. Demand is higher for goods, and customers expect their purchases to arrive on time—which, as any shipper knows, can be challenging in today’s reality. The key to a successful holiday season is preparation—and that preparation starts now.
Fortunately, we’ve got some tips to help you weather the holidays without so much as a wrinkle in your party dress.
Top Four Tips for Shippers During the Holidays
The holiday rush is just ramping up, so here are some tips to help you get ahead of it.
1. Have an accurate demand forecas
September is when ecommerce businesses should begin analyzing data from previous peak seasons to forecast customer demand, product needs, and assortments. By understanding how customers behaved in the past, companies can ensure they’re prepared for the rush and avoid delays. In addition to sales data, you should also pull shipping data from previous years. This data can be leveraged to predict how many orders you’ll need to fulfill and when you’ll need to ship them.
2. Optimize your inventory
Managing inventory is a delicate balancing act. Too much inventory ties up capital and can lead to storage issues, while too little can result in stockouts and lost sales. Finding the sweet spot can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Optimizing inventory levels helps expedite orders, avoid costly mistakes, and ensure customers always get the products they want in time for holiday giving.
Main Types of Sea of Cargo in the Shipping Industry
3. Streamline your returns process
As any retailer knows, the holiday season is a time of peak sales. Unfortunately, it’s also a time of peak returns. To avoid being overwhelmed by returned merchandise, it’s essential to streamline your returns process. One way to do this is to offer multiple return options, such as in-store, online, or by mail. This gives customers the flexibility to choose the option that is most convenient for them. Partnering with a 3PL like DTS World Cargo to handle your returns is also an option. Working with a trusted logistics supplier like DTS takes this critical task off your hands and allows you to focus on what you do best.
Additionally, you should ensure that your return policy is clear and easy to understand. Customers should be able to find the information they need without difficulty. Taking these steps can help ensure a smooth returns process and avoid bottlenecks in January.
4. Outsource your logistics to an expert Freight Forwarder
In the previous point, we touched on the idea of partnering with a reputable freight forwarder (3PL) to handle your logistics. Managed logistics services can do a lot to alleviate some of your holiday pain points, at least where shipping, logistics, and returns are concerned. Our logistics professionals are known for transparency in every process and, perhaps more importantly, for getting the job done. Speak to us today about your holiday shipping needs!
Are you ready for the holiday rush? Reach out today to request a quote. We’d love to be part of your success story!