February 20, 2022

Buy Early, Ship Quickly: The Covid Effect on the 2021 Holiday Season | FlavorCloud

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The pandemic has seen record numbers of consumers online shopping, and the holiday season 2021 looks set to break records.  As much as Covid has increased online shopping habits, its effects are also still rippling through the supply chain.

Manufacturers, merchants, and delivery operations are still struggling to catch up with buyer demand. There’s no sugar-coating it: international deliveries could pose a challenge.

We’re here to help you prepare and make the most of your international sales this holiday season, avoiding delays and disappointment wherever possible.

COVID-19 and International Shipping

Research by Metapack suggests that global delivery volumes for ecommerce are predicted to rise by 10.7% this holiday season.

Along with this extra demand, most countries still have additional COVID-19 measures in place for shipping—some stricter than others. Plus, the domino effect of shortages continues to have an impact.

Local Covid outbreaks mean reduced staff numbers in production, warehousing, shipping, and delivery logistics, right up to the last mile. FedEx Ground, for example, has re-routed 25% of its shipments to different distribution centers to offset labor shortages.

It all adds up to long waits for goods to arrive.

This is where FlavorCloud can help. Our vast global network of carriers optimizes delivery options, building in resilience and minimizing delays wherever possible. Not to mention leveraging the best, discounted rates.

Some More Good News

While there are certainly challenges, there’s some good news too (it is the holidays, after all). There are steps online merchants can take right now to prepare and plan.

The message to get across to consumers (in customer communications, marketing, promotions on-site, and at checkout) is clear:

  • Early inventory planning for the holidays
  • Fulfillment efficiency to ship as soon as possible.
  • Encourage customers to purchase early so they don’t leave it to the latest delivery deadline
  • Encourage customers to opt for express delivery: it may cost more but provides added insurance for pre-holiday arrival.

FlavorCloud for International Shipping

Shipping worldwide is an excellent way to increase sales. FlavorCloud can be a growth driver for your business, with our customers experiencing an average increase of 80% in international conversion rates.

When customers place an order, they’ll automatically see the best available shipping rates and delivery options at checkout. Our vast global network of carriers ensures deeply discounted rates and minimizes delays wherever possible.

Merchants with automated fulfillment are at an advantage at peak holiday times, and FlavorCloud integrates seamlessly into 3PL logistics as well as ecommerce native carts.

It’s easy to install, integrates within your existing warehouse, and will be up and running in less than a day, ready to take care of the whole cross-border shipping process, from warehouse to customer door.

International Shipping Dates for 2021 Holiday Season

We can of course, direct you to our 2021 international shipping guidance for this holiday season, along with some additional helpful tips.

But remember, the latest delivery deadlines are the best estimates. Unfortunately, they can’t account for Covid, bad weather, or other unforeseen circumstances.

So always include a Shipping Disclaimer on your website and order communications.

Summing it All Up

To reiterate, the best approach for the holiday season this year is planning ahead: encouraging customers to buy early and ship quickly.

Plan ahead as far as you can to secure your stocks: if it feels too early to gauge, consider looking at what performed well last holiday season.

When all’s said and done, there are no guarantees. So being realistic and staying calm is a priority.

Focus on what you can control (customer communications, 3PL, and warehouse efficiencies), not what you can’t (a bottleneck at the port and stranded cargo).

We wish you the very best of luck with your 2021 holiday season.

If you have any questions or need any help with your international shipping, please get in touch at: support@flavorcloud.com

Trilby Rajna

Head of Content & PR at FlavorCloud, with a passion for combining creativity and data. Please get in touch with any PR requests, relevant guest post pitches, and collaboration ideas at trilby.rajna[at]favorcloud[dot]com.

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FlavorCloud Team

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