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Prepare for the Season with This Holiday Shipping Checklist

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to finalize your strategy for the busy shipping season. More people than ever are shopping online—and they’re starting sooner every year—so we’ve created a quick list of questions to help you optimize your process and be holiday-ready.

Can you seasonalize your packaging?

This might be a great opportunity to create a special experience for your customers. Consider using holiday-themed packaging or branded boxes to help you stand out from the crowd. You could also use a special holiday logo on your packing slips, or include a seasonal thank-you message inside the package. Just make sure everything still complies with your shipping carrier rules, and that your address labels and barcodes are clearly visible for scanning.

Did you double-check the weight and size?

If you do seasonalize your packages, you’ll want to double-check the weight and dimensions to be sure they fit within the specified requirements. Even if it’s an ounce or two over your normal weight, or slightly larger because of seasonal packaging, it could fall into a higher category and end up costing more than you expected. Click here to see more details about our domestic shipping rates.

Can you forecast a fluctuation of sales?

First, focus on your guaranteed revenue. If you have regular daily, weekly, or monthly orders, set those aside mentally. Review your numbers from last year to get a sense of what to expect for the upcoming season. Once you have your forecast, it’s imperative to share this info with your shipping carrier to make sure they’re fully prepared to support your needs. The more transparent you are with your carrier, the more likely they’ll be able to meet your expectations and provide a seamless experience.

Do you know your shipping windows?

Make sure to set expectations with customers by knowing your delivery windows. Take in to account additional costs for expedited delivery if some of your customers order late. While domestic parcels typically ship within 1-5 business days, international shipping can vary—click here to learn more about our international shipping options.

Are you aware of any seasonal fees and restrictions?

Because so many packages are being shipped during the peak season, many carriers will implement new rules, restrictions, and deadlines. Make sure you review these details to see how they differ from the rest of the year. Knowing the deadline for each carrier will ensure the items will get to your customers as promised. Miss those deadlines and that special gift won’t get delivered on time, which might mean losing a customer forever.

Is your customer service team fully prepared?

While 97% of holiday packages arrived on time in 2018, there is always the possibility that a package can be delayed or get lost. Be clear and upfront about the last day your customers can order to receive their items by December 24th. If any problems do arise, make sure your customer service department has a plan of action to deal with these issues and keep your customers happy. If needed, consider adding additional staff to help handle the influx of holiday orders and customer service requests.   

During the holiday season or any season, OSM Worldwide is here to help you optimize your shipping performance. To learn how our data-driven ecommerce shipping solutions can help you grow your business and delight your customers, contact us at any time.