How Business SMS Helps Companies Fulfill Holiday Orders Faster Than Ever Before

Holiday sms gift delivery

It’s no secret that shoppers are ordering their holiday gifts online more than ever before. Deloitte expects online sales to increase anywhere from 14% to 18% compared to 2018. UPS expects to see 16 billion pieces of mail and packages delivered this holiday season. For eCommerce businesses, that’s a lot of orders to fulfill. Enter business SMS.

Business SMS is often used to streamline customer communications, which can help companies focus their efforts on holiday order fulfillment. It’s also an excellent way to organize and manage internal teams during the busy holiday season. 

So how exactly can business text messaging help your company fulfill holiday orders faster than ever before? Read on to find out. 

Update Customers Automatically

Because of the time crunch on many holiday orders, customers will want to know where their orders are at all times. With business SMS and the proper integrations with your eCommerce platform, your teams can automate: 

Order Confirmations 

An integration with an eCommerce platform like Shopify empowers companies to automate order confirmations. As soon as a customer places an order, the business SMS platform can send a personalized order confirmation using templates. These templates are personalized through merge tokens that draw on customers’ custom fields. An immediate confirmation will reassure your customers that their orders went through, allowing them to rest easy while they wait for their holiday gifts to arrive. 

Delivery Status Updates 

The majority (63%) of online shoppers consider knowing the estimated delivery date of their orders a critical part of the delivery process. This feeling is heightened during the holidays. To ensure customers know exactly where their order is—and to ensure they’re ready to receive their delivery—send three notifications once orders are confirmed: a shipping confirmation, a guaranteed delivery notification, and a delivery receipt. With business SMS, teams can even create automated text campaigns that send personalized confirmations to lists of customers on a specified schedule. Consider adding a holiday greeting or emoji for a bit of extra cheer.

Delay Notifications 

Because there are so many more packages mailed during the holiday season, unexpected challenges in the field can’t be avoided. With business SMS, operations teams can quickly update customers about any delays or other issues. Sending preemptive delay notifications can help your business provide solutions and reassure customers that their holiday orders are on the way. 

Customer Responses

Because holiday gifts come with a lot of pressure, customers may reach out to your business more than usual. Whether their questions are about rescheduling their delivery, changing their order, or making special requests, holiday order messages can overwhelm teams, forcing their attention away from order fulfillment. Business SMS allows teams to see all incoming texts in a shared inbox, so teams can quickly assign themselves chats and ensure messages don’t slip through the cracks. Top business SMS platforms can even recognize certain keywords and send immediate responses, so that customers asking key questions like “What are your hours?” are automatically answered without an employee intervening.

Coordinate With Delivery Teams 

During the holiday season, your staff members have to work carefully with delivery teams to ensure that orders arrive where and when they’re supposed to. Often, businesses will hire additional contractors to manage the increasing number of orders. Delivery person with packages.

All companies have to do is provide contractors with the business SMS number for the appropriate shared inbox, which can either be a text-enabled landline or a brand-new number provided by their business SMS platform. Then, they can immediately start receiving incoming contractor messages into their shared inboxes. Contractors often prefer connecting with their clients through business SMS because it doesn’t require them to download any new, unfamiliar apps. If a business is spread out in multiple regions, it can set up multiple inboxes to simplify message routing. 

Internal teams can use business SMS to coordinate with contractors on delivery challenges like incorrect addresses, mishandled boxes, and unexpected delays. Because SMS is such a fast channel, teams can receive incoming queries from contractors and text respective customers about delays or questions within minutes.

More than any other time of year, the holiday season is when customers need their orders to arrive on time, so they can leave for their holiday vacations or open presents on time. By using business SMS to expedite contractor coordination, you’ll be able to fulfill your customers’ special holiday orders on time. 

Manage Internal Resources

During the holiday season, staff members involved in the fulfillment process face a number of problems. First and foremost, there is an influx of incoming orders. But there are also many team members who plan their vacations around this time of year, and winter illnesses that pop up without warning. To combat these challenges, teams can use business SMS to:

Send Notifications

Staff members working on fulfillment are nearly always on the move, whether they’re processing order requests or packing boxes. While calling a team member does get their attention, it consumes a lot of time to call everyone on staff individually. With business SMS, managers can send their teams any timely notifications and receive fast replies, since texting’s average response time is 90 seconds. During the holiday season, business SMS works well for order surge notifications, holiday hours reminders, inclimate weather alerts, or any other time-intensive information.

Manage Shifts

If your fulfillment team members work on multiple schedules, managers can create lists of employees on certain shifts and send personalized reminders to all of them at once. Responses will arrive into the business SMS platform’s shared inbox individually, allowing managers to address scheduling concerns one by one. This quick scheduling method is especially useful in a pinch, like when a business needs to reach out to see who can take on extra hours to handle a surge in orders.

Update Customers Automatically

Because of the time crunch on many holiday orders, customers will want to know where their orders are at all times. With business SMS and the proper integrations with your eCommerce platform, your teams can automate: 

Order Confirmations 

An integration with an eCommerce platform like Shopify empowers companies to automate order confirmations. As soon as a customer places an order, the business SMS platform can send a personalized order confirmation using templates. These templates are personalized through merge tokens that draw on customers’ custom fields. An immediate confirmation will reassure your customers that their orders went through, allowing them to rest easy while they wait for their holiday gifts to arrive. A template might look like this:

Hi {{first name}}! This is Speedy Sneakers here. Your order #{{latest order number}} has been confirmed! We’ll send a text once it has shipped. Text STOP to stop receiving messages.

Delivery Status Updates 

The majority (63%) of online shoppers consider knowing the estimated delivery date of their orders a critical part of the delivery process. This feeling is heightened during the holidays. To ensure customers know exactly where their order is—and to ensure they’re ready to receive their delivery—send three notifications once orders are confirmed: a shipping confirmation, a guaranteed delivery notification, and a delivery receipt. With business SMS, teams can even create automated text campaigns that send personalized confirmations to lists of customers on a specified schedule. Consider adding a holiday greeting or emoji for a bit of extra cheer.

Delay Notifications 

Because there are so many more packages mailed during the holiday season, unexpected challenges in the field can’t be avoided. With business SMS, operations teams can quickly update customers about any delays or other issues. Sending preemptive delay notifications can help your business provide solutions and reassure customers that their holiday orders are on the way. 

Customer Responses

Because holiday gifts come with a lot of pressure, customers may reach out to your business more than usual. Whether their questions are about rescheduling their delivery, changing their order, or making special requests, holiday order messages can overwhelm teams, forcing their attention away from order fulfillment. Business SMS allows teams to see all incoming texts in a shared inbox, so teams can quickly assign themselves chats and ensure messages don’t slip through the cracks. Top business SMS platforms can even recognize certain keywords and send immediate responses, so that customers asking key questions like “What are your hours?” are automatically answered without an employee intervening.

 

Ready to kickstart holiday order fulfillment? Try our platform for free today.

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