It’s an understatement to say that the shipping industry has been overwhelmed during the past four months. Being in quarantine and working remotely meant that more families and businesses were ordering everything they could online. Items that you would never normally have shipped to your home like soap, hand sanitizer, and groceries were coming off shelves and being put into cardboard boxes. Let’s look at some shipping numbers during the second quarter - the peak of quarantine (April 1 to June 31) followed by what appears to be a return to normal.
SHIPPING DURING COVID…BY THE NUMBERS
- UPS reported shipments from businesses to customers in the U.S. rose 65%.
- Amazon grocery sales tripled compared to the second quarter of last year.
- According to Convey Inc., the success of delivering shipments on-time declined with each passing month. In March, 85% of packages were delivered on time. That dropped to 76% in April, 72% in May, and 71% in June.
THE RETURN TO NORMAL
The good news, however, is that the demand for shipping is beginning to return to normal. Major retailers are now reopening with COVID safety protocols, resulting in a month-by-month shipping decrease of 15.4% in the U.S. during June. Regardless of conditions, Pierce Distribution was, and still is, open and operating. We can help our clients even in the most difficult of times.
RETOOLING YOUR RETURN POLICY
With the recent barrage of online shopping, it’s inevitable that there will be an increase in customer returns. To combat the spread of COVID during returns, major companies like Target issued refunds and let customers keep their items. That’s certainly a different strategy than we’ve seen before, but huge corporations can afford the loss. A survey from Inmar Intelligence found that 40% of U.S. consumers are avoiding online shopping due to a complicated returns process. That goes to show the importance of simple and streamlined returns policy. Without one, you are losing out on potential customers. Pierce continued to assist clients with their returns through quarantine. Because of this, our clients were able to keep their customers happy with quick and efficient service.
As businesses reopen and life begins to return to some sort of normalcy, online shopping numbers will return to normal. In the meantime, it is still important to cater to those customers who are more comfortable shopping from home. Customers will remember how efficient their favorite companies operated during this time, so understanding the demand for your company’s product and your best option for returning items is essential to customer satisfaction and your overall success.