Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

To reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, consumers plan to do their holiday shopping earlier this year, a Voxware survey reports, which may bring significant challenges for distribution centers. Key survey findings include:

  • 51% of consumers expect to start holiday shopping earlier than normal in 2020.
  • 57% plan to have more gifts shipped directly to recipients than in 2019.
  • 76% intend to purchase more than half of their gifts online.
  • 62% plan to purchase more stocking-stuffers and last-minute gifts online.

This indicates consumers’ desire to limit their time in physical stores, highlighting the increased role that e-commerce will play, Voxware says.

Distribution centers that usually send one shipment per order will need to ship items within a single order to multiple addresses, the report says. They must also determine the most efficient way to pick and pack small items as well as optimize order sorting, label printing, packing order confirmation forms, and gift-wrapping.

"For many retailers, survival will rely on a successful 2020 holiday season due to the tremendous slowdown retailers faced during the pandemic," says Keith Phillips, president and chief executive officer of Voxware. "In Voxware’s previous holiday survey, 31% of respondents said they would avoid shopping with a retailer ever again if any aspect of their holiday order was botched. No retailer can afford that type of mistake this year."

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