January 24, 2021

Is your business ready to cope with a Covid-prompted surge in gift-giving?

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2020 has been an interesting year, to put it mildly. The novel coronavirus has impacted just about every facet of modern life, from the way that we socialise to the way that we exercise. One side effect has been an increase in demand for gifts. We’re all looking to provide one another with tokens of our affections, having been prevented from doing so for months on end. What’s more, we’re getting our Christmas shopping done earlier than ever.

Ashley Taylor, the Head of Commercial at Parcel2Go, has identified the trend, and isn’t shy about linking it to the pandemic. “Since the COVID-19 Pandemic Parcel2Go has seen an incredible surge in demand,” he said. “As consumers have been home bound, there has been a surge in online purchases via retailers & marketplaces, as well as people sending items to loved ones. As a result, more & more people & SME’s have been looking for shipping solutions which met their needs.”

So how can businesses prepare for the season of giving?

Push gift cards

Gift cards are a powerful means of easing the demand on your inventory. By promising the goods later, you’ll reduce the number you need to ship between now and Christmas. This is particularly advantageous for businesses providing in-person experiences, like spas, but it’s also worthwhile if you’re selling physical goods.

Push what’s in stock

Your inventory is going to be under severe pressure during this time of year, and the challenges to your supply chain might lead to certain products being limited in their availability. Push your customers toward the goods that you actually have available. This will help you to avoid disappointing large swathes of your customers.

Prepare shipping terms

The strain on the logistics industry is greater than ever before, as Taylor explains. “As Parcel2Go offer access to nearly all major UK couriers, we’ve seen over 10,000 new customers a week come to Parcel2Go to access courier services via our website. Couple this with an increase in items being shipped via our existing customers, we’ve seen 400,000 parcels a week being shipped through the comparison website.”

Online retailers have gotten used to promising big and delivering big when it comes to shipping. But the pandemic has had widespread consequences, and just about everyone selling things online has been forced to attach a message to their website warning that the pandemic might cause a little bit of lateness. If you find that you’re experiencing consistent shipping problems, then it’s worth revising your shipping promises still further. Most customers will be understanding.

If you’re shipping larger parcels, then it’s important to be even more cautious – as the capacity might be even more limited.

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