pexels-photo-104966The holidays are quickly approaching, and your incoming purchases may already be increasing. Though you may be prepared to fill the orders, shipping them out to customers in a timely fashion could prove to be more difficult. The last thing you want is for your customers’ gifts to arrive too late to put under the tree.

Reduce stress on your small business with these tips to efficiently and effectively deliver holiday purchases that will guarantee satisfied customers.

  1. Predict Demand in Order to Supply

Review your year’s purchases and hot-sellers in order to predict peak-season demand as best as possible. If you notice that certain promotional items sold quickly earlier in the year or you can identify certain product trends from previous years, use that to prepare products for the holiday season. If you don’t currently have a process in place, consider beginning to track orders and tie them to the effectiveness of your offered discounts and emailed advertisements.

  1. Efficient Packing is Wise Packing

Consider all shipping requirements when gearing up for major output. Use sturdy, properly sized boxes that allow for minimal shifting of contents. The more accurately sized boxes you use, the less cushioning you have to waste. Stock up on basic packaging needs such as tape and bubble wrap, it is easy to prepare the inventory and overlook what you need to send the parcels.

Make it easier on packing staff by creating an efficient packing space. Place your biggest selling items closest to the packing station, which allows for easier access and fewer steps to get a package done and out the door. The quicker orders are filled, the more you can fill and send in a day.

  1. Don’t Skimp on Staff

You may not always need 10 full-time employees devoted solely to packaging orders to be shipped, but do not make the mistake of underestimating staff needs during peak times. Hire temporary or seasonal staff earlier in the year to allow for proper training prior to the chaos. When seasonal workers are able to jump right in with genuine knowledge and experience, mistakes that would slow down your shipping line will be fewer.

  1. Timing is Everything

There are so many companies and options when it comes to shipping your parcels it can be difficult to narrow down your options. Look for shipping companies that offer same-day and international shipping, as well as ways for your customers to track their orders from start to finish through the whole delivery. An eCommerce order fulfillment service, such as Elite Ops, is the most reliable and cost-effective delivery method for your customers.

  1. Prepare for Last-Minute Shoppers and Rush Orders

December 23rd doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet, especially with online buyers who tend to be last-minute shoppers. Be prepared for a last-minute rush of orders requiring immediate, priority shipping. You can try and avoid this influx by encouraging sales earlier in the season by offering greater discounts and promotions for early purchases. Don’t line yourself up for failure; set realistic delivery expectations for your customers with late orders.

Just because you provide products that are great Christmas gifts, does not mean you shouldn’t get to enjoy your holiday, too! Eliminate the stress and hassle by letting a fulfillment center like Elite Ops do all the hard work for you. Learn more about how Elite Ops can help you streamline your order fulfillment and increase the growth of your company.