How Are Mail Holidays Affecting Your Business
If you’re a small retailer, then you know that the holiday season is a crucial time of year. This is especially true if you’ve got an online component as part of your business. Customers will be placing orders and expecting them to arrive in plenty of time before the holidays. But remember, there are mail holidays around this time of year that can derail packages and cause them to arrive later than expected. You’ve got to plan ahead if you want to make sure your customers remain happy and your reputation remains intact throughout the holiday season. Here are some tips to ensure your packages reach your customers in plenty of time:
- Rely on a mix of carriers.
Make sure you use each of the big 3 carriers for your shipping needs—FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service—and stock up on shipping supplies from each. Even though the postal service will be offline on mail holidays, FedEx, and UPS will still be running strong. And look into local courier services or bike messengers for short-distance deliveries. They can be life-savers when you’re getting down to the wire.
- Know shipping deadlines.
Each of your carriers should be able to tell you the absolute last day you can ship items domestically and internationally and still have them arrive in time for the holidays. These deadlines will take into account all of the mail holidays. Make sure that customers are aware of these dates and associated shipping costs as well. Your best bet is to place these important dates in a conspicuous spot on your website, so customers can’t miss them.
- Create a detailed shipping plan.
Shipping shouldn’t be an afterthought, but something you proactively plan for. Create a detailed shipping plan that includes how many times a day you’ll ship out packages, at what times of the day you’ll handle shipping, and which carrier you’ll rely on for the day. Make sure you indicate any mail holidays on the plan as well. It may be helpful to have one of your employees or a temporary employee solely dedicated to creating and executing the shipping plan for the holiday season.
- Stock up on top sellers.
You can’t ship what you don’t have. Before the holiday rush, review your sales and inventory reports. Take note of what your top sellers for the year have been, as well as what last year’s holiday sales trends looked like for your business. Be sure to have plenty of stock for those items that have been flying off the shelves.
- Look into third-party fulfillment.
If you’re really short on time and don’t want to deal with holiday shipping, then contact a third-party logistics (3PL) provider like Taylored Services to discuss your shipping, warehousing, and packaging needs. Your 3PL will create a customized solution to ensure orders flow smoothly.
Conquering the busy holiday season is all about preparation. Make sure you have a clear plan well ahead of time so that you can execute effectively, even in the face of mail holidays and other unexpected delays. Doing so will help you to finish the season strong and ensure customers return throughout the new year.
Taylored Fulfillment Services is a fully integrated third-party logistics provider specializing in wholesale, retail, and direct-to-consumer unit fulfillment. Established in 1992 and headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey, they operate 1.5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space strategically located near the nation’s busiest ports, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, and New York. Since its humble beginnings in 1992, Taylored Fulfillment Services has grown to become a national leader in distribution, fulfillment and warehousing.