Holiday shopping can’t wait!
Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Peak Season. It’s make or break time for those of us in the retail, e-tail, and distribution business. Forbes reported in their October 25th online edition that UPS expects to pick up 32 million packages on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Is your package one of them? It’s a compressed season this year, with Thanksgiving falling late in the month. Retailers are elbowing their way to the top of holiday shopping lists at every chance they get. “Free Shipping!” “Mega Merry Mondays!” It looks like the deals are going to be out there early.
My fulfillment clients are optimistic but reserved about what to expect for online sales. The economy has teased us with recovery for years now, and we are all wary of big projections. We ask all our clients for their holiday forecasts mid-summer, but even at this late date they are throwing up their hands. I’m going to be positive; I think we’re going to have a great finish to the year.
For consumers, the time to act is early. No online retailer wants to miss out on making a sale, and there is a higher likelihood of items being out of stock as retailers risk running out vs. carrying over inventory. There will be many daily specials and price match guarantees for the early buyer. The best shipping discounts will be on or before December 14th, but I wouldn’t wait that long for an in-demand product. After the 14th, you also risk paying premiums to guarantee arrival before Christmas. Luckily, most retailers offer an in-store pickup option — order online, pickup at your local store.
After so many years on the industry, I know what those warehouses are going to look like at 3 in the morning come mid-December when bus loads of seasonal workers are frantically slapping labels on packages to meet the deadline— get your order in early. Don’t wait!
Rustic Grain agrees; don’t wait. Reclaimed wood is finite, and even smaller items take time to make. Shop early, celebrate happily.
Bob Klunk is the Managing Director of DMI Fulfillment. DMI Fulfillment, with headquarters in St. Charles, MO offers automated same-day shipping, real-time order and inventory information and delivery to 99% of the US in one or two days for mid-sized online and brick and mortar retailers. www.dmifulfillment.com