How to Manage Peak Delivery Season For the Holidays

on Oct 11, 2022

‘Tis the season for special deliveries. While it feels like summer just ended, if you’re a retailer, it’s time to start planning for holiday season orders and shipments. Last year, 57 percent of consumers shopped online for the holidays, which is a massive jump from pre-pandemic behavior. With more online shoppers comes a greater need for a robust delivery system. 


You might be wondering, what is the appropriate timeline to recommend customers place their orders? Also, what is the busiest time for orders to be placed and deliveries made in preparation for the holidays? 


We’re turning on full holiday mode with tips to ensure that your customers feel the magic of the season with stocked carts and on-time deliveries during the peak shipping months. 


What is considered peak shipping season? 


Peak shipping season starts in mid-August and stretches to the end of autumn, usually through Thanksgiving to one of the major shopping days of the year, Black Friday. In 2021, from November 1-29, consumers spent $109.8 billion online, which was an increase of 11.9 percent from 2020. And of course, we can’t forget Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year with a recorded $33.9 billion in online spending during ‘Cyber Week,’ according to Adobe Analytics data. Peak season has become a holiday of its own, and for retailers to “celebrate,” they must be proactive with their shipping and delivery strategies. 


3 Ways Your Business Can Thrive During Peak Shipping Season


During the holidays, it’s easy to feel like a small fish in the giant sea of retailers. The process of fulfilling orders must be streamlined as much as possible, allowing you to focus on what really matters– satisfying your customers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 


  1. Timely Alerts and Warnings: We’ve all seen the alarming banner on a retailer’s website urging customers to make their purchases by a certain date to ensure delivery before the holidays. How do you know the right time frame to alert your customers? UPS, FedEx and USPS all release schedules in the months leading up to the holidays, so you know exactly when to warn customers to get their gift buying done before it’s too late.

  2. Beware of Labor and Supply Chain Issues: The demand for buying products online is at an all-time high, but can those expectations be met in the post-pandemic world? As a result of labor shortages and supply-chain disruptions taking place over the last few years, shipping prices are continuing to rise. This is something to keep in mind and adjust your shipping strategy accordingly as the holidays draw closer. Additionally, now is the time for retailers and customers to take advantage of alternative options like curbside pickup, in-store pickup and buy online, pickup anywhere (BOPA) as timing shipping windows could add more stress to a festive season.

  3. Incorporate a Digital Strategy Into Shipping Operations: As mentioned earlier, the more shipping operations can be streamlined during the holiday season, the better. A cloud-based software solution is key to managing order fulfillment and making sure products get to the customer in the quickest and most cost-effective way. Not only could adopting a delivery software system save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, by locating the most cost-efficient carriers, but it can also provide last-mile solutions to save the customer disappointment if their package doesn’t arrive in time for their celebrated holiday.


The growth of online shopping has permanently transformed the delivery industry. Yet, more transformation is expected as demand rises and companies are forced to adapt to the changing labor and supply chain conditions. Retailers rely on technology more than ever to efficiently manage their delivery operations. Speed and accuracy will be critical this holiday season. Make sure you are meeting customers' demands and staying on top of the delivery chain game with a robust fulfillment system. Delivery Solutions orchestrates fulfillment experiences for enterprise retailers, supplying flexible optionality for consumers and priming merchants for innovation at scale.

About the author

Sukumar Honkote

Sukumar Honkote is the Senior Technical Architect at Delivery Solutions

Topics from this blog: Peak Season Holiday Shipping

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