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6 min read

Prepare for peak | 2023 trends

Prepare for peak | 2023 trends

Peak season refers to the sales during the time between mid October - December which can be the most important time for many eCommerce brands. Millions of package are shipped every day around the world.

Consumers, during peak seasons, have high expectations that brands should acknowledge. Among these expectations is the prompt and timely delivery of packages. Consumers desire efficiency, where brands swiftly inform them if any delays occur. Additionally, customers anticipate affordable shipping choices, with a quick and reliable shipping experience.

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In this blog we will discuss: 

2023 Peak Season Trends 

Before we predict what 2023 might hold for eCommerce stores we need to see how well we performed in 2022. Here are some stats breaking down sales during peak for last year. 

  • Consumers spent $211.7 billion online over the 2022 holiday season (from November 1 to December 31), growing 3.5% year over year, per Adobe Analytics.
  • During Cyber Week (the days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday), online shoppers spent $37.37 billion. (Insider Intelligence)

What will 2023 have in store for us? 

According to Forbes in the year of 2023 eCommerce sales should bring in 6.31 billion dollars with 20.8% of that during peak season.

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Not only are there huge sales in the US but abroad as well! Expanding to the international market is an amazing opportunity that many brands are missing out on. 

For 2023 expect peak to be bigger than 2022. Even though growth has slowed because of the economy there still will be more spending than in 2022. Each year the eCommerce industry grows. The rate that it grows varies, but it inevitably will be bigger than the previous year. 

Potential peak season problems and solutions 

During peak season it is normal to run into a variety of problems ranging from carrier and shipping delays to international compliance problems. What's important is that these problems don't halt or impede your business and ability to make sales. Peak season is the most important few months for all eCommerce brands. It is when sales are the highest and demand is skyrocketing. Ecommerce brands need to learn how to prepare for this wave and become as efficient as possible. But what are some of the potential problems they will face?

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1. Carrier and shipping delays (PROBLEM)

During peak season millions of packages are sent around the world. Shipping carriers are faced with delays, transportations issues, supply chain issues and much more. As an eCommerce brand you need to take into consideration that the carrier you are currently working with could be delayed. Packages arriving on time is a huge part of the customer experience. You want to remain trustworthy and be able to promise your customers that their packages will arrive on time. If there are mass delays you could be faced with a large customer service clean up. This isn't how you want to spend your peak season. It's much better to be proactive. 


What's the solution? Carrier diversification. By working with multiple carriers and maintaining relationships with all of them you'll be able to fall back on other carriers in case one is experiencing problems. If you are locked into using a single carrier and push away other shipping options, you are subjecting your brand to unnecessary risk. Make a plan before peak if case there are major delays. Plan which carrier you will use as backup.

BUKU offers extremely competitive wholesale rates from a wide variety of carriers that ship all over the world! Let us worry about carrier relationships and negotiations so you can focus on your brand. 

2. Hidden Surcharges and Fees (PROBLEM) 

There can be sudden charges and fees that you might not account for during peak season. Because of the high quantity of volume these charges might increase or become more apparent to you when shipping more packages. Your bottomline can suffer from unaccounted for fees and surcharges. 


Look back on historical data to get an idea of what past prices and charges looked like. If you have been shipping for years you should have a good collection of data stored up! If this is your first year or are nervous about new charges talk to the teams around you. That can be fulfillment centers, warehouses, shipping carriers or BUKU! By maintaining communication with those you're working with, you will have a better understanding of what to expect. The worst thing you could do is ignore those around you and expect peak to be the same as the rest of the year. 

3. Returns, Exchanges and Package Delays (PROBLEM)

Delivery guy holding package while woman is signing documents

Post purchase is an incredibly important part of the customer experience. This is especially true during peak! Your main focus during peak season should be to sell as much as you can. If all of a sudden you're hit with a load of returns and exchanges your entire process can get messed up. And if all of your packages going out are delayed your entire customer experience can be damaged. 

