According to the National Retail Federation, non-store holiday sales increased nine percent in 2015. With more increases anticipated in 2016, many retailers are strategizing new ways to handle peak-season high shipping volumes, while continuing to provide a positive customer experience.

    ProShip, Inc., a Neopost company and a leader in logistics software and supply chain solutions, has four tips to help retailers plan ahead for the busy 2016 holiday shipping season.

    Four effective tips to ease the demand of the holiday season:

    1.Select the best shipping method for each order. While this seems obvious, many retailers don’t have the resources to choose the best carrier and service for every order. Multi-carrier, enterprise-wide shipping software identifies the shipping carrier with the lowest cost and best delivery time for a more convenient solution for both retailers and customers. Shipping software also has the capability to offer real-time monitoring of package status. Retailers can monitor tracking numbers, productivity reports and delivery status within one cost-effective solution. This can also save time when answering customer inquiries.

    2.Don’t forget about international orders. Shipping software with international carrier capabilities can electronically file the proper documentation needed for international orders and create carrier compliant labels that save time and money. This feature also helps retailers to market globally, greatly increasing their customer base.

    3.Consider automated packing systems for faster packing, lower DIM weights and lower overall costs. Automated packing systems are able to create a fit-to-size parcel in seconds; some can even do the work of up to 10 packing stations. These systems require only one operator, saving time and increasing operational efficiency. By creating a fit-to-size parcel with the item or items in an order, DIM weight is reduced. This significantly lowers shipping costs as well as reduces the amount of corrugated material used. Automated packing systems can also add invoices, packing slips or return labels to make it a game-changing solution for retailers.

    4.Think about alternative last-mile delivery options. A retailer’s job isn’t over until the order is delivered, however, ensuring customers receive their orders on time can be a daunting task. Parcel lockers enable customers to retrieve their packages 24/7 at their convenience. Some parcel lockers send an electronic notification via email or text to customers to notify them that the order has been delivered. After receiving the notification, customers can input a code to retrieve their order. This allows a complete chain of custody – an added security for retailers. Parcel lockers located outside a retail store can help to drive in-store traffic from customers who pick-up their packages during store hours.

    “A successful holiday shipping season relies on planning and incorporating the key tools before the season even begins,” said Alan Hopper, Director of Business Development at ProShip, Inc. “By planning ahead and implementing some of the technology innovations available today, retailers can enjoy a holiday season that is both efficient and cost effective.”

    About ProShip, Inc.

    ProShip, Inc., a Neopost company, is a global provider of logistics software and product solutions, including enterprise-wide, multi-carrier shipping and manifesting software, automated packing solutions and intelligent parcel lockers. ProShip’s reputation for quality is backed by decades of IT and supply chain expertise. From packing to shipping to delivery, ProShip’s powerful solutions enable goods to be delivered faster, more efficiently and more cost-effectively than ever before. For more information, please visit