Chicago, Illinois (NAPSI) - Last holiday season, customers spent $46.5 billion in online shopping, according to analysts at comScore. To make the most of this season, business owners need to maximize their shipping operations. Here are a few tips on how to do that:

Know Your Options

Holiday shipping success depends on finding the right shipping mix for your business. Weigh your options and find the carriers that work for you.

For example, if you print postage online, the U.S. Postal Service now offers lower pricing for Priority Mail, making it an affordable option for heavier packages. If your business ships 50 packages a day (weighing between 5 and 10 lbs.) from San Francisco to Seattle, it can save $16,531 over a two-month period with Priority Mail, in comparison to FedEx and UPS Ground.

Remember Shipping Deadlines

Each carrier has its own year-end holiday schedule for pickup and delivery of packages. Keeping these schedules handy ensures a greater customer experience.

The U.S. Postal Service’s Priority Mail can be good for last-minute shoppers shipping domestically because packages typically arrive in one to three business days.

Bulletproof Your Returns Solutions

Finding a seamless process for returns is critical to retaining customers beyond the holidays. According to a recent survey by Endicia, which offers online postage and shipping solutions, 89 percent of shoppers say they will shop again following a positive returns experience.

Endicia’s Pay-on-Use Returns service can be an easy and affordable way to give customers that experience. With Pay-on-Use Returns, businesses can include a domestic USPS return label in their outbound shipments or provide one on-demand via email. Postage for the label is paid only if and when a return shipping label is used. That means businesses won’t have a large outlay of money in pre-paid labels during the holiday season.

“It’s important for online businesses to be prepared for the holiday season,” said Endicia CTO and co-founder Harry Whitehouse. “Getting the right shipping strategy in place early on will make a difference in a company’s bottom line and its overall success.”

Learn More

You can find more information about the USPS Priority Mail price change and how Endicia can save you money this holiday season at