Business Tips, Delivery Service, Holiday Season

Be Prepared For 4th Quarter with these Ecommerce Tips!

The fourth quarter represents the holiday season. It includes some of the biggest holidays of the year – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Buyers are looking to host the best parties, give the best gifts, eat the best food and will dig deep into their wallets to do so. Many retailers report that they do as much as 50% of their annual sales in the last 3 months of the year.

The fourth quarter is a crazy time of year for retailers, holiday shoppers, and travelers. It affects all aspects of business operations from managing inventory stock levels, to shipping lead times and customer experience.

Be Prepared

Why are people talking about Q4 now? In order to do 50% of your annual sales in the last quarter of the year a seller, large or small, needs to have inventory in stock, have a plan for getting items to buyers in a timely manner, along with providing quality products among others. Time is money, and the sooner you start to prepare for Q4 the better your sales will be.

1. Know your Ecommerce calendar

“In the US, the Christmas season usually tips off after Thanksgiving, but as retailers grow more aggressive in taking on e-commerce, they are introducing holiday promotions and advertising for the holiday season as early as September—a phenomenon the industry pegs the Christmas creep.” – Bisnow reports.

Q4 Ecommerce sales holidays calendar:

  • Halloween – Oct 31 (4th largest online sales holiday)
  • Thanks Giving – Nov 23 (average online spending of $400 per user)
  • Black Friday – Nov 24
  • Cyber Monday – Nov 27
  • Green Monday – Dec 11
  • Free Shipping Day – Dec 16 (largest online sales day in Dec)

You probably should be preparing for those dates weeks ago! It’s not only about discounts and promotions. It’s also about making the most of the season and avoiding any spectacular crashes or customer care failures.

2. Give Your Website a Holiday Makeover

Even small changes can make a difference to your customers. A temporary seasonal makeover will add holiday cheer and encourage your customers to shop more. Try adding some snowflakes, holly, or other festive decorations. While you’re at it, add a banner announcing holidays deals or specials.

3. Optimize for Mobile Customers

People now spend more time on the internet on a mobile device than on a desktop computer (51 percent versus 42 percent), so if you’re not optimizing for mobile users, you’re just driving potential customers to your competitors. In fact, not having a mobile-optimized site is like closing your store for one full day every week. How are you going to capitalize on those limited offerings if you can’t reach the on-the-move crowd?

4. Run Limited Time Offers

Holiday selling is a great time for flash sales. Limited time offers create urgency and encourage customers to buy. Try using this tactic on slow-moving items as well as some from your best-seller list. By following these holiday selling tips you’ll likely increase your items sold, and you may be able to keep those slow-moving products from gathering dust.

5. Offer Special Promos to Loyal Customers

The holiday season is the perfect time to reward your loyal customers with deals that you’re not offering everyone. The gift of discount codes or free shipping is a great reward, and an enticement to shop more. Your social media channels are a good place to find your loyal customers. If they follow you on social media, you can reasonably assume they’re a fan of your brand. Post an exclusive promo code to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to let your most loyal customers know you appreciate their support.

6. Highlight Deals on Social Media

Speaking of social media, make sure that your followers know what you are offering this holiday season by highlighting your new products across your channels. It’s a way to advertise your gift guides, limited-time offers, and shipping discounts as well!

7. Ecommerce Marketing Automation

Traffic peak is coming. Surely not every user will complete their shopping experience. Automate abandoned cart recovery. Sign those users up for a newsletter or an automated product recommendation. Dig that traffic gold to maximize your returns on Ecommerce investments. Or loose out on over 90% of traffic which does not convert into sales.

United Delivery Service makes deliveries happen faster for businesses and consumers. We’ve developed a Midwest network positioned to enhance the speed and flexibility of last-mile delivery. We help consumers get products more quickly while lowering the cost of distribution for the businesses they buy from. Contact us today 630-930-5201. http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com/index.html 

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Delivery Service, tradeshows

The UDS Team Will Attend Parcel Forum 2017!

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PARCEL Forum has been hitting all the right notes for the past 15 years! From day one, they’ve been steadfast in their mission to serve the unique and ever-changing needs of professionals who are responsible for the shipping, distribution and delivery of parcel-sized (<70lbs) packages. This unwavering commitment has helped thousands of small-package professionals learn how to ship more packages, more frequently, more efficiently, and more cost-effectively. Whether you are new to the industry or a veteran, attending PARCEL Forum will be music to your ears!

