When it comes to preparing your business for the holiday season, there are few things more important than ensuring your delivery systems are up to the task. While shipping cut-off dates and delays are often thought of as the biggest problem for businesses at this time of year, there are several delivery issues that can threaten customer satisfaction.

Businesses and customers alike are in for delivery mayhem if they fail to plan ahead. Back in September, Australia Post chief executive Paul Graham announced it was worth ordering Christmas presents early this year, with supply chain hurdles and labour shortages making this year’s festive season more intense.

For businesses, the effects of poor planning can extend far beyond the Christmas period. In 2021, Zoom2u conducted a survey in which 86% of online shoppers said they’d be less likely to shop with an online store again if they had a bad delivery experience.

To avoid damage to your reputation and your bottom line, businesses must be looking towards innovative ways to provide efficient delivery solutions at every stage in the process.

Prepare your stock levels for the Christmas rush

For businesses using a third-party logistics provider to fulfil orders, ensure that your fulfilment centres have more than enough stock to see through the holiday season. Failing to do this can put your business at a disadvantage by causing delays before an order even leaves the warehouse.

Take a look at your website and order analytics from previous holiday periods for more accurate stock planning. This information should always be scaled to account for any growth your business has experienced in the previous year, as well as any promotions that may affect the volume of orders in upcoming months.

Having a surplus of products available reduces the likelihood of items being out of stock when the orders are coming in faster than ever. This simple solution will avoid significant delays, providing a fast and reliable service for customers.

Scale your delivery process using tech solutions

In the rush of the holiday period, scaling the delivery process is the best way to ensure that your business is equipped to meet customer demand. Logistical technology will not only allow you to deliver a high volume of orders as quickly as possible, but it will keep costs down along the way.

Technology like Locate2u matches deliveries with nearby drivers to streamline the delivery process and automatically uses the fastest route available. This not only erases the risk of human error wreaking havoc on your delivery timeframes but saves your business time and money by optimising the delivery process.

Of course, the attention to detail shouldn’t end as soon as the delivery is made. Sending automatic reviews or feedback requests after delivery is inexpensive and invaluable for your business. This will not only help to assuage any concerns your customers may have about their experience, but will provide valuable insight into how you can further improve your delivery moving forward.

Keep customers in the loop

Even with the most efficient delivery method in place, the Christmas period inevitably leaves customers anxiously awaiting the arrival of their orders. This can lead to an increase in customer enquiries that can put greater strain on your team during an already busy time of year.

To counteract this, GPS technology can be used to provide customers with the most up-to-date delivery information possible. This includes live tracking maps, clear and accurate delivery timeframes, and even the ability to connect customers with their delivery drivers to ensure direct communication is possible on the day of delivery. This reduces customer enquiries, allows you to focus on areas that need your attention, and provides for a more seamless end-to-end delivery experience.

As the holiday season fast approaches, it’s important that business owners consider whether their delivery method is smart enough to keep up with customer expectations. With the right technology in place, businesses of all sizes can improve their delivery process to ensure it offers the best customer experience possible.

Steve Orenstein is founder and CEO at Zoom2u Technologies.