Santa In October?
A majority of Americans buy their Christmas gifts in the week before Christmas. It may be time to switch up the strategy this year.
It's been a crazy year globally for supply chain everywhere and it will majorly affect shipping times and costs this holiday shopping season. Salesforce.com, Inc. forecasts a 20% increase in prices this season due to the bottlenecks at ports, factory closures overseas, and higher costs for shipping containers.
Continued labor issues will cause costs to rise as well. There are currently 70% more job vacancies than before the pandemic and 10% less people looking for work. Not only have factories closed due to COVID-19 but many around the world do not have enough workers to make products, let alone sell them. If the coronavirus has as big of a surge as last fall and winter, these factors could become even worse. DollarTree recently said one of its ships was delayed two months after a crew member tested positive for COVID.
For most of us who haven't shopped yet, you will start to see costs increase already. So what do you need to do to take advantage before these costs and delays take advantage of you?
- Shop now! What are you waiting for? 62% of Americans buy their gifts in the week before Christmas and nearly 29% more start in November. Get out there and beat the crowds and the prices!
- Get out and shop in person. 2020 saw a historic holiday shopping season for digital sales, exceeding over $1 TRILLION in spending. Salesforce forecasts an even bigger 2021 for digital sales, projecting another 7% increase this year. Many delays will be seen as well as potential higher shipping costs. From October 3 to December 26, USPS is raising prices to cover "extra costs" over the holidays.
- Find retailers trying to lure consumers into shopping early. Companies like Target are jump-starting their holiday season with a "Deal Days" event in October that takes their typical discounts they offer for e-commerce and for the first time extends the deals to their 1,900 brick and mortar stores. Target is also extending their holiday price-matching program, which offers customers the chance to ask for an adjustment on all items purchased between October 10th and December 24th if prices drop (hint, hint: not likely but its nice to have the option, right?)
No matter what holiday you celebrate this season, you can take the stress and pressure of shopping off your plate by starting early so you can spend December enjoying your loved ones and saving yourself some money and headaches in the process!