Being able to push out products with efficiency is key during peak season. It is also one of the hardest challenges because of the increase in sales. Things can often go bad. Packages can be delayed for a variety of reasons: carrier problems, fulfillment issues, supply chain, etc. 

Peak season can cause shipping to be volatile because of the sheer quantity of packages that are being sent out every day. 


There are various ways to deal with returns, exchanges and package delays. The first of which is to have all hands on deck for customer support. If returns and exchanges are dealt with quickly and with a plan, then it will cause less of a disturbance. You will also be able to possibly salvage the customer experience with a good returns/exchange policy that is clearly stated in the checkout. 

With package delays you are less in control. But you can still do certain things to lessen our avoid the damage completely. First, make sure to work with multiple carriers instead of just one. Second a great way to assure yourself of the effectiveness of your shipping process is with tracking. BUKU offers a solution called

BuKuTrak that allows you to monitor and analyze all of your packages as they make their way to the consumer. From purchase to delivery you can have your eyes on all of your packages. This way you're able to contact fulfillment or carrier as well as the customer the moment a package is behind. 

Package protection/insurance is another great investment for peak season. Assure yourself and your customers that the package will arrive to them. Along the shipping process packages can be damaged, stolen or lost! With package protection both you and your customers can maintain peace of mind. 

4. International Compliance (PROBLEM)

When shipping internationally you need to make sure that your packages are arriving legally. Ensuring international compliance can be complicated. If not done properly your packages can be held at customs and not make it to their intended destination. This can severely damage the customer experience. Not to mention the possibility that if packages are shipped DDU without the customers knowledge they might have to pay to receive the package. 

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Not shipping internationally at all? This can also hurt your potential peak season shipping sales. There is an entire world out there of potential customers. To limit yourself just to a single market doesn't allow your brand for as much growth as another similar brand shipping globally. 


"57% of online shoppers report shopping internationally. When online customers can’t find a business that meets their needs on a local or national level, they don’t give up. Instead, more than half of them look abroad. This means e-commerce can transform your business into a global organization. You don’t have to stick to customers in your area if you don’t want to." (Forbes)

Maintaining international compliance can be complicated on your own. Especially for a brand that is focusing on growing their presence and increasing sales. With a 3rd party solution you  are able to focus on your brand instead of complicated tax issues. BUKU provides eCommerce brands with a tax and duty calculator, IOSS number and European tax filing services! All of these solutions take away the stress and difficulty of shipping internationally. As well as your ability to offer DDU and DDP international options at checkout. BUKU is there whether your already shipping internationally or wanting to get started. 

While growing a brand there are certain parts of your business that can be better handled by professionals with expertise. Keep in mind how big your brand is, what your goals are and make your decisions from there. But, shipping internationally doesn't need to be the headache is seems to be.

Not only can BUKU provide tax help but we also offer extremely competitive international rates! 

Final Thoughts 

Peak season can be a complicated time for any eCommerce brand. During the months of October - December there are multiple major holidays that drive commerce. Sales are expected to increase in 2023 as it does in every year. 

There are certain things you can do to avoid problems and make sure you confront peak as efficiently as possible. Some of these challenges include:

  • Carrier and Shipping delays
  • Hidden surcharges and fees 
  • Returns, exchanges and package delays
  • And international compliance 

Each of these have the ability to cause problems for you and your brand during peak. With more shipments going out, the higher likelihood of something going wrong. 

Use the tips and tricks we mentioned for each section to create a plan for yourself. Equip your brand with all of the tools, solutions and 3rd part assistance now before peak gets too chaotic. 

By applying these solutions to your brand now you will be ahead of the game when peak arrives. Peak season doesn't need to be stressful! It can be an amazing time for eCommerce to thrive and showcase their incredible customer experience. 

If you're interested in learning more about peak or BUKU's many solutions CLICK HERE to schedule a demo with one of our shipping experts. 

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