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It’s getting down to crunch time for prepping your store for the holiday season. Soon, it’ll be Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which ushers in the shopping craziness that leads up to Hanukkah, Christmas and the holiday shopping season. To help you batten down some hatches, we’re here with our top three tips to help you get your shipping processes in order so that you can focus on the other parts of your business, like marketing and customer service.
1. Get your materials in order
If you don’t have them already ordered, make sure you get all the packaging materials—boxes, peanuts, newspaper, labels, ink, etc.—you need to get your orders out the door. Order enough for how much you sold last year, plus a little more. Then, once you get them, make sure they’re easily accessible and clearly labeled so there’s no confusion when it comes time to pack your orders.
2. Pre-pack what you can
Hopefully, you’ve been doing analytics and reports all along and know what your most popular products are and what people like to order together. Even if you don’t, do what you can to make it easy on yourself when it comes time to packing your orders. If you include a thank you note, business card, or other information in each order, pre-printing, assembling, or otherwise getting those pieces ready can help a bunch when it comes time to ship orders out.
3. Educate yourself (and your customers) on carrier changes and ship-by dates
No one wants a late order or shipment to potentially ruin a present. Make sure you know what’s going on with your carriers when it comes time for the holidays—many change their hours of service and may not deliver certain packages on certain days. Additionally, there’s only so much time to get packages to arrive in time for a specific holiday, so know the ship-by dates for your carriers. Once you know the absolutely latest time your packages can ship, modify these dates with your own processing time needs and publish them so your customers know by when they need to order to get their gifts on time. Lucky for you, we’ve created an infographic with all this information in a handy format to help.
Bonus tip: Don’t get caught in a tizzy if something goes wrong. When it gets busy, it’s very easy to make mistakes and get flustered. Enlisting a second pair of eyes can help prevent this, but make sure to take time to catch a breath and re-group after any mistakes happen. As long as you prepare well and keep a level head, you’ll be better able to bounce back and continue on.
Above all, make sure to have fun! While the holiday season can be chaotic, especially for online sellers, it’s likely a special time for you and those you love. Don’t miss out on a ripe time to really deliver to your customers, and to also enjoy the holidays.
Have any tips of your own to help with shipping during this busy season? Share with us in the comments!
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