Each year, winter marks the most exciting shopping season for customers and the busiest time for retailers and e-commerce companies. Last year’s overall retail sales reached $998.32 billion and are expected to grow by 3.9%. Despite the season officially starting before Black Friday, the majority of the holiday purchasing falls throughout the Christmas shipping season. For the holiday shopping season, shipping plays a critical role in a positive experience. That’s why your holiday shipping strategy should be well-thought-out and organized.
What are the top U.S. winter holiday shopping dates?
- Free Shipping Day, December 14th
- Christmas, December 25th
- Valentine’s Day, February 14th
How to win over a Christmas shipping season?
Last-minute shopping is a nightmare for retailers, but 61% of customers will do it right before the deadline. That means you have to put the focus on December dates and be ready for unpredictable situations. Seasoned retailers always analyze and compare previous years to estimate what the next year will look like. Ordering more products, packaging, and considering all the possible outcomes make it easier and more profitable for the company.
Many companies hire additional workers for the holiday season to handle the high volume of orders. If you estimate a sales boom in December, consider hiring staff to make the operational process faster and better. In 2018, UPS additionally hired around 95,000 people, while FedEx hired 55,000 people to their staff. People are the cornerstone of retail operations, so investing in resources would result in more profit.
The more you will remind your customers about your deadlines, the higher the chance to reduce last-minute orders. You need to set realistic order and shipping deadlines to avoid delays, disruptions, and disappointed customers. Make sure to state the finish line and regularly remind your customers about it, especially when the final ordering dates are coming. Communicating with your vendors and suppliers about delivery times is also an important task in the preparation to-do list.
You never know how much deals will fall out of nowhere in the last hours before the order deadline. Winter is a busy season, which means you will possibly be having trouble finding the required capacity and on-time delivery options. Make sure to arrange carriers or a shipping company to have your back. Depending on the size of your business, you can choose from self-service booking platforms to large firms. But in any case, make sure that this service will fit in your budget and will provide working solutions.
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