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An Entrepreneur's Guide to Shopping and Shipping This Holiday Season (Infographic)

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With Thanksgiving eve here, the holidays have arrived, which means shoppers are in crunch mode to get their shopping done and retailers are as well to keep up with it.

Like last year, this holiday season is a short one, with only 27 days to shop between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That means consumers might feel the pressure to shop earrly and will likely turn to the Internet for support. The National Retail Foundation is predicting 56 percent of consumers will shop online this holiday season, a new record.

Related: Implement These 5 Strategies to Avoid Holiday Shipping Snafus

Carriers are already making big plans to avoid a repeat of last year’s fiasco. FedEx and UPS are encouraging retailers to hold their sales in mid-December, while the U.S. Postal Service is introducing seven-day delivery to meet the rush.

It isn’t purely up to the shipping carrier to ensure the holiday is merry and bright. Businesses have a part to play in the success of the season as well.

Make sure you know the holiday shipping cutoff dates for FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service and communicate them clearly to customers to help them avoid nasty surprises or missed deliveries.

Do your part by relying on a mix of shipping carriers, instead of just one to ensure customers will always receive the best price.

Don’t overlook the U.S. Postal Service, which introduced lower rates for Priority Mail on Sept. 7, making it an excellent option for packages weighing more than five pounds or traveling from one coast to another in just two days.

The infographic below, prepared by Endicia, has the lowdown on shipping deadlines and costs by carrier, as well as popular gifts. You’ll be ready take the holiday shopping season by storm. 

An Entrepreneur's Guide to Shopping and Shipping This Holiday Season (Infographic)

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