With the summer season firmly in the rearview mirror, it means it’s time to start gearing up for the holiday season. Christmas and the New Year may seem like they’re a long way off but, in order for your business to make the most out of the holiday season, it’s never too early to start getting ready.
Getting Ready for the Holiday Shopping Season
For businesses that rely heavily on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, such as Amazon businesses, it’s important to get a headstart so that your business is ready to go by the end of November. Even if you already have deals and sales planned for the holidays, there are several key dates and deadlines that you need to be aware of to avoid any delays and issues when the time comes.
Though the big day may still be a few months off, there are plenty of tasks that need to be completed well before Thanksgiving.
When to Get Ready For the Holidays
It’s never too early to think about the holidays for your small business. Whether you’re an Amazon seller or have your own website and online store, getting ready for Black Friday ahead of time is paramount to having a successful holiday season. Besides the big days themselves, there are several other dates that sellers should be aware of to make sure you are ready to go for the upcoming holidays.
Aside from the firm dates that you need to keep track of, there are also other time-frames to keep in mind. One that can be extremely important based on your business is when to start advertising campaigns for each of the major holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It may be a good idea for your business to use each holiday as a marker for when to switch your advertising.
Starting your spooky Halloween advertising in early October is usually a safe bet as people tend to associate the change in weather with the holiday season. This approach also works for Thanksgiving, since advertising can start on November 1st, and Christmas advertising can start on Black Friday.
Although this is a good general rule, businesses that rely heavily on holiday sales may require a different approach. Starting your advertising too early is almost always better than starting it too late. Social media ads for Christmas sales in October may feel too early, but this isn’t always the case.
These days, with so many people getting their holiday shopping out of the way early, it can be a huge bump to your business to start your holiday selling early. Understanding the needs of your business is the most important thing when it comes to deciding the best time to start your holiday advertising. If your business relies heavily on sales prior to Thanksgiving, then offering those lightning deals before Halloween may be in your best interest.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Holidays can get hectic for customers and business owners alike. Being aware of a handful of important deadlines can make things go much smoother, especially as you enter the home stretch in Mid-December.
With 2021 shaping up to be the biggest year for e-commerce shopping ever, knowing guaranteed delivery cut-offs is essential to making sure your customers get their products in time for Christmas. As always it’s also important to make sure that your FBA inventory is well stocked ahead of time to avoid any issues that come with selling out.
The following dates only apply to shipping within the United States.
Amazon Fulfillment / FBA Holiday Deadlines
Black Friday & Cyber Monday – November 15
Christmas – December 11
For Amazon Sellers, November 15 and December 11 are the first dates you need to remember. These are the cut-off dates that ensure that your inventory arrives at an Amazon fulfillment center in time to be sold on the respective holidays.
Holiday Shipping Deadlines
FedEx SmartPost – December 9
USPS Retail Ground – December 15
UPS Ground – December 15
For those that hope to take advantage of the cost-effective shipping of Fed-Ex SmartPost, December 9th is the date to remember. Anything beyond that won’t be guaranteed to arrive before December 25. For other low-cost ground shipping such as FedEx Ground, USPS Retail Ground, and UPS Ground, December 15 will be the latest date that it can be guaranteed.
Beyond this date, it is totally possible to get your product to customers on time but it will require the additional cost associated with expedited shipping. In a pinch, December 23, is the last possible day to ship something out with any hope of it arriving on time with the help of next-day or overnight shipping.
Making the Most of the Holiday Season
The holidays are often the most important time of the year for e-commerce business, and this year looks to be bigger than ever. If you’re looking to expand your business for the holiday season, Payability can help you with any of your business’ cash flow needs. Payability offers a variety of financing options for the needs of every small business.
Offers like our Instant Advance can get your business up to $250,000 in as little as 48 hours, all without a credit check. Payability can allow you to take full advantage of the holidays and put your business growth plans in motion today.