Mailers and shippers of all sizes need to prepare for record high volumes of shipments during the upcoming "2016 Cyber Season," the heavy shopping and shipping period between Halloween and Christmas Day.
Consumers base their purchase decisions on more than just the hottest gift. The must-have products of the season must be accompanied by free shipping and tracking to secure the sale. The new reality of multi-device cyber shopping is that consumers consider e-commerce shipping and seamless delivery to their doorsteps an entitlement. That’s actually a good thing for small- to medium-sized businesses. Capturing loyal, year-round customers through an amenity is an opportunity that cannot be overlooked. Consumer expectations could boost small- and medium-sized businesses’ revenue streams during Cyber Season.
Here are four holiday shipping trends that small- and medium-sized businesses can leverage to compete with the big-box retailers this Cyber Season:
• Shoppers consistently indicate that free shipping is one of their most important considerations when purchasing online. Retailers should launch their first Cyber Season free-shipping offer in early November.
• Mobile devices are now solidly entrenched in the retail shopping experience. M-commerce shoppers use smart phones to compare prices before making in-store purchase decisions as well as capturing product and shipping deals when they appear throughout Cyber Season.
• M-commerce shoppers expect end-to-end package tracking. Retailers must provide tracking solutions. Customers want to know where their purchases are and when they will be delivered.
• Proper shipping package selection has never been more important. Major shipping carriers – the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS – have adopted a Dimensional Weight (DIM) pricing model, which means that shipping could cost more than anticipated for certain items.
Small- and medium-sized businesses can maximize their 2016 Cyber Season revenues by recognizing customers’ penchants and accommodating their preferences.
Kevin O’Connor is Vice President of Marketing, Neopost USA. Visit www.neopostusa.com for information about Neopost-brand Cyber Season solutions. You can find a Dimensional Weight calculator at www.dimweightresources.com, which will help determine Federal Express, United Parcel Service and United States Postal Service prices based on dimensional weight measurements.