The holidays are here. And whether your business is ready or not, the final deliveries of 2018 are already queuing up.
Thanks to high consumer confidence and low unemployment numbers, according to eMarketer , a company that tracks trends that correspond to digital marketing, media and commerce, total retail sales in the U.S. will increase 5.8 percent this year.
Or, in other words, spending will surpass $1.002 trillion this holiday season. That’s right; more than $1 trillion will be spent just on holiday purchases.
In fact, 56 percent of consumers surveyed said they will begin their holiday shopping well before the turkey hits the table during Thanksgiving, and 23 percent said they started their holiday prep in August, Chain Store Age reports.
Now while all of that holiday spending bodes well for the economy and shows that there is a strong, healthy and thriving e-commerce in place, businesses are now tasked with, not only keeping up with the skyrocketing demand, but also meeting and exceeding customer expectation during the final delivery process.
Piece of (fruit) cake, right?
For the wholesalers and delivery companies around the world, there is no need to get your stocking in a knot. Here are some simple tips to make sure that you survive the holiday rush, and even profit from a piece of that $1 trillion retail profit pie.
Deliver on your Shipping Promises
During a time when you will have your loyal customers giving you a call, and a influx of brand-new clients the last thing you want to do is turn them off by not keeping up your side of the bargain. While the pressure to offer tight deliver-time windows is certainly intensified this time of year, staying realistic and setting manageable and accurate customer expectations initially is critical to best ensuring your business’ success and customer satisfaction.
Arm your business with the right resources
Running in the same vein of keeping promises made to your customers, having the proper resources is essential to keeping up with the wave of customer requests and making sure they don’t leave you for the competition. As eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu says, “For retailers, it will be a battle for e-commerce market share. We should expect more promotions and perks like free and fast shipping, as retailers compete against Amazon.”
To ensure sweet holiday success this season, take time to see if expanding your workforce with seasonal help is an option, or consider adopting a routing software solution, like WorkWave Route Manager that will maximize your resources and bring other ROIs to your business through added features like route optimization and fleet management. Like WorkWave Route Manager, as SDC notes, top performing software solutions allow you to “set feasible time windows that factor in all of the potential constraints,” such as driver availability, deliveries in the same area, and more.
After the job is done, keep the conversation going
Communicating with your new clients or loyal customers doesn’t have to stop once the final presents and holiday packages have reached their final destination. Continue to engage with your clientele online through social media and email efforts; an easy and effective way to get your messages across promoting new products, attractive sales, or simply making your customers feel appreciated with a quick “Thank you for your business.”
Though the holiday rush always feels like a whirlwind that comes on too fast, it brings with it a great opportunity to show your skill set of not only meeting customer demand, but rising above and beyond their expectations. By keeping to your word when deliveries are placed, preparing your business for success by taking on the right tools and keeping the line of communication open with your customers post-delivery and sale, you could be lining yourself up for a big helping of holiday retail revenue; and maybe a sprinkling of some new loyal customers to match.