This holiday season is going to put considerable demands on already strained delivery services. In August 2021 alone, carriers experienced parcel volumes in excess of Christmas 2020. And, with shoppers expected to spend big online this holiday season, these volumes are only set to rise.
Many carriers are currently overwhelmed and have already issued warnings about delivery delays. Despite this, consumers still expect to receive their purchases in a reasonable time frame and will no doubt shift to retailers who can make good on their delivery promises.
In fact, according to a recent ShipStation study, 70% of consumers say a poor delivery experience negatively impacts their impression of the retailer, rather than the carrier. With this in mind, it is essential to start thinking now about how your team is going to meet delivery deadlines. Those who want to get through peak season successfully are going to need backup delivery partners. In order to make your shipping as flexible as possible, we recommend implementing multi-carrier strategies.
What are Multi-Carrier Shipping Options?
Multiple-carrier shipping options allow you to switch between carriers as and when needed, to get around potential delivery bottlenecks not only nationally, but also globally. By giving your business the flexibility to switch carriers, you give yourself the best chance possible to meet delivery deadlines.
What’s more, if major carriers become bottlenecked, smaller carriers can pick up the pace. That’s why we recommend a mix of large and small, national and international carriers, as well as freight services, to overcome all scenarios. Leveraging multiple carriers will also catch the attention of consumers, who are looking for the guaranteed delivery of their festive season purchases.
For shipping within Australia, ShipStation offers powerful integrations with carriers such as Australia Post, Aramex, CouriersPlease, Sendle, and StarTrack. For international orders, Australia Post, UPS, and DHL make it easy to send and receive shipments from all over the world.
How to effectively communicate delays with customers
Nothing makes a customer happier than knowing exactly how long to expect a package to arrive, and the ability to track its progress along the way. This pre-dates the pandemic, however, COVID-19 seems to have heightened consumers’ expectation for visibility into their shipping and delivery.
In fact, our recent study says, 86% of Aussie consumers want full visibility into expected shipping timelines before making the purchase. So, what happens if you do experience any delays or disruptions?
Ensure that you communicate clearly and swiftly with customers.
In fact, 93% of consumers agree that when a retailer acknowledges or rectifies a poor delivery experience, they’re more likely to shop with that brand again in the future. What’s more, 96% agree that fast and honest updates regarding a shipping issue make them less likely to be upset about shipping delays or have a lasting negative perception of the brand.
Regardless of whether your ecommerce store can provide standard free shipping on all orders to incentivise more sales, consumers demand retailers provide clear delivery timelines and shipping fee estimates with every online order. Remember, good communication will not only help manage consumer expectations this peak season but sustain good customer-business relationships into the new year.
For more information on how to deliver this holiday season check out our Australia Last Posting Dates for Christmas. If you use our holiday shipping deadlines to start your holiday prep now, you’ll have plenty of time to calculate your own shipping cut off dates. And once you know your shipping schedule, you can start optimizing your shipping workflow to handle increased order volume.