If you are a last-minute Christmas shopper, you may want to think of changing up your strategy this year. Online shopping and eCommerce have increased by 33% due to COVID-19, and because of this retailers and supply chains will be challenged handling higher volumes of shipments and returns. The global reverse logistics market is expected to grow to $603 billion by 2025, so developing a strong reverse logistics strategy is important. Here is how your business can prepare as we move into the holiday season.
What is Reverse Logistics?
Reverse logistics is returning a product from the end user back to the supplier, manufacturer, or distributor. From there the product will either be disposed of or repurposed to be sold again. This is important for the eCommerce industry because as more people shop online, we can expect more people to return products for various reasons.
Gifts and Household Supplies
This year supply chains will not only have to meet the increased demand of buying gifts online, but also the demand of more people shopping online for household supplies. Since March 2020, people have used online shopping for basic household supplies to reduce the amount of time in crowded places like grocery stores. A study by BrightEdge has shown an increase in the number of times an eCommerce website is visited and an increase in the number of orders placed per visit. The study also showed that the average amount spent per order remains approximately the same. This would indicate that people are spending around the same amount for purchases, they are just choosing to shop online rather than in store.
The increased number of orders has put strain on carriers like FedEx, UPS, and USPS with the average delivery times increasing from five days in 2019 to eight days in 2020. The delivery window is likely to grow as we approach the holiday season.
The unemployment rate skyrocketed to its peak in April of 2020 at 14.7% and since then has been on a steady decline as businesses began to reopen around the country. In October of 2020, the unemployment rate was at 6.9% which is a big improvement from April, but still roughly double what it was the same time in 2019. The high unemployment rate has sparked a hiring frenzy for holiday staff needed warehousing, manufacturers, and delivery employees. Consumers will have to shop earlier this year to adjust for the longer order processing times and labor shortages.
Evans Distribution Systems is hiring for positions in warehousing, customer service, and logistics. To apply for a position please visit our careers page.