That’s right, Mother’s Day is May 9th this year. Now you have no excuse not to get your Mom something nice.
For many consumer brands, Mother’s Day marks a secondary peak season of the year (second to the Q4 holidays). While it’s important to get ahead of the surge in order to meet customer demand, there are a few last minute things you can do to ensure you get gifts to Moms without any hiccups.
Communicate Shipping Deadlines
Probably the most important thing you can do to ensure your customers get the perfect gifts for mom is clearly communicate your shipping deadlines. No one wants to get the perfect gift five days too late. This is especially true if your products or packaging can be customizable. Give your customers clear deadlines to order, customize, and ship their special packages on time.
Here is a quick round up of the three major carrier deadlines for your own internal use. Be sure to give a few days cushion on top of these carrier dates, in case there are surges, weather delays, or other unforeseen issues.
- The FedEx cut off dates to ensure Mom gets her gifts on time still have yet to be published, but they have last year’s deadlines up as a rough estimate guideline.
- UPS has very clear cut off dates this year.
- While USPS, doesn’t have specific dates for Mother’s Day, they have been shipping on average one day later than expected within the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check their site for specific guaranteed day shipping options.
Communicate with your 3PL and shipping partners as well as your customers! If you are working with any third-party partners, make sure you communicate with them if you are doing a promotion, sale, or expect a surge in volume. By notifying them, you’ll likely receive better support and care during this short but high-volume selling season.
The Early Bird Beats the Surge
Get your marketing materials lined up in advance to promote your deals or sales early. By getting the word out you’ll limit site surge issues and late gift arrivals.
Your promotional materials don’t have to be fancy or impressive. Just make sure your dates and deadlines are clear. Spread the word out early on social and in emails, in order to alert your customers in plenty of time for them to order and receive their preferred products.
The Impact of Free Shipping
One tactic that many ecommerce sellers use to boost sales is offering free shipping for a limited amount of time. This incentivizes consumers who may be on the fence about a purchase because it saves them a few extra bucks. While you’ll have to absorb that cost, it may even out due to higher sales–it just depends on your profit margins. Even if you have to eat a bit of extra cost to offer free shipping, if it’s for a limited time only you’ll be gaining customer satisfaction, which is the ultimate goal.
If offering free shipping doesn’t seem like it will be worth it financially for you, there are also ways to control which section of your consumers it’s available to. A few strategies for select free shipping options include:
- Offering it to folks who hold a membership
- After a minimum purchase amount has been reached
- Only for specific products with higher margins
Just make sure you get your marketing right for a free shipping campaign. Studies show offering free shipping is most effective for customers who have shown some interest, but are still browsing. It is not as effective for new customers or those who have already decided to buy and are in the checkout process.
Spotlight the Perfect Products
If you think you’ll have any kind of sales spike around Mother’s Day, ensure you’re ready by getting the right products in stock. Nothing is worse than losing customers because you didn’t manage your inventory appropriately. Before you overstock your warehouse or overload your 3PL, pick the right products for the holiday and your target customer. In other words, only increase the stock volumes of the products that you anticipate needing. Otherwise you may incur extra fees on stock that doesn’t sell and sits in the warehouse longer than intended.
Maybe the getting it right for Mom this year means adding a special message, gift wrapping, or bundling products together. It takes some serious planning to get a logistics project like this done but it’s worth the effort. Read our case study on customized fulfillment for Aftershokz—it really boosted their sales volume and customer loyalty during the holiday season.
Social Selling is Great for Last Minute Shoppers
Buying on mobile and from social platforms is a rising trend in the DTC ecommerce industry. Mother’s Day is historically a last-minute shopping event, so if you still want to capitalize on the holiday but don’t have much lead time to create marketing materials, social channels are likely your best option.
Get your products and promotions live in time for customers to order the items they think will make mom feel really special. Just be sure all your back-end connections are working well. You don’t want any orders to get lost due to technical issues, especially just before the holiday.
If you are looking for a 3PL to get your premium gifts to moms this year, reach out to the DCL Logistics team. We would love to partner with you to ensure your customers get the best shipping and fulfillment service possible.