Shipfusion Blog

Fall Fulfillment: Gearing Up for the Busy Season

PART ONE

Choosing the right partner can make or break your company’s logistics, customer service, and repeat purchases. Using a fulfillment center like Shipfusion frees you from navigating the fulfillment landscape with zero stress. Below are some insights on how Shipfusion can take your business to the next level.

Every eCommerce company wants to have a record-breaking amount of sales during the busy shopping season, whether it’s Back-to-School, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day or a highly-anticipated new product launch. The reality is after you have made the sales, fulfillment and shipping is needed for every order. Not to worry Shipfusion is here to help! 

Here is your 3 part guide on everything you need to create exceptional shipping and receiving processes during the busy time, ensuring customer satisfaction

Holiday Dates: 

  • Canadian Thanksgiving: October 12
  • American Thanksgiving: November 26
  • Black Friday: November 27
  • Small Business Saturday: November 28
  • Cyber Monday: November 30
  • Free Shipping Day: December 14 (offer free shipping on all orders, with promised delivery by Christmas Eve)
  • Super Saturday: December 19 (the last Saturday before Christmas, typically a big shopping day for brick-and-mortar retailers)
  • Christmas: December 25

Understand Your Shipping Process

It’s important to pay close attention to all orders you ship out on a current basis. You can receive all the orders in the world, but if you don’t have the stock to support them, you risk losing the sale and the customer. Make a list of the current items when orders are placed. 

  1. What are your top-selling products?
  2. Where are the majority of your customers located?
  3. Do you have products stocked and supplied in multiple fulfillment center locations?
  4. What are your packaging needs?
  5. Do you provide samples?
  6. Do you include any marketing insert materials in your shipments?

Shipping: Through your fulfillment center you will have negotiated shipping rates for carriers such as; USPS, DHL, UPS, FedEx and Canada Post.  

Packaging: Your fulfillment center will be able to provide you with a wide range of packaging to meet the size and weight requirements of your products at the lowest cost possible. 

Busy Season Shipping Strategy

Now that you’re all stocked up on product and supplies, the next step is to figure out the customer-facing details including, what do you plan on charging for shipping?

The common options are; free shipping, flat rate shipping and exact cost shipping. 

Free Shipping: Shipping costs are the most-cited reason why customers abandon carts at check out, offering free shipping is a great way to use a compelling offer to improve conversion rates without relying on dollar value discounts. Understanding how offering free shipping to every customer will affect your margins is important– understand what it costs you to ship your heaviest items to your furthest destination. When providing free shipping, you’ll need to watch out for shipping cutoff dates. If you’re only springing for free standard shipping, you’ll need to make the expected arrival dates crystal clear so your customers can order in time for their holiday of choice.

Flat Rate Shipping: This is a great way to offset some of the shipping costs by avoiding sticker shock when people check out, a flat rate shipping policy might just be the perfect fit. When it comes to creating a flat rate shipping policy it’s important to set a price that will cover most of your shipping costs, but be ready to cover the cost for particularly expensive shipping options or items. This is great because your customers will always know the shipping fees ahead of time and you will still be able to recoup most of your shipping costs, making it the best of both worlds. 

Exact Cost Shipping: Exact cost shipping allows customers to see exactly what it will cost to ship their order and pay for it when they check out. Cart abandonment rates tend to rise around holidays and it’s mostly because of shipping costs. 

International Shipping: If you’re not shipping internationally right now due to complications and expense, you should rethink it. It can be easier than you think…Plus customers are more and more likely to shop outside of their borders, this can expand your audience as well. 

Stay tuned next week for part 2 of our 3 part ‘Fall Holiday Fulfillment Guide’. We will be looking at how to communicate shipping prices with customers and how to optimize your return policy. 

Shipfusion sets your business on autopilot and combines flexible, reliable fulfillment with powerful, real-time technology. Shipfusion has multiple fulfillment centers across the US and Canada– making it easy to manage your eCommerce business. For more information on how to set your business on autopilot, contact one of our fulfillment specialists today.

“Part of the theme at Shipfusion is that we don't constrain our clients. We work with them as business partners, which allows them great flexibility to work with other 3PL solutions and still take advantage of Shipfusion services.”

Dean Bentley-Falcke
Senior Solutions Architect and eCommerce Specialist
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