The growing popularity of Black Friday has meant that November is fast becoming the new December for festive shopping, and retailers must act now to capitalise on the rising demand for deals and avoid delays with shipments during their busiest times.
World Options, a global shipping solutions supplier, has analysed data from the past two years and discovered a growing trend for volumes of products being transported in November, versus December.
In November 2016, the volume of shipments was 16 per cent higher than in December of the same year and this trend was repeated the following year. In November 2017, the number of shipments sent was 18 per cent higher than in December, a two percent rise on the record set the previous year, thanks to the increasing uptake of Black Friday in the UK.
Stewart Butler, Founder and CEO at World Options, said: “Experts are already predicting that Black Friday 2018 will be the biggest yet for online retailers in the UK. Calls to our customer services team during that weekend have been rising annually, yet it sometimes comes too late in the day for retailers to restock in time.
“I would urge retailers to order their goods from suppliers as early as possible in November to allow enough time for transportation. This means that, if there are any issues, our account managers can look into this and get things moving for them. This will also allow for any delays through Customs when products are being shipped from overseas; something that could become increasingly problematic as Brexit nears in the months ahead.”
Aside from meeting customer demand, November and December often sees a spike in shipments containing corporate gifts and festive favours sent between suppliers, customers and business contacts.
World Options warns businesses considering doing this to check the conditions placed on restricted items both for the destination country they are sending to and from the place in which they are dispatching the goods.
Stewart said: “Chocolates, alcohol and perfume are among the most popular corporate gifts sent out at this time of year, but every country has different Customs rules on these items and these can cause delays or, worst-case scenario, packages being returned to sender. Again, advance planning, research and sending shipments in plenty of time will result in a smoother outcome for all parties.”
World Options recently produced a comprehensive guide on shipping, including a pull-out section on restricted items, and this is free to download at: bit.ly/guidetoshipping