Can you hear the sleigh bells in the distance? Christmas is right around the corner, and with it comes the seasonal rush the eCommerce industry experiences every year.
Except this time it will be even busier, because we have the pandemic uptick in addition to the standard seasonal rush.
Christmas is an important time for eCommerce sellers, not just because of the increase in sales, but also because it’s a make-or-break time for customer service and satisfaction, often to brand new customers who find you during the festive season. Plus, gift-giving often means you’re getting two potential customers in one – you’ve got the giver and the recipient!
One of the fastest ways to lose a new customer is for their delivery to be late. And whilst things are out of your hands once the shipment leaves the warehouse, there are things you can do to help make sure your Christmas deliveries arrive on time:
1. Keep an eye out for exceptions
This year is going to be busy, and there will be delays and challenges with the sheer volume going through the networks. It’s important to keep a very close eye on the progress of your deliveries so you can manage your customer expectations. If you use multiple carriers and have multiple deliveries, this can mean dashing from system to system to make sure you stay on top of it all.
Our advice? Use a system that manages all your carriers and deliveries in one place and a supplier who has proactive exception management. This way, they know when things have gone wrong before your customers do and can mitigate the impact.
At diamond logistics, we manage all our carrier partners on our one-stop logistics platform despatchlab, giving you a dashboard that shows you all your in-progress deliveries with any delays or issues in one centralised place.
Plus, logistics management of all your consignments is included in the standard diamond service! It's like having your very own despatch manager looking after your logistics for you, free of charge. We sort out 99% of any issues before we have to speak to you, so you can relax and focus on the rest of your business. Click here to learn how you can tap into our collective buying power.
2. Be able to choose the best and most efficient courier for each shipment
In an ideal world, you’d send different products or despatch to different locations using different couriers. But then you’re reducing your individual buying power with each carrier, which doesn't make it very cost efficient for you or your end customer. And people often underestimate the complexity of routing your consignment correctly as well – unless it’s your full-time job, it can feel impossible to stay on top of what the best option is for each shipment.
However, with the right technology, you can have it automatically recommended to you based on your preferences – either best carrier or lowest cost. The algorithms in despatchlab effectively provide you with an AI despatch manager.
despatchlab integrates with a variety of marketplaces, your inventory and your despatch process. This means it knows what you're sending and where it is going, and it chooses the best carrier for you as a result. Click here to learn more.
3.Communicate Christmas order deadlines with customers on your website and product pages
This year in particular, make sure you set expectations with customers. Our couriers and carriers do an amazing job, but the sheer volume this year will be a challenge, even more so than usual.
If you are honest up front with your customers, they are less likely to leave purchases until the last minute and face missing the all important 24th deadline! Add a day or two of leeway to your last order dates this year, and add a note outlining the situation. This will help your customer understand and make informed choices about when to buy.
Managing expectations before despatch will help ensure your customers are more satisfied with the speed of their deliveries, allowing you to exceed customer expectations at a crucial time in the relationship.
By having the right fulfilment and delivery solutions, you can achieve record customer satisfaction and use the Christmas rush as a launch ramp for your business to grow and scale.
For more ways to make the festive season a success, click below to download our latest eBook, 5 ways to make Christmas 2020 a success for your eCommerce business!