customer getting custom box from courier

5 Tips for Peak Shipping Season for Your E-Commerce Business

It’s that time of year again一peak shipping season is currently in full swing, and proactive business owners are taking every precaution to ensure they have a solid shipping strategy heading into the holiday season. Finding yourself without an aggressive strategy for peak season may create a domino effect on your shipping, leaving your customers feeling the impact of this unpreparedness firsthand, damaging the reputation of your business, and leaving much to be desired from a shipping perspective.

To put your shipping mind at ease, we’ve put together five helpful tips for peak shipping season for your e-commerce business that will sharpen your shipping strategy and guide your business to success during peak season and beyond!


Shipping Automation


During peak season, more custom packages mean more vehicles, more workers, and more costs involved throughout the shipping and logistics process. By integrating an enterprise shipping system that can help streamline your operations, adding shipping automation can lessen the labor needed during peak season. The more automation you bring into your business, the more likely you’ll be able to push out orders reliably and quickly.


product manager


Start by partnering with a reliable, multi-carrier shipping provider, like EasyPost’s Shipping API, that will simplify and automate your shipping processes and enable your business to deliver a positive online shipping experience. In that same line of thought, it is crucial to consider solutions that allow you to ship with and rate shop among carriers like USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, as well as regionals. Since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all carrier, having a variety of options for service level, transit time, and cost will enable you to have more options and flexibility when it comes to shipping.


Carrier Diversification


In a recent blog, EasyPost highlighted the importance of carrier diversification during peak shipping season (and beyond). Diversifying your carrier mix isn’t only recommended, but it’s also crucial to a successful shipping strategy. Any delays in shipping, especially during the holiday season, lead to missed opportunities and lost sales. The carrier decision-making process involves considering various factors, including transit times, cost, reliability, flexibility, and scale. This process can seem daunting and unfamiliar and results in many e-commerce businesses becoming hesitant to utilize other carriers outside of the well-known shipping giants一even if it means giving up on better rates, faster shipments, and improved customer experience. 

A simple solution to diversifying your carrier options is utilizing regional carriers that are specialized to make deliveries in smaller areas. Choosing regional carriers offers a variety of peak-season shipping benefits, including:

  • Reduced shipping costs (savings anywhere from 10-40% of national expenses) compared to these carriers’ national counterparts.
  • More stable transit times, an incredible benefit, especially during peak shipping season
  • Ideal for companies with high demand volumes in particular regions

EasyPost makes diversifying your carrier selections even more manageable. Consider our shipping API, which gives your business access to over 100 different carriers through a single integration.


EasyPost’s Regional Carrier Network

United States Carrier Map

Even if regional carriers aren’t the right fit, consider utilizing multiple carriers as a safeguard ahead of the busiest shipping season of the year.


Order Visibility and Tracking

Recall the last time you ordered something that did not arrive when promised or had limited shipment tracking information. Because customers are less likely to purchase a product again if they have a terrible shipping experience, it’s essential to have a shipping partner that offers an end-to-end solution including reliable tracking capabilities, such as a tracking API.

The tracking experience should be more than directing your customers to the carrier’s website to locate their package. Instead, your shipping software suite should enable you to provide a branded, customer-centric experience. Pushing tracking updates from carriers regularly and having webhooks available to enable automated SMS and email alerts is the core of a quality tracking experience. If you can’t provide the right customer experience, your competitors will.


Customer Support

Providing quality customer service is at the core of every e-commerce business strategy, and for a good reason. Creating an enjoyable experience for your customers can often mean the difference between a one-time purchase or a loyal, repeat customer. Here are a few items to consider when thinking about your customer support strategy heading into the holiday season:

  • Consistent communication with the customer - providing open communication at every point in a parcel’s journey can provide the peace of mind a customer needs as they eagerly await the arrival of their purchase. A tracking API can offer real-time updates to your customers, eliminating the inevitable “where’s my package?” question. 
  • Speed and cost of service - It should be no surprise that the speed and cost of delivery are primary factors for customer satisfaction. As previously mentioned, choosing the right combination of shipping carriers can make the shipping process affordable and fast for your customers.
  • Accuracy and quality - Every e-commerce business needs accurate addresses of every customer (and must verify those addresses to ensure deliverability). Unfortunately, auto-correct is not always accurate. Therefore, a shipping solution can come to the rescue with address verification software to ensure your customers don’t miss a delivery.
  • Post-delivery customer service - Customer service doesn’t end when a customer receives their purchase, so having a good return and exchange policy is a massive driver in maintaining customer loyalty. 

Customer support is an opportunity to wow your customers and keeps them coming back for more purchases in the future. Don’t rush into partnering with just any shipping provider. Instead, be mindful of your decision and find a shipping partner that is reliable, flexible, and scalable to cater to your shipping needs.


Prepare for Returns

Peak shipping season isn’t just the biggest sales period of the year; it’s also a precursor to the biggest returns period of the year. At least 30% of all products ordered online are returned compared to only 8% of products purchased in-store. Therefore, implementing a returns shipping solution that is both cost-effective and customer-centric has become increasingly important for e-commerce businesses. Here are three recommended methods to providing a return shipping label to your customer: 

  1. Return label with the shipment. With each outbound order, include a return label that can accommodate the entire order being sent back. Having the shipping label on hand allows the customer to prepare their return shipment quickly and removes the hassle of contacting customer support for help.
  2. Create a portal that generates on-demand return labels. Rather than including a return label with each shipment, create an online portal where customers can self-initiate a return and generate labels on-demand.
  3. Send the customer a return label upon request. Some things need a human touch, which is why the last option to consider is having the customer reach out to your customer support team to initiate a return. The option presents an opportunity to provide excellent service that enhances customer satisfaction and promotes long-term loyalty.

Are you worried about the shipping cost of all those labels? EasyPost offers USPS Pay-on-Delivery where you don’t pay for the labels until the shipment is delivered back to your business. With no upfront costs, you don’t have to worry about paying for any unused return labels.

Whatever your method is for delivering a seamless returns experience, the less friction there is, the better the experience is for the customer.

Peak Shipping Season Wrap-Up

The customer experience your brand delivers is what ultimately keeps consumers coming back time and time again. The shipping solutions you choose during peak season and beyond directly impact customer behavior. You can contact Arka for high-quality and sustainable packaging solutions! Shipping your products in a top-notch custom folding cartons or shipper boxes can increase the customer satisfaction and build loyalty to your brand!

Partnering with the right shipping technology provider can make that experience seamless from beginning to end. The benefits of e-commerce shipping solutions are clear: automation, diversification, visibility, customer care, and easy returns. With these items in mind, executing on them will keep consumers coming back long after peak season ends.

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