How The Shipping And Delivery Industry Will Cope With Black Friday 2021

Businessby Mashum Mollah04 September 2021

Black Friday

For many Americans, the Friday following Thanksgiving means a long shopping trip, hitting multiple stores, and searching for bargains.

Retailers set aside this Friday as “Black Friday” and is the year’s busiest shopping day. But internet commerce is becoming more and more popular with consumers, and those numbers are changing.

According to Digital Commerce 360, online shopping in 2020 grew by 44 percent, with consumers spending an estimated $861.12 billion.

This means that online retail now composes over 21% of the total retail market, and it’s expected that this year’s Black Friday sales will contribute more to the steady growth of online shopping.

The shipping dilemma

The shipping dilemma

As the 2021 holiday season approaches, the demand for online shopping is slated to grow. With cases of the COVID-19 virus and variants on the rise, more shoppers may turn to the online option.

Regular shopping is seeing Americans buying items online and wanting them fast — overnight deliveries have become a mainstay in most households through retailers such as Amazon.

However, in a year where gas prices are steadily rising and the transportation industry is strapped for workers, shipping and delivery of these items may become a new concern for shoppers, especially as they prepare for the holidays.

Shippers are also dealing with the loss of Amazon’s shipping business. The online retailer recently developed a shipping service, which takes business away from companies such as Federal Express. Amazon’s goal of more overnight deliveries is working.

The perception to consumers is that Amazon does it better, with fewer shipping delays. Forbes reports that Amazon has decreased the value of both FedEx and UPS, handling over 2.5 billion packages a year, and this number is climbing. Morgan Stanley estimates that this reduced the value of FedEx by over 30% in 2019 alone.

Options for retailers

Options for retailers

Most major retailers and some smaller stores offer pick-up as a viable option as opposed to at-home delivery. Many stores, including Walmart, currently offer pick-up services that will place items into shoppers’ vehicles.

Drive-through for pick-up will be the future for retail; with convenience stores like Wawa adding its first drive-through, shopping malls may look at retrofitting their buildings as an option for consumer pick-up. Online retailers may counter the demands by offering Black Friday deals for a longer period before or after November 26.

Previously, retailers have extended the “holiday” to include the entire Thanksgiving weekend and pushed into what is now known as Cyber Monday. The popularity of these online sales that offer deep discounts is now creating entire Cyber Week sales.

Thanks to leading shipping companies, such as Lone Star Overnight, fast overnight deliveries are now an option, and retailers can extend the sales up to December 23 in most cases. Some retailers have opted out of overnight deliveries in the past several years, not giving the consumer a choice.

The idea behind this is that consumers are looking for a bargain — not necessarily a speedy delivery. Shoppers looking for speed need to pay even more attention to whether or not the retailer currently stocks the item, as an unstocked item may cause further delays.

As the 2021 holidays approach, one thing is sure: we are living in unprecedented times. Things are changing quickly. Retailers will need to adapt to consumer needs, which includes preparing for more online purchases. Having the logistics to handle the changes will ensure a retailer can remain open for business for years to come.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at thedailynotes.com/.

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