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Holiday Tips and Tricks from ShipStation

By Guest Poster - Reading time: 4 minutes

Holiday season is just around the corner and this might be one of the busiest and high-demanding times of the year for your company. Many courier services have been preparing themselves to deliver successfully during the holidays and already have their strategy in place. FedEx expects a 10 percent peak from last year, which will make this 2017 holiday season the busiest in their company’s history.

This is a prime time for your company to market your brand while profiting from an influx of holiday orders. So, as customers start their online Christmas shopping months before December, it’s crucial to come up with a strategic plan to optimize your company’s brand and shipping method.

ShipStation can help by organizing your shipment process to be more efficient and equip you with branding tools to provide excellent customer service. Read about it below:

‘Tis the season to market your brand

As your demand increases during the holidays, your workload doesn’t have to. Give your customers the gift of tracking their packages and incorporate your branding while you’re at it. By creating a branded tracking page through ShipStation, you’re eliminating calls and emails received by customers who want delivery details. The details will include ship out and expected delivery dates, along with the location of the package while it’s in transit.

If there’s an instance where the package is delayed, customers can see which courier made a mistake or is delayed so they can directly contact them without hassling you.

Additionally, you have the ability to customize their buyer’s journey with a custom tracking page to promote your brand. This major point-of-contact feature will establish a deeper connection with your customers and convert them into returning purchasers.

Here’s a list of what your branded tracking page should include:

  • Company Logo
  • Company Colors Incorporated
  • Links to Social Media
  • Phone Number and Email for Support
  • Customer’s Order Tracked on an Interactive Map
  • Mobile-Friendly Interface
  • Tracking Notifications to Customers
  • Insights on open and click rates on your branded tracking page

Take advantage of these branding benefits to help grow your brand’s presence in a simple and effective way.

Custom Shipping Labels

Using branded shipping labels and packing slips allows you to have additional points-of-contact with your customers thus reinforcing your brand and keeping it top of mind.

When you use Printful, you’re not the one packaging and shipping out your orders – Printful does that. But they let you add your company’s logo to your shipping labels for free. This is a great point of contact between you and your customers, as they see your brand as soon as they get a package from you.

You can also add a personalized message on your packing slips, also for free. You can write a simple thank you, or offer up a discount on future purchases. Either way, it’s up to you.

Voila! You’re ready to ship!

Customer-friendly returns

With high volumes of products sent out, it’s safe to say you can expect customers to return some of them. 30 percent of all products ordered online are returned; they could be the wrong size, shape, color or just simply didn’t work out in the customer’s favor. Make this a positive experience for both you and the customer by getting your returns process nailed down. Who wouldn’t want to turn a dreaded returns process into a hassle-free, at-ease holiday?

When thinking about how to approach your returns strategy, keep your customer in mind.

Your customer service efforts really shine through when you can offer a generous return policy. This ensures your customer is happy with their product and will entice them to purchase more products from you in the future.

Speaking of product happiness, your returns process is a great opportunity to collect product data. This product data can consist of product titles, product descriptions, guides that include sizing and any other useful content. Taking this data and optimizing your content to better serve your customers will further cultivate a connection and help to increase your profit margins.

Additionally, you can use this returns window as an opportunity to improve and maintain your loyalty to your customers. There are various return policies that your company can adopt to benefit your relationship with customers and keep them happy and returning.

So, while you’re awaiting the holiday season, utilize the above tips and tricks to manage the efficiency of your business, smoothly. As always, taking a few extra steps now will only put you ahead later.

Track your holiday success

Use the data behind your business as a secret weapon to stay prepared this year. Viewing your business’s insights reports from previous years can help you gain a better understanding of your sales volume and product demands.

Looking at the numbers and knowing what to expect for this holiday season will save you time, resources and make things run substantially smoother.

As an example, you can customize your insights reports on ShipStation to include these key fields:

  • Past order details
  • Item demand summary
  • Product sales
  • Returned products
  • Shipping items + costs
  • Inventory reports
  • Click rates + open rates

There are several more fields that can be included other than the ones on the list above. They are easy to manage and customize at any time.

So now that you have the tools to stay ahead this holiday season, utilize them! Start working on your strategy now and make your business as efficient and profitable as it can be.

Happy holiday shipping!

Looking for more holiday advice? Be sure to check out Printful’s Holiday Marketing Guide!

Holiday Marketing Guide 

This blog was written by Joanna Gonzales, a proud member of the ShipStation marketing team. Joanna helps develop brand strategy, build campaigns, and create valuable resources to empower and educate eCommerce merchants everywhere.

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