That’s some good ship — make sure Black Friday orders arrive on time
Getting customers to order on Black Friday is just one challenge of the day. You need to make sure their orders arrive on time as well. We look into why superb shipping is crucial to the Black Friday experience.
Last updated: 01.11.2022
Have you noticed a chill in the wind outside?
As we enter into the months ending with ‘-ber’ (more like brrr) and the temperatures lower daily, you might also be shivering at the prospect of Black Friday edging ever closer. It’s just under two months away at the time of writing.
Have you ordered something online? I don’t know why I asked, I’m sure you have.
How quickly did you expect it to arrive? I bet you wanted it next day. Everyone does. But if the company you ordered from set expectations properly, you should know when your order is due to arrive (ideally, it would still be nice if it was there tomorrow).
When it comes to Black Friday, both new and loyal customers are ready and willing to buy, excited to take advantage of good deals and the prospect of new products. But they’re also equally excited to get their hands on these products, so two-week shipping won’t cut it, particularly if other companies offer next day shipping for a similar item.
Ultimately, shipping is a key step in the customer experience – if you can walk the line of under-promising and over-delivering. For example, offering 3–4-day shipping and delivering in 2 days, you’ve likely won over a customer. This will set expectations for the future, so be wary of how far you can go. Ideally, offer a competitive and realistic timeframe, but keep an eye on your competitors to make sure you’re not lagging behind.
Finally, shipping shouldn’t make work harder for your internal team. They shouldn’t spend too much time finding providers and booking deliveries. This should instead be left to automation.
Automated shipping should be a crucial element of shipping software, and by extension, your ERP platform. Seamless integration with one, or multiple, shipping partners makes daily work far easier. Once products are completed and packed, a few clicks will have them sent on their way.
What your customers expect from shipping
It’s the day after Black Friday – ummm…let’s call it standard Saturday? – you’ve made your orders, and you’re excited for them to show up. You even know exactly when they’re all coming! Doesn’t that sound nice.
Offering your customers a specific arrival date can be a slight risk, but if you nail it, or even get their order there a day earlier, you’re straight in their good books. It’s the long-form version of the classic ‘30 minutes or less’ pizza delivery promise. The crucial point is not to over-promise and under-deliver. Always adjust expectations based on the information you have and be open and communicative if there are any issues.
Another smart shipping benefit you can offer is flexibility. Customers don’t always want a standardized option – you can offer faster shipping at a slightly higher price, with a cheaper standard speed. Ideally, tracking should always be available, and depending on your country and the postal providers, you can offer different companies to complete the delivery.
Finally, we need to talk about returns. Understandably, you want your product to be absolutely perfect, and meet all the customer’s needs, but you can’t please everyone. Sometimes, things get sent back. If you want to appease even the pickiest of customers, it’s essential to make returning items a breeze. If the information isn’t initially with the product, make sure it’s simple to find on your website, and doesn’t ask too much of the customer.
Get ready for Black Friday with Katana
Start using Katana with our 14-day free trial, and prepare properly for the upcoming holiday seasons with better order organization!
Our ERP helps manufacturers automate, simplify, and streamline their manufacturing processes, from automatic reordering of raw materials, to tracking batches of products, and so much more. We also make sure you’re covered when it comes to shipping.
Katana offers integrations with four superb shipping partners who’ll help ensure your products reach their destination on time and in perfect condition.
They all offer synchronized workflows, allowing you to send information about sales orders from Katana, and then update your orders in Katana based on their shipping information. This gives you total visibility within both platforms and means you don’t need to toggle tabs to find your crucial information.
Understandably, we can’t play favorites, but let’s dive into what other features each provider can offer you, and why you might consider using them to get your products into your customer’s hands safely and on time.
What they offer:
Centralized shipping options – 2Ship gathers prices in real-time and provides them in one list, so you don’t need to go hunting for the best option
After signing up you’ll be prompted to select and configure your channel – scroll down and choose Katana to enable it within your account
Once you’ve enabled Katana, you’re redirected to the channel settings where you need to authorize the connection
Once you click ‘Connect’ you’re redirected and prompted to log into your Katana account, and then asked to allow Shiptheory’s access to your account
Once you select allow, you’ll be redirected back to Shiptheory, you’ll see a success message, and your Katana account is connected
Available regions – UK and USA
Deciding on your shipping partner will likely be dictated by their available regions and pricing (check their websites to learn more), but it’s good to remember that you can connect to multiple shipping providers if this fits your budget and plans.
As we mentioned, we can’t play favorites, but each provider has its pros and cons, and those with more focused regions are more likely to be specialists in those areas, so if they match your customer base it’s an easy choice. However, if you want to go global, a wider net will fit your needs and allow you to reach customers in far flung places, on Black Friday, or any other Friday.
Be Black Friday Prepared with Katana
Along with our excellent shipping partners, Katana offers everything you need from a modern manufacturing ERP to simplify and streamline your business processes and make your daily life easier.
With Black Friday edging closer, you can start a free 14-day trial to put Katana through its paces and be ready when your Black Friday orders come rolling in.
And if you want to find out more about being fully prepared for Black Friday on November 25th, read our blog here.
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November 25th is fast-approaching, and no business wants to be under-prepared for one of the highest selling days of the year. We look into Black Friday, and how you should be preparing for the oncoming hordes.