The holidays are right around the corner, meaning the season of gift giving is upon us. This year is predicted to look a little different. With supply chain and inventory issues, a huge spike in demand, higher prices and less Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, there is cause for concern during this year’s gift shopping. Don’t be alarmed, consumers have time on their side – provided holiday shopping begins early this year.
Shipping gets slower
Shipping times have slowed down immensely. With COVID-19 restrictions in place on the logistics side, what may have used to take only two days to ship to your home, could now take up to a week or more. “Shipping delays and hiccups due to COVID-19 restrictions and logistical hurdles have also made it harder for gifts, furniture, or other items to get across the world. In other words, stuff is more expensive, and it’s taking longer to get to where it needs to go,” said Blake Harper. On top of COVID-19 precautions, USPS recently made changes to their service, further delaying shipping times as a part of the USPS ten year strategic plan. Additionally, due to the quantity of packages that are mailed around this time of year, USPS increased prices for all commercial and retail domestic packages to gear up for the holiday season. This began early October and will be in order through the end of December.
Demand goes through the roof
During lockdown, demand decreased. However, as COVID-19 restrictions begin to get more lenient, this is prompting a huge increase in demand. “Supply chains that were disrupted during the global health crisis are still facing huge challenges and are struggling to bounce back,” said Holly Ellyatt. Worker shortages across the country affect the supply chain and companies are unable to manufacture as much as they could pre-pandemic. There is also a shortage of truck drivers in the US, making shipping times longer and prices higher once the merchandise actually arrives on the shelves. The skyrocket in demand is causing heightened prices, and this holiday season consumers might experience shock in how much goods will cost.
Expect less Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
E-commerce trends soared upward at the beginning of the pandemic, teaching consumers everywhere how to navigate the world of online shopping. Cyber Monday is now an ideal way to take advantage of the deals this year. But due to the many hurdles shoppers need to consider when doing their holiday spending and budgeting, it’s important to note that it’s predicted there will be less deals available this year. After all, recovering from a global pandemic is difficult, and finding the resources to offer great deals won’t be as simple for a lot of manufacturers.
With so much pressure to impress a loved one with the perfect gift, please, don’t wait until the last minute to order or send it. With delivery delays already forecasted, waiting too long to purchase a gift could mean family members and friends might end up with coal in their stocking. For the best shot at gift giving success, start your shopping early!