Retailers Rocked by Digital Shopping, Shipping Demands

Christmas Boxes SeriesLast year, we saw a holiday shopping season unlike any other. A terrible winter storm blanketed most of the country with snow and the usual bout of procrastination led to an onslaught of online Christmas shopping that left UPS, FedEx, and the United States Postal Service is deep water (ice water, at that).

The shipping companies have already begun to take precautions to make sure this year is not as much of a fiasco as it last year. But if the Polar Vortexs and cyber shopping madness return, let’s hope the preparations will be adequate.

Of course, there are other obstacles, too — namely, the retailers with whom shipping companies are forced to work.

UPS, especially, has been on a campaign for retailers and ecommerce companies to move their biggest holiday sales to mid-December, as the WSJ recently reported. Why? Because that would give the shipping firms plenty of time to deliver the packages. Most retailers hold their most extravagant Christmas sales during the week leading up to Christmas.

Another push is for the companies to stagger their sales by location. What’s on sale one day in California, will not be on sale until the next day in New Jersey. The biggest concern that most of these shipping outfits have is that many companies will offer free overnight snipping on the 23rd, which leaves them extremely backed up going into Christmas Eve.

Some retailers have been willing to listen. Others say that they have configured their sales so that they can make the most money, especially benefiting off of those who procrastinate in their shopping.

For those retailers who are refusing to budge, FedEx and UPS have let them know that they may not be able to fill their orders.