Five peak season pitfalls to avoid in 2018

By Paazl
August 14, 2018

If you aren’t already thinking about peak season 2018 it’s about time you start. Avoid another “shipocalypse” by learning from the mistakes of past years. Here are five peak season pitfalls to watch out for this year.

1. Not being able to deliver

Adidas had a phenomenal Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2017. After offering 30% off many of their items they were inundated with orders, which left them completely overwhelmed. They ended up having to email their customers who were eagerly awaiting their purchases to let them know that they weren’t going to be arriving anytime soon. Disappointed consumers took to social media to vent their frustration as Adidas rushed to fill the backlog of orders.


2. Delivery thefts

Another one of the peak season pitfalls to avoid is delivery theft. The past few years have seen the number of “porch pirates” snatching packages from doorsteps rise especially during peak season.

Customers no longer want to wait at home all day for their deliveries and sometimes leave instructions for items to be left in unsecured locations such as outhouses and porches. If the item is visible to the outside they may fall prey to an opportunist thief.

The easiest way to put a stop to delivery theft is to deliver when the customer is likely to be home. Evening, weekend and same-day delivery options are soaring. If out of hours delivery is not an option, pick-up points will keep the items safe and sound until the customer is ready to collect it.

There are also initiatives such as Safe Delivery from HomyHub, which stop this issue. In this case the customer controls access to their garage remotely with an app so that it can be used as a delivery point.


3. Returns due to late delivery

Sadly not everyone will appreciate your amazing products, but don’t let late delivery be the reason for returns!

In peak season 2018 set clear and realistic cut-off dates for Christmas shipping and communicate them clearly. So that all gifts are safely underneath the Christmas tree on the 25th.


4. Plan for excess retail traffic

You may think that website crashes only happen to small brands. But on Black Friday 2017 big names including British department store Debenhams and tech retailer Game experienced difficulties when their sites couldn’t cope with the amount of traffic that they were experiencing.

Debenhams handled their excess traffic by asking eager shoppers to queue before they were allowed onto the site. The department store were prepared for a spike in traffic and did their best to help frustrated customers with a service hotline open until 11pm. Preparation is key to preventing website crashes from being one of your peak season pitfalls.


5. Don’t put all your eggs in one carrier

The sheer volume of orders over peak season can overwhelm some delivery carriers. Despite planning for the peak season and hiring temporary staff, last year UPS announced delays. The surge in orders from Cyber Monday left a backlog of deliveries, which meant some items were delivered late.

By spreading your deliveries among different carriers if one carrier faces a setback all of your orders won’t be late.


The final two months of the year are fast approaching. By planning ahead and learning from the peak season pitfalls of years past you can make things a little bit easier on yourself this year.

For more inspiration on preparing for peak season 2018 check out our five brands offering a peak season alternative and peak season 2018: all the dates you need to know blog posts.

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