Well, it’s that special time of year …Christmas is upon us once again! The countdown to the festive period is always a busy, frenetic time for all, particularly so within the fulfilment industry. For e-commerce owners, customers, couriers and everyone involved in the supply chain, panic ensues over whether orders will be received in time for the big day. Throw into the equation external factors, like shipping delays, postal strikes and shipping container shortages, there is an untold potential for problems to affect deliveries.

Although there are some external factors outside of your control, it never hurts to try and be as organised as possible, does it? You can plan ahead and optimise your order fulfilment to good effect; at least you’re holding up your end of the bargain (pardon the pun). So, let’s delve a little deeper into what you can do to optimise your e-commerce fulfilment operations, ready for the busiest time of the year.

Shipping deadlines will differ across the globe, so depending on where you are shipping to will impact when orders need to be made. To hit that all-important ‘delivered in time for Christmas’ holy grail target that all customers crave, it’s essential you check international shipping deadlines. By being clear on exactly what shipping deadline area, should you need to ship orders globally, you can communicate clearly to your customers when the cut off for Christmas orders is.

The best way to keep it ‘au fait’ is to be transparent and open with your customer base – don’t over promise on unrealistic deadlines and cut off points. This only leads to frustration from the customer, and you’ll struggle with retaining customers if you promise the world but can’t deliver. Be realistic and communicate delivery times in an honest way. By giving customers the option to order, even if an order isn’t received by Christmas, at least the option is there, and the customer can take their decision willingly.