holiday shipping for Indianapolis businessesFor any retailer, the holiday season provides an important opportunity to win over new customers and cement relationships with current customers. One of the most important things a business does during this time of year is provide accurate shipping estimates and deliver reliably. Unfortunately, too often shipments are at the mercy of shipping carriers, who may or may not deliver as promised.

For Indianapolis businesses, shipping using reliable shipping materials is an important first step, followed closely by choosing a shipping company that offers reliable shipping estimates and easy package tracking for their customers. This year, the post office faces stiff competition from UPS and FedEx, who offer shipment tracking and guaranteed delivery, not to mention top-notch customer service. Even with their faults, both UPS and FedEx strive to keep both businesses and consumers happy, while the post office has a history of shrugging off customer complaints.

Perhaps acknowledging this, the USPS is making an extra effort this holiday season, but will it be enough? Here are a few new features the postal service is rolling out this year that might make a difference to customers choosing a shipping carrier.

Exact Shipping Dates

In past years, delivery has been a guessing game, with the post office only estimating delivery dates for packages. Its revamped priority mail now offers “Day Specific Delivery,” letting customers know whether a package will be delivered in one, two, or three days based on where that package is going.

Better Tracking

Want to follow your package after it’s left your hands? The post office has improved its package tracking, giving priority mail customers more information than ever on where a package is on its route. Indianapolis businesses can easily pass tracking numbers on to customers, who can follow packages each step of the way. This not only provides reassurance to customers, but it also cuts down on calls to businesses’ customer service centers.

Sunday Delivery

With a new partnership with Amazon, the USPS plans to offer Sunday delivery of Amazon’s packages. This is great news for small businesses that plan to sell through the online retailer this holiday season. The program will be rolled out in limited areas, with plans to increase coverage if it’s successful.

Prior to mailing, it’s important that customers ensure their packages are prepared to ship safely. In Indianapolis, boxes from Brown & Pratt provide customers with protection for their shipments, whether through priority mail or first class. Packaging is an important part of shipping, ensuring each item gets to its intended destination on time.