Shippageddon… A word that strikes fear into the heart of any business. The word first came into existence in 2020 when the global supply chain, well, pretty much stopped.
Supply issues from manufacturers left many businesses under-stocked. The lucky ones who managed to get stock in were unable to fulfill customer orders on the way out.
But not this year! No, here at Optily, we are determined that each and every reader of our blog is ready for whatever the holiday season throws at them this year!
From our 4 Incredible Tips to Help you Prepare for Black Friday 2021 to our innovative Optily Advance for increasing cash flow for inventory stockpiling well ahead of the holiday season, we’ve got you covered!
But in this article, we’ll focus on shipping and how to ensure you have a solid plan in place for this coming holiday season.
What happened in Shippageddon 1.0?
The phenomenon of Shippageddon in 2020 was largely driven by COVID-19 and the knock-on effects of more online shoppers. This caused many unprecedented issues such as:
- Delays in manufacturer delivery
- Freight ships had limited capacity and introduced quotas
- Amazon Prime Day was pushed back to the end of the year
All of these complications and more look likely to impact the holiday season of 2021.
The price of shipping has skyrocketed this year, warehouse capacity is limited and the shipping funnel is starting to clog already.
To help avoid Shippageddon this year you have to act quickly. There’s no waiting until the last minute this time around. Thankfully, you’re already being proactive because you’re reading this blog looking to get ahead of your customers!
Let’s find out the expert’s tips for avoiding Shippageddon 2.0.
Top Tips for Shippageddon 2.0
#1 – Provide Honest & Accurate Delivery Information
This is not the time to over-promise and mislead your customer. It is critical to manage expectations and provide accurate information for consumers. Perhaps you could use a shipping management platform to display real-time delivery rates and times to your customers.
Show customers upfront when their package will arrive, accounting for lead times and possible delays.
#2 – Prepare your Customer Support Team
Ensure that your customer support team is empowered. This is going to be a busy time of the year for them so understand that and be there to help if needed. The most important thing is to make sure that everyone is clear on how you want them to support customers across all channels.
You want to keep customers happy and if they are talking to your support team chances are they are facing a problem. Provide your team with the ability to offer discounts or samples in order to please customers.
Also, update your social media to allow customers to contact you via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
#3 – Incentivize Early Shopping
One of the major issues of Shippageddon is that there is too much demand too quickly. Everyone wants to grab that deal on Black Friday and buy that present in time for Christmas. However, for you as a business, the earlier orders come in the more flexibility and capacity you have for delivery.
Some methods you can try to incentivize shoppers to buy early are:
- Early-bird Specials
- Generate urgency with “limited stock”
- Implement delivery surcharges at peak times
#4 – Consider a “Best Customer” Approach
Each and every customer you have is important. However, with deep marketing data, you should be able to separate your repeat customers from ones just looking for a quick holiday bargain.
Make your loyal customers a priority, because you can be more confident that they will purchase again giving them a higher lifetime value. By using this tactic you can ensure these customers have their products shipped first and are kept happy.
#5 – Offer Multiple Delivery Options
One of the biggest issues apparent from Shippageddon 1.0 was logistical problems with couriers and freight. The best way to avoid this issue is to think smart about delivery. Instead of only offering standard delivery, why not try some of these methods:
- Priority Shipping at a Premium
- In-Store Pickup Options
- Partnering with Local Posts & Couriers
- Alternative Depot Pickup Options
#6 – Inventory Management
Last, but not least, is inventory management. This phrase encompasses everything from stock levels to liquidity for purchasing raw materials.
We are all hoping for a busy holiday season. In fact, we’re certain that it’ll be a fantastic, busy, and exciting time for all of you reading this. With this knowledge in mind, get prepared to meet a high level of customer demand. Availing of offers such as Optily Advance, will allow your business to increase cash flow for inventory stockpiling well ahead of the holiday season!
Having adequate cash flow will be an essential element for you to curate a smooth and profitable holiday season.
All the trends are showing that Shippageddon 2.0 is inevitable. However, using these 6 simple tips can help you navigate your way safely through the storm. It’s all about being honest with your customer and managing expectations.
Remember, that it will be a stressful time for everyone, your customers and your employees included. By following these expert tips you will ensure that you maintain valuable customer relationships and provide your customer support team with the tools they need.
One last piece of advice is, if you aren’t using it already, try Optily – The Only Single Click Ad Spend Optimizer. This powerful ad tech solution offers instant optimization for your online advertising. There is also a 14-day free trial, so why not try it out for two weeks over a busy portion of the holiday season to see how much it can help? Sounds like a win/win to me!
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