One way to get ahead of the game is to encourage your customers to shop early. Nothing beats a long window of opportunity when it comes to shipping. Campaigns, incentives, and bonuses will light the fire under the feet of gift-givers eager to put shopping behind them and to ensure their selections arrive at least on time, if not early.
Obviously pricing incentives offer enticing opportunities. Discounts, two-for-ones, reduced shipping costs, and any of the traditional ways to ease pain in the wallet are a great place to start. Using the “Black Friday” tradition – which has morphed into a multi-week or even multi-month strategy – is one way to pull in customers. Processing early orders with a clearly defined shipping date range into the future instills confidence.
The upside of 2022 is its distance from the pandemic-plagued 2020 and 2021. The downside? Pricing. Expect higher shipping rates from virtually every service, for a variety of reasons including an increase in the price of fuel. Earlier this year, FedEx bumped up package and freight rates by a whopping 5.9 percent on average.
Are you the type of e-commerce retailer who can use gig drivers? If so, consider contacting Uber or Lyft and ask about competitive pricing. Especially great for last-minute or later purchases, they offer customized delivery without the red tape of larger shipping companies and, especially, the Post Office. It’s important to begin this partnership as soon as possible to reserve services as well as calculate a cost-savings assessment. Conventional mail through USPS and/or FedEx and UPS are probably a default shipping method, but for purchases that may be more suitable for these up-and-coming services. Note that the ecommerce giant Amazon increasingly relies on private carriers, with great success.
Need a few reminders and ideas for a hassle-free season? Listen up: