It’s the most wonderful time of year, especially for eCommerce retailers. For many, website traffic is up, shoppers are placing their gift orders, and they are watching their revenues increase.

While this is an exciting time for retailers, it is also one where they must work hard and efficiently in order to achieve success. Order fulfillment is a critical factor that can make or break a successful holiday sales season, so it’s important that retailers are prepared.

Here are three eCommerce fulfillment tips to help you this holiday season.

1. Don’t underestimate the power of excellent customer service.

During the holiday rush, customer service queries increase by as much as 75%. No matter how busy and hectic things get, it’s vital that each and every customer is receiving the type of service that you’d give on your slowest day. Customers expect fast replies to their questions, and the majority will turn disloyal to a brand after a negative experience.

Ecommerce retailers must have a strategy for keeping up with the increased inquiries regarding product details, order tracking, and returns. Outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL services provider allows retailers to focus on running their business during this busy time while resting assured that their customers are receiving only the best service.

2. Have a plan in place for the major shopping holidays.

Shopping holidays including Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to set new records this year, and it’s vital that retailers are able to keep up with the influx of online orders that will come in all at once. Not being prepared increases the odds of making costly mistakes, such as shipping products in the wrong type of packaging, using the wrong carrier, and sending customers incorrect or damaged products.

If fulfilling a large number of holiday orders have you feeling anxious, consider outsourcing to a 3PL service company. To the teams of fulfillment experts at a 3PL company, busy days like Cyber Monday are just another day, and you can breathe easier knowing that your orders are being handled quickly and seamlessly by experienced professionals. 

3. Be prepared for a high volume of holiday returns.

With an increased amount of orders, comes an increased amount of returns. Returns are an unavoidable part of the holiday season, with over a third of Americans reporting that they will return at least one gift that they received.

As with the fulfillment process, if the thought of returns management stresses you out, remember that outsourcing to a 3PL services provider can help you manage both. A seamless reverse logistics system helps retailers achieve the following:

  • Saving money on everything from reducing transportation spend to salvaging the remaining value of returned products
  • Providing a seamless experience to customers, resulting in a better brand image and more positive online reviews
  • Establishing yourself as an industry leader by going the extra mile for customers