Get Ready for the 2020 Holiday Season
October 14, 2020
International shipping during the holiday season can be an incredible way to increase your sales but can also be stressful if you are not prepared. To help you get ready for the upcoming season, you will find below a few tips to increase your global sales and improve customer experience.
In addition, we are sharing the holiday shipping deadlines for global destinations to ensure you and your customers know when to order to receive their items in time for the holidays.
- Communicate international holiday shipping deadlines
International holiday shipping deadlines are the last possible dates an order can be shipped for it to be delivered by December 25, 2020.
- Communicate international holiday shipping deadlines to consumers on your website or at checkout. Clearly indicate the date by which orders must be placed for Standard and Express shipping using the table below as a guideline. Make sure to add some additional time for customs clearance, order processing and fulfillment time to the dates below
- Communicate holiday forecasts, promotions, and international holiday shipping deadlines to your warehouse/3PL partners so they’re prepared to support your international volumes.
- We encourage Express shipping options during the holidays for timely delivery. Especially during this COVID year, Express has seen fewer delays and faster delivery
|Ship-to Country||Standard Shipping Ship-by Date*||Express Shipping Ship-by Date*|
|Australia||December 1st||December 16th|
|Asia||December 1st||December 16th|
|Canada||December 2nd||December 20th|
|European Union (excl UK)||December 4th||December 16th|
|United Kingdom (UK)||December 7th||December 19th|
|Rest of World (ROW)||December 1st||December 16th|
*These dates will not guarantee that shipment will arrive by Dec 25, also they do not include customs clearance. Our data indicates 95% of FlavorCloud shipments clear customs same day but each country’s volumes may differ during the holiday so plan accordingly. This could be a few more days and during this unique holiday year, certain countries may be overwhelmed so plan accordingly.
- Offer free or discounted holiday shipping
Discounted or free shipping during the holidays has become a common technique to increase sales and FlavorCloud has you covered if you decide to go that route. Setting discounted shipping in FlavorCloud based on the tips below is simple, if you need help let us know
- Offer free shipping only after exceeding a minimum spend. You may want to set the threshold higher than historical average order value to increase cart size.
- Offer discounted flat-rate shipping to increase conversions.
- Offer time-based shipping promotions to encourage international customers to shop early. This will also help reduce the chance for customs delays as volumes increase as we get closer to the end of the month.
- Minimize opportunities for customs delays
- Reduce cost, risk, and customer frustration by shipping DDP (Delivered Duty Paid = collect duties at checkout). FlavorCloud makes DDP easy and improves the customer experience, read more here
- If shipping DDP, make sure all of the items in your store have HS Codes. If one item is missing an HS Code, it cannot ship DDP. If you need help with HS Codes, reach out to us for assistance
- Make sure to label all packages correctly and include the correct customs documents with all packages (if required).
- Provide shipment tracking information to consumers
FlavorCloud provides door-to-door shipment tracking details and status updates as well as a tracking page.
We have recently introduced a branded tracking page where merchants can customize with their own logo and image to provide a better customer experience
- Consider an address verification plug in
Address verification is always a good idea regardless of the holiday season but especially important at year-end peak season because bad delivery addresses can cause undeliverable and returned shipments. Consider integrating an automated address verification plugin to your platform to minimize errors and chances of a failed delivery
- Make Phone number required for international
Customer phone numbers are always required for optimal international deliveries and reducing time in customs delays. Phone numbers can be captured easily at checkout and enforced only for international orders if you prefer
While 2020 has been a quite an interesting year we are hopeful our FlavorCloud merchants will have a great Holiday 2020 season and if you are interested in shipping international with FlavorCloud reach out to us and we can discuss how easy it is to start