All signs pointed to 2021 being another year of growth for online holiday sales and, according to Digital Commerce 360, those signs were telling. By the outlet’s estimates, consumers spent $211.41 billion online with U.S. merchants during the holiday season, up 10% year over year and an incredible 54.9% compared with 2019.
According to estimates from Digital Commerce 360, online holiday sales surpassed the $200 billion mark for the first time, with nearly $1 for every $4 spent on retail purchases during the 2021 holidays coming from online orders. Unique to the 2021 holiday season, sales data also reveals dramatic early shopping trends, largely due to retailers’ pre-season messaging urging consumers to order early to combat product availability issues. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers reported taking advantage of pre-Thanksgiving sales, up from 52% in 2020, and U.S. ecommerce sales increased 8% in October over the same month in 2020, according to Adobe Analytics data.
Carrier Capacity was the 2021 Holiday Season’s “Must Have” Item
This sustained e-commerce growth, coupled with an unprecedented and adversarial supply chain landscape, created visible stresses and led to an extraordinary carrier capacity crunch. Peak season put a strain on every part of the shipping chain, all the way down to the last-mile, leaving many businesses to contend with a complete lack of carrier capacity and causing some to take never-before-seen measures to ensure on-time delivery for their customers.
While many merchants had to re-think their carrier capacity management strategies to effectively meet customer demands in the face of these obstacles, the unique challenges of 2021 resulted in valuable lessons learned that retail shippers can leverage now to properly prepare for ongoing supply chain disruptions in 2022. Logistyx President, Ken Fleming recently highlighted these lessons in Logistics Viewpoints and shared some of the creative approaches shippers will take in the new year to reduce their demand for more mainstream carrier services and minimize the impact of capacity constraints. Read Ken’s full article in Logistics Viewpoints.
To learn how you can manage your carrier capacity and prepare for ongoing supply chain disruptions, contact us today.