With massive spikes in order volumes and increased scrutiny regarding delivery dates, the holiday season can be stress-inducing for most retailers and shipping providers. Everything from ensuring orders arrive on time to keeping consumers happy with low shipping rates is crucial during the next couple of months. While shipping is always busy during the holidays, the National Retail Federation predicts that consumers will spend more than $655.8 billion on gifts this year, which is a 3.6 percent rise from 2015.
E-commerce and shipping giants attempt to prepare for the upcoming holiday season
UPS predicts that from Black Friday to New Year's Eve this year, deliveries will be up over 14 percent from the same time in 2015. Meanwhile, the shipping giant also forecasts it will delivery more than 700 million packages during the holiday season. To manage this dramatic increase, it is opening temporary processing facilities and improving its technology, efficiency and capacity.
"Online and mobile commerce is simultaneously creating new opportunities and challenges for the retail industry, yet a constant remains: the holiday season is the most important time of the year for retailers," Kate Gutmann, senior vice president UPS Sales and Solutions, revealed in a company press release. "We are committed to helping make this year's peak season a success for our shippers in all industries."
"Consumers will spend more than $655.8 billion on gifts this year."
In addition to UPS preparing for the holiday shipping onslaught, Business Insider reports that Amazon intends to onboard 120,000 seasonal workers for the holidays, which is a 20 percent increase from 2015. The vast majority of Amazon Prime members have cited that the two-day shipping option is the main reason they signed up this exclusive service offering. However, due to the massive spike in order volumes, this year, Amazon may find it difficult to fulfill all orders within this two-day time frame.
Surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon revealed that its free delivery option is actually costing it a significant amount of revenue and time. While it might see record-breaking numbers of orders this season, it may also suffer due to the rise in Prime members benefiting from the free delivery option.
What should businesses know about this particular holiday season?
Businesses and manufacturers during the holiday season are increasingly aware of the difficulties surrounding shipping during the holiday season. However, unlike previous years, Go By Truck News expects there are a few thoughts retailers must be aware of to stay on top of their orders and keep their consumers happy:
- Higher shipping costs: Like Amazon expects to lose money due to its two-day delivery service, many shipping providers are predicting higher-than-average shipping costs. With Amazon and UPS hiring vast amounts of temporary seasonal workers, these costs may be offset by costlier shipping options. To avoid amassing massive shipping bills, businesses must speak with their shipping provider to determine what their best choices are.
- Longer shipping times: Despite the wide-scale hiring of temporary workers to help offset the holiday order surges, UPS and other providers have warned that there is the possibility for shipping delays to occur. Businesses that see spikes in orders during the holiday season may be prepared, but for those who are not seasonally bound, they may need to make additional shipping arrangements should delays happen. Any deliveries after Thanksgiving up until New Year's Eve are subject to potential issues.
- Need for updated technology: Retailers and manufacturers who have not yet updated their supply chain and shipping technology will likely struggle this holiday season. More and more companies are depending on innovative technology offerings, such as barcodes and scanners, to improve their supply chain and inventory processes. While large corporations may already have this technology established, smaller organizations may be in need of an upgrade. To avoid potential problems, such as lost or damaged orders, this holiday season, consider investing in new technology before it is too late.
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Speak with one of our representatives to learn more about our affordable pricing, quick shipping and low order minimums. Whether you are a large-scale manufacturer or a small startup organization, you need to invest in labels you can rely on during the busy holiday season. Contact us today.