Calling all e-commerce business owners and e-tailers: Peak Season is approaching fast! This time of year brings the excitement of gaining new customers, exceeding the expectations of existing customers, and hopefully making a big impact for your brand. This season also brings the stress of testing new strategies, evaluating your distribution, and preparing yourself for an overflow of orders.
E-commerce retailers became a lifeline for consumers in 2020 — during last year’s holiday season, roughly three billion packages were delivered across the USA alone, with billions more delivered worldwide. While some consumers are easing back into in-person shopping, many haven’t yet lost their taste for the convenience and ease that comes with buying online. And this year, consumers are starting early with online shopping — so it’s time to get prepared for the holiday rush!
There are two factors that most influence consumer behavior when buying online — price and choice. Customers have come to expect an option for free shipping for all e-commerce purchases. Even if a free shipping option is slower, customers still prefer to have the choice between paying for faster delivery or waiting a bit longer for their packages. This is especially true for international purchases where the cost of expedited shipping may outweigh the cost of the shopping cart. Smart use of dropshipping programs is key to maximizing consumer choice and brand loyalty.
Order fulfillment and shipping are essential to encouraging repeat customers — and even one bad experience can be devastating. A recent study found that 17% of respondents will stop shopping with an online retailer after just one delayed delivery. This percentage increased to 55% after a second bad experience with order fulfillment. Plus, customer patience and tolerance for error runs even thinner during the holiday season. It’s obvious that choosing reputable and experienced shipping companies that can expertly fulfill and ship your order volume should be your number one priority.
Now is the perfect time to audit supplier relationships. Which ones work for you, and which ones don’t? Choose your top tier of suppliers and contact them to make sure they are prepared for your estimated order volume. There may be a premium to guarantee supply, but the price is still cheaper than the cost of losing customers to competitors because you’re out of stock!
Check your tech — make sure all technology is up-to-date and running smoothly so there’s no technological interference when your site is inundated with seasonal shoppers. This is also the time to ensure that inbound, outbound, warehousing ops, and customer service are all streamlined. Finally, and especially for international shipping, check with your shipping provider on holiday cut off dates to ensure you plan accordingly and keep shoppers happy. Address any issues now to avoid headaches during peak season.
Shoppers expect high quality support. Online updates, real-time package tracking, and exceptional customer service all make your e-commerce brand stand out from the crowd — and stand up against giants like Amazon. Choose a shipping provider actively evolving and embracing web services that can support your needs.
At Asendia USA, our goal this peak season is to show you what an ideal global shipping provider can do for you. It’s not just about the low-cost of our massive network — it’s about leveraging that network to help you fulfill your orders in a way that is economically viable with transparent services, automation, and optimization.
If you’re looking to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, grow your profitability, and set yourself apart from the competition, understanding and planning for peak season is essential. Analyze customer demand, create a plan, and work together with suppliers and shipping providers to execute. If you successfully navigate the complexity and pitfalls of this season, you can expect explosive growth!
Want to learn more about finding the right shipping partner? Contact us today for a free consultation!