One of the biggest problems retailers are currently facing is a shortage of products. Essential supplies can be found almost anywhere now, since many companies pivoted to start selling PPE products around May and June, but what about all of those holiday gifts?
The COVID-19 Supply Chain Problem
There is a looming supply chain problem which will greatly impact how much retailers can actually stock for the holiday shopping season. According to the World Economic Forum, companies have been faced with substantial business and operational disruptions, which has included everything from mitigating the effects of reduced supply, to managing disruptions to logistics suppliers, and indeed hurdles in meeting their own contractual obligations to customers. Baker McKenzie recently produced a podcast on shock-proofing supply chains, which covers many of these hurdles in detail.
And if you think consumers might not be doing too much shopping this year due to the pandemic, think again. Jake Cohen, the head of product marketing at Klaviyo, predicts that this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday will drive $51.1 billion in sales, which is even larger than they expect 2021 to be. In order to make sure you cash in on all of this holiday revenue, here are some ways in which you can combat the short product supply:
Source Made in USA Products
Back in July, cross-border shipping rates increased for many U.S. shippers. According to Retail Dive, the increase shippers will see therefore is a high variable, but International Mailers Advisory Group members have estimated the USPS inbound rate from China will increase 100 percent or more from the existing rate.
On top of the already increasing shipping rates from the three major parcel carriers, purchasing products out of the country will be extremely expensive. If you purchase from USA manufacturers, not only are you saving yourself some extra money, but you are helping the economy in a way it so badly needs right now.
Find New Suppliers
If your supplier is out of stock on a certain product you’re looking for, your best bet is to find another supplier who can get you what you need. WholesaleCentral.com is a great free platform to find new wholesale companies, and everything is divided into merchandise categories so you don’t have to scroll through items you don’t need. They also happen to have a large Made in USA category, so you can stock up right away.
Consider Purchasing Liquidation Pallets
Closeout products are a great way to stock up on bulk merchandise for a cheaper price than buying everything separately. Direct Liquidation (www.directliquidation.com) offers many different pallets from name brands, and you can choose from pallets with brand new or refurbished returns. The company has an auction process, so you can bid on any pallet you want with any amount you deem fits the merchandise.
This holiday shopping season will certainly be an interesting one for both retailers and consumers, but don’t overwhelm yourself with overpriced goods and shipping services just to run out of stock and lose customers. Try these different processes to keep your shelves full without breaking the bank.