One of the regional carriers that has had tremendous success and growth is United Delivery Service. Started in 1972 and based in Chicago, UDS provides next day and same day delivery solutions for retail, ecommerce, payroll, pharmaceutical and office supply companies.  Their success is a total team effort as their staff is committed to helping create the best delivery experience for your customers.

United Delivery Service will be at this years Parcel Forum 2017 event at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, September 18-20.  UDS will be at booth#338

The First Choice…In Last Mile Delivery

 

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Business Tips

Communicate Better with Your Coworkers at the Office.

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You’d think we’d all be master communicators. All we do all day long is communicate. Talking, chatting, texting, emailing. Yet despite how often we do it, there’s always room for improvement.

Effectively communicating with coworkers is something you cannot afford to overlook. There are many things which can make or break the success of a company, and communication is certainly one of them. Despite the important role clear communication plays in the workplace, there are many employees that have not been trained in effectively communicating with coworkers.

7 Ways to Communicate Better with Your Coworkers:

1. Don’t bury the lede

Whatever your main point is, start there. If you need something, ask for it clearly. Be direct. Be concise.

2. Be a better listener

Effective communication, by definition, is a two-way street. Start out by making sure you’re hearing the message others are trying to deliver to you.

Don’t try to multi-task while someone’s trying to get information into your brain. Stop thinking about how you’re going to respond. Just listen, or slow down and really read the entire email, don’t skim it.

You can only respond effectively if you understand clearly what they’re trying to say. If they’re not being clear, ask them.

3. Understand your personal communication style

We all have our own communication preferences regarding the words and media we use. We’re also communicating nonverbal information through our tone and body language. Are you an eye-roller? Do you insist on including emojis in every thread? Do you speak in acronyms or corporate jargon? Do you ramble on about your pet peeves or memories of past times before getting to the point?

Take a good look at your own communication style preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. Don’t just listen to others. Listen to yourself. We all have pet phrases we get into the habit of using. Do those phrases help or hurt our message? Do they help people listen to us more attentively or tune us out?

Does your language build bridges? Encourage conversations? Inspire ideas? Or do people shut down? Ignore you? Talk over / past / around you? These are all clues as to whether or not your coworkers value you and what you have to say.

When you see that your message isn’t getting across, don’t automatically assume the recipient is the communication obstacle. It might be you. If it keeps happening, figure out how you can connect better with this person or in the specific setting. And that’s the key: create a connection, find a common thread you can both relate to authentically.

4. Respect people’s preferred communication methods/tools

We have so many communication options now. Almost too many. Everyone has their preferred medium. Respect that. If someone is notorious for not digging through long email threads, don’t expect them to find the question you asked of them if it’s buried inside your latest tome.

Do you have a coworker who never answers their phone? Stop calling. She’s probably communicating to you through some other tool. Use it.

5. Pick your moments

This one is so important. Sometimes it’s not how you’re saying it – the problem is when it’s being said.

If you’re concerned someone isn’t pulling their weight or making some mistake, raise it directly with them, not in public at the team meeting. Don’t assume the urgent issue you need to resolve right now is someone else’s priority. They have their own urgent issues, so don’t charge at them or send all-CAPS messages demanding a response right now.

Other bad moments? How about the all-hours emails and calls? An “always open” work environment wears people down.

Last, have some empathy for someone who’s stressed out. We all go there. Make some allowances when someone is obviously having a bad day. Even for those who are master communicators – stress can make idiots of us all. So learn when to give someone a break. Give it a rest. Your urgency doesn’t make it their urgency. Let the stressful time pass, and then make your request. You may discover it will happen all that much faster, and with less drama.

6. Build relationships, but stay professional

Of course there’s room to talk about non-work stuff with coworkers. We want to. We want to get along with and find common ground with the people we work with Everyone wants to feel connected to their coworkers to some degree. Getting personal at the right times helps us see coworkers as individuals, as real people with feelings.

But there’s personal and there’s personal. Don’t cross professional lines. A team chat channel isn’t Sunday brunch. No one wants to hear about your love life. TMI. It’s easy to cross this line with our business digital tools, since they feel and act like our social digital spaces. We need to remember they’re not appropriate for personal communication.

7. Stay constructive

When you do have to deliver a difficult message, stay constructive. The goal in communicating this message is to get a better result. Embarrassing someone or getting aggressive with them isn’t going to lead to a better result. No one shows up wanting to do a bad job.

8. Address mistakes

Whenever there’s a miscommunication that’s in the way of progress, address it quickly. Letting it fester doesn’t make future communications any easier.

Always be the first to admit whenever you’ve made a mistake. Apologize sincerely. Fix the mistake as best you can. By the same token, if someone else makes a mistake, don’t rub it in. Be gracious. Learn to forgive. Because holding on to anger only hurts you — not them.

