Posts Tagged ‘holiday season 2010’

Free Shipping 2010

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Posted by Michael Nardini, VP of Customer Satisfaction

As I mentioned in my previous blog, free shipping has been on the mind of many retailers this holiday season as just one of the many promotion techniques in their arsenals. This was to help drive consumers to loosen their grip on their wallets and spend more than last year online.  Recent numbers released from ComScore indicate that free shipping orders reached their peak on Nov. 21 last year with approximately 50% of all orders receiving free shipping but declined abruptly the following week.  This November, however, saw its peak a week later and higher at 55.1% during the week of November 28 with only a modest decline to 51.4% for the week ending December 5.  Tomorrow’s “Free Shipping Day 2010”, with over 1,500 major merchants participating, may create another statistical spike.

ComScore also noted that the average order totals were higher when free shipping was offered. The average order total for transactions with paid shipping averaged $86.58, while orders with free shipping averaged $125.20. This is just one of the many indicators of the importance of free shipping to consumers.  For further information, check out the article on ComScore blog .

Did you offer your customers free shipping? If you did, have you experienced similar results? Let us know! If not, what other kinds of promotion worked best for you this year?

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Season of Shipping

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Posted by Michael Nardini, VP of Customer Satisfaction  

This holiday season has shown an improvement over the past year’s holiday spending, which means shipping companies have seen the busiest season yet. FedEx has already announced that December 13 will be the busiest day in company history as they expect to ship 16 million packages around the world. UPS estimates that they will ship 23 million packages on its busiest day of the year, December 22.

December is already in full swing and the shoppers are rushing to finish up their holiday shopping online. Many customers have responded well to the many holiday promotions and free shipping offered by retailers this year. However, there is still plenty of time for shoppers to make purchases and still have their packages by Christmas Day. You want to make sure your customers realize that shipping companies handle more and more packages as the holiday season draws to an end so they don’t want to wait too long to shop.

Informing your customers and ensuring they understand how long it will take your company to process orders before they are handed off to shipping companies is important to keeping customer satisfaction high. You want to make sure your customers are fully informed throughout the order process and are able to track their packages from start to finish. This prevents any issues arising due to lost packages or failing to deliver packages when customers “assume” they should arrive.  To keep the customers informed, provide them with the various deadlines that shipping companies are created to ensure packages are delivered by Christmas Day.  This prevents any surprises from arising as the deadlines are clearly laid out and allows you to charge a higher shipping rate if customers wait too long and need to rush shipping.

Check out the shipping deadlines below for UPS, USPS, and FedEx (remember these are the dates these companies need to have the package in their possession):

Wed. Dec. 15: Deadline for “Parcel Post” through U.S. Postal Service and FedEx’s “SmartPost” shipping methods.

Fri. Dec. 17: Deadline for  FedEx’s “Ground” and “Home Delivery.”

Mon. Dec. 20: Deadline to ship through USPS’s “First-Class Mail.”

Tues. Dec. 21: Deadline for “3 Day Select” shipping through UPS, FedEx’s “Express Saver” and the USPS’s “Priority Mail.”

Wed. Dec. 22: Deadline for “2nd Day Air” through UPS, USPS’s “Express Mail” and FedEx’s “2Day” to ensure that your package gets to its destination by Christmas Eve.

Thurs. Dec. 23: Ultimate deadline to ship a package and have it arrive before Christmas. Packages shipped with UPS’s “Next Day Air” and any type of overnight shipping through FedEx will arrive on the 24th. However, FedEx does appear to have same day shipping option for the 25, but there is a high charge attached to this service.

How have you kept your customers informed about shipping deadlines? Have you coordinated your any of your holiday promotions to fit these deadlines?

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