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If there’s one major pain point for busy retailers, it’s shipping. According to Temando’s State of Shipping in Commerce 2017 report, more than 60 percent of mid-market and enterprise retailers found shipping at peak periods a struggle. But don’t throw in the towel just yet, shipping doesn’t have to be a challenge.

47% of high-spending shoppers with an online spend of more than $500/month will comment on their shipping experience without fail.

Shipping is an extension of your brand

Like it or not, last impressions count. Ninety-four percent of high-spending shoppers with an online spend of more than $500/month will comment on their shipping experience when reviewing their purchase. Forty-seven percent of those customers say they do this without fail. Take extra care with presenting relevant delivery choices at checkout, ensure tracking updates are well communicated (even promoted), and that orders are safely packed. Make shipping seamless and you’ll reinforce how convenient it is to shop with you, and help to increase brand loyalty.

Be pro-choice with delivery options

Forty-seven percent of shoppers will abandon their cart and buy from a competitor when they can’t find a delivery service that suits them. We suspect this behavior is even more prevalent during the busy holiday period. With consumer expectations modified by the likes of Amazon Prime, you’ll need to think beyond standard shipping to remain competitive. Before you increase your delivery options you’ll need easy access to multiple carriers to make shipping costs work for you—and Magento Shipping can help.

Premium shipping can be a win-win situation

Sixty percent of shoppers said they would shop more online if offered free shipping, but they are also open to paying for premium delivery services that flex to their requirements. Hyperlocal (1-3 hours), same-day, overnight, weekend, and after-hours are all popular delivery options around peak periods when shoppers are scrambling for last-minute gifts. Customers understand that last minute shipping comes at a cost, so retailers don’t have to lose money on free-shipping for all orders. Also, emphasizing or counting down the days left to receive cheaper shipping is a great way to encourage early shopping at no additional discounts. This can also help reduce some of the last-minute rush in the warehouse.

Returns and tracking are key players

Seventy-two percent of shoppers don’t feel that delivery costs justify the level of service offered by couriers. Show value by sharing tracking information to remove your customer’s need to follow up on their orders around this anxious period. By being transparent, you’re minimizing any ill-will that frustrated customers may feel about your brand if deliveries are delayed. Similarly, investing in a great returns experience prevents customers from feeling ‘locked-in’ and encourages more shopping.

With the holidays just around the corner, getting shipping right through a considered and scalable approach is crucial to optimizing your business performance. Focus on enriching the customer experience, and factor in how shipping will impact efficiency and your bottom line.