As you work to improve your own communication skills, keep one guiding principle in mind: treat others with respect and consideration (aka “don’t be a jerk”). If you can master that, people will definitely be more open to what you’re saying.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Real Time Visibility with VPOD

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Real Time Package Visibility through the use of our own proprietary technology such as geocodes, GPS, mapping API’s and other technologies, UDS can offer total visibility into the delivery process.  The importance of proof of delivery in the shipping business cannot be understated.  As an owner or operator of a small business, the benefits of proof of delivery are invaluable.  UDS offers innovative technology,  seamless integration proprietary software with real time tracking barcode scanning VPOD / VPOA GPS / GEO Coded Load Balance & Optimization.  Real-Time Tracking (imported, received, out for delivery, delivered) exception tracking (i.e.: damaged, short, delayed) electronic signatures, VPOD, VPOA (visual proof of attempt) GPS reading.

United Delivery Service provides expertise that can deliver competitive advantages for your company through our proprietary software technology.

Visual Proof Of Delivery (VPOD) & Visual Proof Of Attempt (VPOA) With online ordering growing by record numbers, UDS continues to be an innovator in technology and providing delivery assurance to its customers. Company drivers take photos of the packages when they are delivered to residences and are viewable by your customer service team. Visual Proof Of Delivery (VPOD) or Visual Proof Of Attempt (VPOA) technology is a unique advantage for both the shipper and recipient.     Call Customer Service: 630-930-5201

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Get Motivated & More Productive!

Ways to increase your motivation in your career if you’re struggling lately!

Employee motivation is at an all-time low right now because they aren’t doing work that takes advantage of their strengths and passions. Employees feel stuck doing their job because of a bad economy or just bad luck. They simply don’t know how to get motivated and remain motivated at the office. This is a big challenge because if you can’t motivate yourself, you will end up slacking off and not delivering on your project commitments, which could end up getting you laid off in the long run.  Here are six ways to get motivated in your own work so you can become as productive as possible and achieve a higher level of success at your company:

1. Concentrate on one goal at a time. Most people try to multi-task but find it hard to get anything done. If you write down one goal to accomplish each day, it’s much easier to be focused and more motivated. When you have multiple goals, it can be very hard to be motivated because you are overloaded and you don’t feel like you can do them all. When that happens, you feel like you’re a failure or lazy, both of which are probably not true. You just don’t have enough energy to do everything. Every time you finish a goal, check it off and move to a new one. Eventually, all of your goals will be checked off and you would be able to give your complete attention to each so the quality would be better.

2. Choose the right goals. You will be very motivated if you select goals that you’re excited about. It will be easy to put the time and energy into a goal that you’re really interested in, over one you’re just doing because you have to. Basically, you are more motivated if you are working towards something that you genuinely want to do or achieve. If you are forced to do goals that aren’t of particular interest, which happens a lot in the workplace, then find things that interest you within them. Sometimes you have to do work that you don’t like in order to get work that you do like.

3. Schedule breaks in your day. If you are constantly working you will get burned out and then your productivity will be zapped. Make sure you schedule regular breaks for yourself so that you can loosen up and recover the energy that you had lost. Tell yourself that you’re going to take ten minutes off after you complete a certain amount of work. For your breaks, you could take lunch, go get a coffee, run a short errand, just walk around or just talk to others at the office.

4. Get a support group. It’s important that you have other people who want you to be motivated just as much as you want yourself to be, and you can help them too. Get the support of your manager and co-workers so that they are holding you accountable and offer yourself as a member of their support group too. If a member of your support group sees that you’re fooling around at work or you’re slouching, they should go over to you and check in to help you get your motivation back.

5. Change your environment. If you don’t feel motivated it could be that there are too many distractions in your current environment. If you’re sitting in a cubicle every day, try to work in a conference room or even at home. Talk to your manager about the different options and see if that new environment helps you get more work done faster. If anything else, it will feel good to work from a different area and you won’t be as bored.

6. Have something to look forward to. When you know something good is coming up in your life, it’s easier to get motivated. That something could be a vacation you are planning, a night out with friends, a major conference or wedding or just a bigger project that you know is coming up. If you don’t have anything on the horizon, then start planning because that will make you push yourself harder.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

5 Reasons Why Your eCommerce Business Should Ship with UDS!

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Your business is growing and your shipping needs are changing. There is allot to consider when choosing a shipping company that is right for your business.  Let United Delivery Service give you 5 reasons they are worth considering.

