As the Christmas holiday season approaches, people rush to buy presents for their dear ones. Unlike all the previous years, this year won’t witness thousands of consumers bombarding shopping malls. Offline Christmas shops are either closed because of the lockdown or allow only a limited number of buyers per visit.
That’s why customers will migrate to the web to find a perfect holiday gift online. This is going to boost the revenue of e-commerce businesses but may also overload their systems. Smooth Christmas shipping requires massive mailing and address verification capacity from an online store. Without it, you will fail to complete home delivery by the stated Christmas shipping deadline. This will upset buyers or may even spoil their Christmas day. You wouldn’t want to do this to them, right?
Then you need to implement quality address verification systems before crazy retail sales begin. No worries, you still have time for that. To speed up the process and guide you, we prepared the Christmas Shipping tips for Christmas retail in 2020. Read on to discover:
- Christmas retail in 2020: How is it different this year?
- Five ways to optimize your Christmas shipping practices
- Inkit for automated address autocomplete, address verification, and order fulfillment.
Christmas Retail in 2020: How Is It Different This Year?
During the previous holiday season, USPS delivered around 16 billion pieces of mail. In 2020, due to the pandemic restrictions, the volume of print communications and mailed gifts will be even higher. People don’t want to put their loved ones at risk by visiting them personally and choose to send them something instead. They place an order online and hope for timely delivery to reach the destination in time. In fact, 40% of consumers state that delivery speed is the main factor that impacts their buying decisions. If you cannot meet these Christmas shipping preferences, you will get fewer orders than your competitors.
An increasing number of online orders is another factor that shapes Christmas shipping trends in 2020. In the US, online holiday sales are expected to surge by 36% compared to the previous year. 3 in 10 shoppers also plan to start Christmas retail shopping earlier than usual. The good news is that online store owners get a great chance to increase their sales. The bad news is that they also need to prepare for the unprecedented volume of orders. If you don’t manage to process and deliver all orders before Christmas, you will lose these customers forever. To avoid such mistakes, get ready for the Christmas retail season now. More tips on how to do this below.
5 Ways to Optimize Your Christmas Shipping Practices
#1. Always Explain the Rules
If you can predict how many business days you need to deliver holiday shopping to local and international addresses, let your customers know. Include this information in a pop-up on your website or on the delivery page to keep buyers informed. Quick Christmas shipping is like a Christmas window display that attracts consumers and encourages them to make a purchase.
To get these details, you can rely on the information shared by your Christmas shipping provider. For example, according to the United States Postal Services, to deliver something before December 25, the following send-by dates are recommended:
- December 15 for USPS Retail Ground® Service
- December 18 for First-Class Mail® Service
- December 19 for Priority Mail® Service
- December 23 for Priority Mail Express® Service
- December 9 for FedEx SmartPost
- December 15 for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery
- December 21 for FedEx Express Saver
- December 22 for FedEx 2Day and FedEx 2Day A.M
- December 23 for FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx First Overnight, and FedEx Priority Overnight
- December 25 fore FedEx SameDay City Direct, and FedEx SameDay, and FedEx SameDay City Priority
You can use the listed or other Christmas shipping services to deliver purchases, greeting cards, discount catalogs, and other types of mail. Just make sure to keep the delivery time in mind and always warn your customers about any possible delays.
#2. Assist Customers with Address Autocomplete
To optimize address verification, you should care about the quality of the collected contact details from the very beginning. Regardless of what people buy, Christmas decorations, or expensive presents, they will need to share address information if they place an order online. Your task is to simplify this process for them with an automated address autocomplete. Such services provide the missing address details in real-time to speed up order placement and avoid spelling errors. As a result, you get a reliable database that requires less address validation and can be used for Christmas shipping.
#3. Connect your Database with Other Tools for Better Address Management
The address fields on your website are the primary way to collect information for Christmas retail delivery. Nevertheless, you may also receive a lot of address information through emails, social media, direct mail, and other channels. If you want to bring all these details into a single database, it’s necessary to integrate it with the third-party services you use and automate data processing. New records will be automatically added to your database while you will just control the process.
#4. Implement Address Verification and Address Check
To prepare your database for Christmas retail sales, start working on it beforehand. Connect your systems with an address verification solution like Inkit to standardize, clean, and validate customers’ addresses. The tool will automatically compare your existing records with official databases to find any mismatches and fix them. The accuracy of address data directly impacts the speed and quality of Christmas retail shipping. When the contact information is correct, you can reach the destination at the first attempt without any returns or delays. This way, customers are guaranteed to receive their gifts before the holiday and spend time near their Christmas trees satisfied with your service.
#5. Track Christmas Retail Order Delivery
Finally, to know that a product ended up in the right hands, you can track the whole delivery process. Nowadays, most shipping providers offer such an opportunity. Hence, when you have doubts about a specific order, you can always check its status in the system. This helps you manage Christmas shipping and enhance the Christmas retail sales experience for your customers.
Inkit for Automated Address Autocomplete, Address Verification, and Order Fulfillment
Inkit is a Reach Enablement Platform that unites functionality for address verification, document rendering, and delivery of communications to vendors and customers. Once you integrate it with your system, Inkit will automatically run address verification to clean your database. It supports address autocomplete functionality to instantly check addresses as users type them in the address fields on your website or app.
After address verification, Inkit automatically sends orders to vendors for the fulfillment, thus optimizing Christmas retail delivery. Both vendors and customers are notified about the progress of the order and get personalized messages. In case you also need to attach an invoice, Inkit can do this for you. Our platform supports PDF rendering and generates custom documents based on the collected data.
If you want to implement address verification for Christmas shipping, Inkit is a great way to start now. Leave us a request to get the demo or start a subscription.