It’s Time to Start Preparing Your E-Commerce Business for Peak Shipping Season

June 6, 2023 
|  Passport

As an e-commerce business, you understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve, especially during peak seasons when the demand for your products skyrockets. But international shipping during these busy periods can present unique challenges. To ensure a great customer experience during the holidays, it’s crucial to start preparing for the holiday shipping season. 

In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to think about when planning for peak season.

Analyze Previous Peak Seasons:

Start by analyzing data from previous peak seasons to identify trends, patterns, and pain points. Evaluate shipping volumes, delivery times, customer feedback, and any issues that arose. This analysis will help you understand the potential challenges you might face during the upcoming peak season.


Collaborate with Your Shipping Carrier:

Engage in open communication with your international shipping carrier to discuss your expectations and review their capabilities and resources. Seek clarification on their peak season processes, cut-off dates, and any additional services they offer. Together, you can strategize and align your shipping requirements to ensure a seamless experience for your customers.

To ensure timely deliveries during this busy period, brands should ask their shipping carrier about giving customers an express shipping option to meet holiday deadlines.


Optimize Inventory Management:

Maintaining adequate inventory levels is crucial during peak seasons. Analyze historical data to accurately forecast demand and stock up on popular items. Consider implementing inventory management systems or software that provide real-time data to help you make informed decisions. This proactive approach will prevent stockouts and delays in fulfilling orders.


Streamline Order Processing:

Efficient order processing is essential during peak shipping seasons. Automate and streamline your fulfillment processes as much as possible. Integrate your e-commerce platform with your shipping carrier’s system to reduce manual data entry and minimize the risk of errors. This integration enables automatic tracking updates and provides a centralized platform to manage orders, labels, and invoices.


Enhance Packaging and Labeling:

During peak shipping seasons, packages go through a high volume of handling and transit. Ensure your packaging is robust and protective to safeguard your products. Consider using tamper-evident materials and adding extra cushioning to prevent damage. Clearly label each package with accurate shipping information, including complete addresses and contact details, to avoid delays and misdeliveries.


Communicate Shipping Deadlines:

To manage customer expectations effectively, clearly communicate your shipping deadlines and cutoff dates prominently on your website and during the checkout process. Inform customers about the estimated delivery times and any potential delays that might occur due to increased shipping volumes. Promptly update your website and social media platforms with any changes or announcements.


Provide Tracking and Customer Support:

Offering accurate tracking and proactive customer support is vital to building trust and ensuring customer satisfaction. Make sure your shipping carrier provides a robust tracking system that allows customers to monitor their packages at every stage. Additionally, provide multiple channels for customer support, such as email, live chat, and phone, to address any inquiries or concerns promptly.


Evaluate International Returns and Exchanges:

During peak seasons, the likelihood of returns and exchanges increases, even for international shipments. Over 60% of customers check a return policy before buying. According to data, the rate of returns for products purchased online stands at 20%, whereas only 9% of items bought in physical stores are returned. For fashion products, approximately 72% of returns can be attributed to consumer preferences such as size, fit, style, and other subjective factors. On the other hand, non-preference-related issues like defects and discrepancies between the product and its description account for a combined total of 10% of returns.

During Holidays, this number will go up significantly as the product is typically purchased for someone else. Prepare a strategy that aligns with this shopping behavior and give the gift receiver control. Review your return and exchange policies and ensure they are clearly communicated to customers. Make the process as simple and streamlined as possible. Provide pre-printed return labels and clear instructions for returns and exchanges to minimize customer effort and enhance their experience.

Preparing your e-commerce business for peak shipping seasons is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and maximizing your revenue potential. Remember, proper preparation and proactive strategies are key to ensuring a smooth shipping experience for your international customers and maintaining a competitive edge in the global market.