Run, Run Rudolph: How Shipping Can Boost Your Holiday Sales

holiday spending accounts for as much as 35% of retailers annual sales

  • Written by Meg Thunell
  • Published on November 17, 2021
  • Time to read 9 minutes

For the pleasure that you bring when you make that doorbell ring, no trip will be too far.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for e-commerce retailers.

Whether your store sells perfume for Singles Day (China’s version of Black Friday), dreidels for Hanukkah, candles for Kwanzaa, or giant, blow-up Rudolph lawn ornaments for Christmas, holiday spending accounts for as much as 35% of retailers annual sales.

Here at eHub, the holidays are our championship playoff. We train year-round to help our e-commerce clients meet the increased demands of the season. Keep reading to see what our top-notch team of shipping elves says about how you can use your shipping program to capture more of the projected $910B consumers will spend online this holiday season.

  • 1. Google is making a list. Check it twice. Taking advantage of Google’s new shipping annotations is one of the best ways to promote your online store this holiday season. Available for both free and paid listings, Google Shopping has added the following annotations to their existing “free” and “fast” tags:
    • Free delivery by Fri, Dec 24
    • Get it by Dec 24
    • Free X-day (this is for shipping promotions like Free 2-day or 3-day shipping)
    • Free returns by X
  • 2. Holidays are plural—prep for all of them. Christmas is not the only holiday people are shopping for. Neither is Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and even Giving Tuesday are all opportunities for you to boost sales and capture new customers.
  • 3. Take a bus, take a train, go and hop an airplane (Offer multiple shipping speeds). It’s no secret that supply chains and shipping channels are a mess right now. The combination of COVID-related labor shortages, exponential increases in online shopping, and totally random events like boats getting stuck in the Suez Canal have caused unprecedented slowdowns in global commerce. And consumers know it, so they are shopping earlier than usual for the holidays. If you are not already offering free shipping, give your customers multiple options and prices for getting their packages delivered.
  • 4. Mele Kalikimaka (Shipping outside the lower 48)If you have many customers who don’t live on the US mainland, having a reliable shipping partner will ensure your success this holiday season. Ehub’s customizable API and status as a premier shipping aggregator means we have the knowledge, relationships, and experience your company needs to find the best, most affordable shipping options for you and your customers.
  • 5. Make sure your customers are watching your countdown We aren’t discussing the New Year’s Eve ball drop countdown. Instead, you must ensure you promote and display ordering deadlines to guarantee delivery before whatever holiday your customers celebrate, especially since that drop-dead date will probably be earlier this year than usual.
  • 6. Optimize for mobile You can expect most customers to have digital wish lists this year, so your site needs to be optimized for desktop and mobile users. Do user experience testing to ensure your checkout process is streamlined and simple. UX testing doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy—you can even have your employees try to buy something on your site in a staff meeting—but you can’t fix a glitchy, clunky, or slow checkout if you don’t know it’s there.
  • 7. Wear out your (digital) mailing list No one likes an inbox full of spammy sale offers and promotions, but innovative retargeting campaigns that reach out to customers with abandoned carts or a purchase history and offer shipping discounts to quickly and easily boost sales.
  • 8. Keep your workshop in order (Manage your inventory) Your store is likely impacted by the same shipping slowdowns affecting your customers. This means it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your inventory so you don’t inadvertently add backorder delays to the potential shipping delays.
  • 9. Be good for goodness sake (Improve your customer service) Shipping and supply delays make it likely your customer service department will field more calls than a normal holiday season. Make sure your team has the training they need to stay on the nice list when customers call to cry and pout.
  • 10. What are you doing on New Year’s Eve? (Simplify your post-holiday return process)Offering free returns is a great way to help consumers avoid purchase anxiety, but it’s not the only way to have a customer-friendly return process. One-click and no-hassle returns, extended return periods, and return purchase incentives can give your buyers confidence in you and your business.

If you have many customers who don’t live on the US mainland, having a reliable shipping partner will ensure your success this holiday season

Whether you need help negotiating with carriers, navigating international shipping laws, pricing out branded packaging, or finding the best rates, EHub can help. Give yourself the gift of a shipping expert this year and contact us for a quote.

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