The blog post a few weeks ago on December 13th reviewed the large increase in online sales around Thanksgiving, including the spikes on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The conclusion was that tipping points for shopping trends had been crossed that will affect small businesses from now on.
Growth Increases Throughout the Holidays
The sea change of online and mobile retail orders continued in December. According to an IBM Digital Analytic’s Benchmark report, online sales increased by 37% in 2013 over 2012 sales. This is an even larger increase than was reported for the 2013 five day Thanksgiving day shopping period when online sales increased year-over-year by 21%.
A surge of orders close to Christmas caught retailers and shippers by surprise. Although UPS increased the size of its fleet by 5% by chartering extra planes, it still was not able to meet promised delivery of many orders by Christmas.
Amazon added 70,000 seasonal workers to cope with record demand. UPS and Amazon are still sorting out which company caused most of their late deliveries, but a 5% increase in planes versus a 37% increase in online orders for the industry seems to point to UPS not anticipating the fast growth in demand.
What Does This Mean to Your Small Business?
December online shopping trends reinforce the message delivered in my earlier post. Drop shipping direct to consumers will increase. Some of that demand will be pushed to small businesses that supply retailers in the form of:
- Shorter lead times for shipments to retailer distribution centers
- Responsibility for shipping straight to the consumer on behalf of the retailer.
CovalentWorks provides web-based / cloud EDI solutions that grow with your business and the evolving demands of your customers. Contact us anytime to find out more.Holiday Online Sales Update by Steve Brewer