How to Navigate Holiday Logistics and Shipping as a Small Business
There’s no denying the increased pressure on shipping logistics for small businesses – and the holiday season amplifies it. While the bigger players can afford to test, learn, reevaluate – all while keeping their inventory flowing – small businesses need to be more thoughtful and nimble with their approach to ensure your products arrive on time, in one piece, and without skipping a beat.
Our white glove concierge service is a source of pride among our entire team, and is an important contributor to our high returning customer rate. We want to let you in on five key tips to help you win the holidays and ensure your products are delivered to your customers on time.
Find a system that allows you to scale with efficiency
If it’s your first holiday season, or if your business consistently surprises you in high-volume moments (Black Friday, holiday, etc.) you’ll want to find a system that allows you to scale in an efficient way. A third-party app to manage order modifications and multiple streams of delivery access is key to ensure timely fulfillment at a massive volume. You should also offer multiple ways to collect orders to ensure you’re capturing all the key details, right at the point of check-out so there’s no need to follow-up with the customer after the order has been placed..
Offer same day shipping
We recently started offering same-day shipping online; our goal was to reduce the volume of phone calls and increase sales, and most importantly, provide flexibility and convenience for our customers. Our clients are busy professionals, and may not always have the time to plan in advance, or may want to gift something in the moment. Same-day shipping ensures that you won’t miss out on a customer who needs something same-day.
Provide tracking and traceability
Customers expect tracking – and it saves both you, and your customer the hassle of following up or uncertainty of when something will arrive. Ensure you are dishing out the extra costs to trace all packages and be confident your customer will get their package. Shop around for different tracking companies and use one that ideally has been vetted by a trusted partner or business friend.
Deliver on time (and have backups)
While the customer expects their delivery on time (especially treats!) – this is trickier to promise than you’d think. Ensure you have a strong network behind you that can help you get the job done. If one company or driver network you typically rely on is unavailable, ensure you have a back-up option in place. Similarly ensure you have back-up product ready to go if something got damaged in shipping. Planning for misses is more important than trying to scramble after the fact.
Get organized with the details
Imagine your shipping label, return label and custom card was printed on one sheet of paper? Get laser focused on the details and remove room for user error by implementing a similar system, if it makes sense for your business model. By having one customer on one sheet, this ensures there will be no mix-ups when the team is packaging up the order.
A lot goes into shipping and logistics management, but it’s extra exciting when the positive reviews come rolling in and you can see your hard work paid off.
Still looking for holiday treats? Place your order today – we promise it’ll arrive on schedule and on time.