SPARE a thought for the courier drivers this Christmas. Fastway Couriers Sunshine Coast regional franchisee Jodi Irvine said volumes of parcels being delivered all over the Coast are up 36% this year.
"It's manic," she said.
"We would average 90,000 parcels a month, but we will do up to 110,000 this Christmas. We have 18 guys (franchise owners) out on the road starting at 5am and doing 12-hour days. Some of them are working Saturday as well, which is not the norm, just to clear it.
"Everyone's tempers are a bit strained, and it's hot as well. They are just beside themselves."
Fastway delivers parcels up to 25 kilos, with the average being 10 kilos.
"This is the busiest year I've seen and I've been here 20 years."
Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast online retailers are seeing a spike in sales as shoppers look to alternative ways of ticking off their Christmas lists this year.
Love it or hate it, online shopping is here and it's growing.
It experienced a 12% growth this year and more than 50% of Australians are expected to click-to-purchase this festive season.
Emma Smith, the owner of online children's toy and furniture company Mocka, is already experiencing a lift in sales.
"As our product range heavily involves children's toys, Christmas ends up being our busiest time of the year," she said.
"With our latest introduction of free local delivery to Sunshine Coast residents we are gearing up for a big Christmas rush."
Experts advise that with many online retailers competing for the same customer, the focus needs to be not only on delivering the best products, but also developing a high- quality website with engaging content.
"Good internet marketing generates a steady flow of new customers for online retailers that can generate considerable sales volumes, especially leading up to Christmas," said Tristan Claridge, the director of Decompression, a development studio based in Maleny.
"Unfortunately many online retailers don't value their customers as much as they should because there is always a steady flow of new customers.
"Any traditional retailer would consider this madness as repeat customers can be incredibly valuable and provide long-term stability and profitability for the business."
Mr Claridge recommends three simple tricks to increase return visits to your website.
- Show you care with the little things like regular order updates, loyalty bonuses, little gifts and an order follow-up email to check everything is okay.
- Get back in contact with updates, newsletters, or special offers only for existing customers.
- Provide excellent customer service
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