Shipping during festival rush: A holiday guide for small businesses

Shipping during seasonal rush
(Last Updated On: September 5, 2022)

Happy holiday season!

Not for you though, because you have a lot of orders to fill. The holiday season is upon us, and in a country like India, it’s a very long one!

And if your business catches the eye of excited customers, you are going to suddenly face a huge number of orders. This is, fortunately, a good problem to have, but is your small business ready to handle it?

In this blog, we can explore how your business can handle huge bulk orders when you are just starting out. It’s important to keep customers happy — timely shipping is a huge factor in customer satisfaction. And if you are in luck to receive large orders for the holidays, here’s how you make sure your products are shipped to your customers safely, and on time.

Shipping during seasonal rush: 6 tips to get it right

Keep your business ready for the orders coming in with these tips:

1. Make use of a reliable shipping partner

Think like a customer. If you want a product delivered to you in 3 days, would you buy from a website that delivers in 2 days or one that delivers in 5-7 days?

There you go.

Faster shipping will give you an advantage over your competitors. Customers want their products faster and they would always go to a website that has shorter delivery time.

When choosing a shipping partner, you need to make sure that they offer guaranteed fast shipping and have tracking services. Another thing that can save you time during festive rush is by getting the packages picked up at your doorstep. You can find shipping partners that offer this service. Here are a list of other factors you should consider when choosing a shipping company.

Here’s a list of shipping services in India that offer affordable options for small businesses like you.

2. Stock up on shipping supplies

Sure, if you rely on a shipping partner, you need not worry about keeping shipping supplies ready.

shipping supplies
Shipping supplies

But just to be safe, it’s always good to have a process in place. Keep a list of all the physical items you need to fulfil each order. Keep a surplus of shipping inventory such as:

  • Packaging tape
  • Markers and pens
  • Shipping labels
  • Extra boxes
  • Protective wrap for fragile products

Speaking of packaging, festive seasons are a good time to consider if you need to change your packaging design. You can get creative and add in elements of festivity or switch to sustainable packaging if you haven’t already.

3. Take advantage of technology

Businesses see a surge in orders during the festive season. And managing these tasks manually can be a daunting tasks. Consider automating at least certain parts of collecting orders and shipping.

If you have an online store, you can reduce the pain of shipping an order manually. All you need to do is subscribe to a shipping partner app to automatically sync all your orders & ship them instantly.

manage orders and shipping on instamojo online store
Instamojo dashboard: Orders

You can also view all your orders in one place. Organise all orders according to their level of completion: received, packaged, dispatched, etc. This way, you can easily sort orders and get it shipped fast, resulting in happy customers!

4. Designate shipping days

Organising your work schedule to fit in shipping and packaging works can go a long way. Business owners agree that shipping takes up a lot of time, especially if you’re a solopreneur. Handling shipping activities everyday might slow down other business functions. One way to solve this is to designate only a few days a week for shipping and packaging.  You only do shipping and packaging in those days. This can help you in managing your time better.

5. Pre-package popular products

Based on the previous year’s holiday sales, get to know your most best-selling products. Then, you can package them even before orders come in. You don’t have to wait for orders to come in to start packaging. You make the most of your time with this approach.

6. Consider modifying shipping policies

Shipping costs are often the most common reason why people abandon their carts, so offering free shipping is a smart way to use a compelling offer to improve conversion rates, without solely relying on percentage or dollar value discounts. After all, it’s the holidays.

For example –  Flat rate shipping: Flat rate shipping has great indirect value with regard to cutting down your shipping costs. It also means having a standard charge no matter how big or small the customers orders are.

This could get customers to order more to avail maximum benefits from purchasing on your store. Besides this, flat rate shipping helps promote your business’s order size.

free shipping
Free shipping

You can also offer free shipping. This will give you an added advantage over your competitors. If you want more tips on shipping, here’s a guide on eCommerce shipping strategy.

Keep your working capital flow positive

Every business needs to keep positive cash flow running. Irrespective of the season, make sure you have enough money to handle last-minute bulk orders. What are the possible reasons to have extra working capital?

You will need to keep a little extra money in the bank account for:

  • Last-minute bulk orders
  • Possible Refunds/returns for damaged goods
  • Bonuses for daily wage workers (if any)

You can also apply for a small working capital loan in case you run short on immediate cash.

Ready to rock this festive season?

We have a bunch of other resources you can look into to get your festive sales to the peak:

Start your online store

2 comments
  1. Hey!
    I am looking forward to sending some gifts from India to USA during this festive season and you give the exact information what I am looking for. Hope for more informative blog from you.

  2. This is nice and thanks for sharing ,it is fully insured to provide your belongings the extra cushion that they might need during the car shipping and giving you the peace of mind that your valuable possessions are in good hands.

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