Buckle Up, The Holiday Season Has Begun

October 8, 2020


This year’s holiday season is expected to be an unconventional one.  The Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been regarded as the beginning of the holiday season. However, this year, it is starting next week and led by the three biggest U.S. retailers.

  • Walmart announced its Big Save Event, which will run Oct. 11-15.
  • Amazon’s Prime Day runs Oct. 13-14
  • Target’s Deals Days is also set for Oct. 13-14

Last Mile Delivery Concerns

Even though there will be in-store sales from Walmart and Target, e-commerce will be the go-to for consumers hesitant to shop in stores because of COVID-19. However, there are concerns of delivery delays.  According to a recent Pitney Bowes’ survey, 40% of survey respondents are worried that small businesses will not deliver to them on time during the holidays. This is followed by local businesses and Walmart tied at 37% and online marketplaces, big-boxes, and Amazon tied at 35%.

Additional analysis from Convey, a last-mile technology vendor, shows that a typical order from the time a customer clicks to buy a product to the time it is delivered stood at 143 hours as of the week of Sept. 21. That was compared to 115 hours during the week of Feb. 24, before the virus took hold in the U.S. Furthermore, the company cautions consumers to expect the average holiday order to take seven to 10 days to be delivered.

FedEx and UPS expect a record-setting holiday season while DHL eCommerce Solutions expects to see 30% to 50% more volume this holiday season compared with last year. DHL Express anticipates receiving around 50% more inbound volume into the U.S. than previous peak season.

Some tips for retailers to ensure on-time deliveries:

  1. Diversify the carrier network to address shortages in availability and costs by incorporating local and/or regional last-mile carriers.
  2. Offer Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) and Curbside pickup services
  3. Offer alternative delivery locations such as lockers, 3rd party locations such as FedEx Stores or UPS Stores or retail partnerships established by FedEx and UPS such as Michaels, Walgreens and Dollar General.

Retailers need to watch costs. Even though e-commerce is expected to be strong, overall retail sales is anticipated to be 1% to 3% at best, depending on various analysts’ forecasts. Retailers usually generate at least 20% of their annual revenue during the holiday season but it will be a make or break season for many retailers. Retail store closings in the U.S. reached a record in the first half of 2020 and the year is on pace for record bankruptcies and liquidations.

 


ABOUT SPEND MANAGEMENT EXPERTS

Spend Management Experts provides strategic guidance to optimize your supply chain. Using cost modeling technology and market intelligence, we help companies with their transportation, distribution and fulfillment spend. Often large shippers can reduce their spend across the supply chain by 20% or more. We specialize in reducing distribution costs, increasing efficiencies, dynamic reporting, greater budgeting and forecasting accuracy and optimizing supply chain execution. We leverage our proprietary models to identify savings and build negotiation strategies based on data and business cases. As industry experts, our fresh approach provides clients with straightforward details on exactly how savings are derived. Spend Management Experts is your competitive edge, delivered.

Connect with Spend Management Experts on TwitterLinkedIn, and the Spend Management Experts blog.

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Buckle Up, The Holiday Season Has Begun

October 8, 2020


This year’s holiday season is expected to be an unconventional one.  The Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been regarded as the beginning of the holiday season. However, this year, it is starting next week and led by the three biggest U.S. retailers.

  • Walmart announced its Big Save Event, which will run Oct. 11-15.
  • Amazon’s Prime Day runs Oct. 13-14
  • Target’s Deals Days is also set for Oct. 13-14

Last Mile Delivery Concerns

Even though there will be in-store sales from Walmart and Target, e-commerce will be the go-to for consumers hesitant to shop in stores because of COVID-19. However, there are concerns of delivery delays.  According to a recent Pitney Bowes’ survey, 40% of survey respondents are worried that small businesses will not deliver to them on time during the holidays. This is followed by local businesses and Walmart tied at 37% and online marketplaces, big-boxes, and Amazon tied at 35%. Additional analysis from Convey, a last-mile technology vendor, shows that a typical order from the time a customer clicks to buy a product to the time it is delivered stood at 143 hours as of the week of Sept. 21. That was compared to 115 hours during the week of Feb. 24, before the virus took hold in the U.S. Furthermore, the company cautions consumers to expect the average holiday order to take seven to 10 days to be delivered. FedEx and UPS expect a record-setting holiday season while DHL eCommerce Solutions expects to see 30% to 50% more volume this holiday season compared with last year. DHL Express anticipates receiving around 50% more inbound volume into the U.S. than previous peak season. Some tips for retailers to ensure on-time deliveries:
  1. Diversify the carrier network to address shortages in availability and costs by incorporating local and/or regional last-mile carriers.
  2. Offer Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) and Curbside pickup services
  3. Offer alternative delivery locations such as lockers, 3rd party locations such as FedEx Stores or UPS Stores or retail partnerships established by FedEx and UPS such as Michaels, Walgreens and Dollar General.
Retailers need to watch costs. Even though e-commerce is expected to be strong, overall retail sales is anticipated to be 1% to 3% at best, depending on various analysts’ forecasts. Retailers usually generate at least 20% of their annual revenue during the holiday season but it will be a make or break season for many retailers. Retail store closings in the U.S. reached a record in the first half of 2020 and the year is on pace for record bankruptcies and liquidations.  

ABOUT SPEND MANAGEMENT EXPERTS

Spend Management Experts provides strategic guidance to optimize your supply chain. Using cost modeling technology and market intelligence, we help companies with their transportation, distribution and fulfillment spend. Often large shippers can reduce their spend across the supply chain by 20% or more. We specialize in reducing distribution costs, increasing efficiencies, dynamic reporting, greater budgeting and forecasting accuracy and optimizing supply chain execution. We leverage our proprietary models to identify savings and build negotiation strategies based on data and business cases. As industry experts, our fresh approach provides clients with straightforward details on exactly how savings are derived. Spend Management Experts is your competitive edge, delivered. Connect with Spend Management Experts on TwitterLinkedIn, and the Spend Management Experts blog.

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