Meeting Diverse Needs

We strive to partner with progressive companies and to provide a high level delivery solution that will meet or exceed your customers’ highest expectations. UDS has tailored its solutions to specific industry requirements, ranging from pharmaceutical to floral and Residential to B2B. Our operation, as well as our software, can scale to handle the needs of small and large businesses alike.

Knowledgable & Responsive Staff

From Customer Service Representatives to Warehouse Personnel to Drivers, UDS understands that our staff is not only a reflection of our company, but also of yours. Through training, monitoring and audits, we continually strive to ensure that our staff is providing the best service possible. We have processes in place to ensure that staff is notified of any changes to regulations or customer SOP. We maintain a standard of excellence in our people, technology and service.

Flexible Solutions

At UDS, we chose to build our own technology, allowing us to quickly adapt to the growing technological needs of the industry. This allows for flexibility and responsiveness during integrations.More importantly, we can continually offer our customers the most advanced technology available, such as GPS and imaging technology and other integral tools to help pinpoint your deliveries. These technologies bring you total visibility into the delivery process.

Our services have been designed to offer flexibility as well. A single service may not suit the needs of every customer. Our Same Day, Next Day and Customized Routed services offer flexible options. Our services may be customized or combined to offer a complete shipping solution for your company.

VPOD

Real Time Package Visibility Through the use of our own proprietary technology such as geocodes, GPS, mapping API’s and other technologies, UDS can offer total visibility into the delivery process. Innovative Technology Seamless Integration Proprietary Software Real Time Tracking Barcode Scanning VPOD / VPOA GPS / GEO Coded Load Balance & Optimization.Real-Time Tracking (imported, received, out for delivery, delivered) exception tracking (i.e. damaged, short, delayed) electronic signatures, VPOD, VPOA (visual proof of attempt) GPS reading.

Delivery Solutions

UDS has developed successful delivery solutions for various key industries over the past forty years. Together we can find a solutions that will work right for your company.

We offer options ranging from overnight delivery to customized routing solutions: Real-time package tracking and reporting, 24/7/365 customer support personnel, electronic signature capture, GPS, VPOD, VPOA, same day, next day, scheduled /static route solutions & transportation service solutions throughout the midwest.

United Delivery Service makes deliveries happen faster for businesses and consumers. We’ve developed a Midwest network positioned to enhance the speed and flexibility of last-mile delivery. We help consumers get products more quickly while lowering the cost of distribution for the businesses they buy from. Contact Us at http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com/

 

 

 

 

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Delivery Service

Rethinking the Last Mile

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 9.35.10 PM.pngInnovation is vital in today’s environment of technological change. To stay ahead, one must innovate or face extinction. It’s amazing how today’s small parcel market differs from the one just five years ago, and it will undoubtedly differ from the one five years from now.

Here are four interesting new ideas that make us rethink the last mile, all of which are sure to affect the future of small parcel delivery:

Drones

The most talked about new way to deliver e-commerce orders is by drone. Its appeal is largely based on the speed that orders can be delivered. Theoretically at least, it’s the fastest, most direct way to make a delivery — weather and weight limitations aside.

The real question will be the feasibility and scalability of delivering with drones. The high costs may prevent it from being a realistic everyday option for consumers, making it just another premium ‘expedited’ service.

Robots

There are already small robots being used to make food deliveries in some big cities, with e-commerce deliveries coming soon. The concept is based on using a small, autonomous robots big enough to fit things securely inside and then sending them on their way.

Robots seem to have slightly fewer practical limitations and scalability problems than drones. But, are more limited in their potential service areas and will require greater population density to be economical.

Underground

The opposite of drones is the idea of going underground to make deliveries. For the same reason subways work, this could be the next great option for small parcel deliveries. After all, why deal with above ground hurdles of people, buildings, and traffic if you don’t have to?

The reality is there are big infrastructure investments needed to make this idea work, but with the right density of customers, it becomes a possible option. Many cities already have networks of underground tunnels that most people don’t know about.

Self-Driving Trucks

Autonomous vehicles, although futuristic just a few short years ago, will likely be the first of these new last mile concepts to become real. It’s easy to imagine self-driving trucks arriving curbside and a person coming out to get their boxes off the truck.

This option is not limited in the ways each of the others are – mostly because there is no need for new infrastructure and the technology already exists for the most part. It also allows for the carriers to maintain their economies of scale, and keep the rates they charge low.

These technological advances may have a significant impact on how deliveries (B2B and B2C) are made and future logistics infrastructure is developed to enable these new options. Stay tuned….

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