Once Halloween is behind us, you’ll start to notice more and more signs of the year end Christmas season in stores, on TV and in the news. By mid November, some radio stations even switch to holiday music 24 hours a day. I’ve always found the early start to be a little too much. Consumerism seems to be the driving force behind all of this. For the M&L team, the holidays are mostly a time to catch up with friends, family and reflect upon the year that’s gone by. That only starts happening in early December, once we start wrapping up our year-end work and thinking about some time off.
This year, I’m inclined to start thinking about things early. The pandemic will drive many of us to online shopping, and we are likely to see some unprecedented demand. This demand will likely create supply issues, shipping delays and potentially, some missing items under the tree.
The New York Times warned a couple of weeks ago about bracing for a consumer Shippageddon. Canadian and U.S. postal services have been handling “Christmas-level” shipping volumes since early April when we first started self-isolating. There’s a virtuous cycle at play here, because people have become accustomed to shopping online, and they’re only going to do more of it, even if stores are able to open back up fully. More online shopping means more shipping. More shipping means longer wait times.
Here at Maple & Lather, we have already noticed – like many small businesses – an increase in shipping rates. Government-run and private delivery companies have had to run extra shifts, hire more workers, and pay for overtime just to get everything to your door on time. We’re all hoping that more demand doesn’t make it prohibitive to keep e-commerce businesses going.
What’s in Stock? What’s Not?
We’ve also seen some products run out on store shelves and online (don’t worry, we’ve managed to restock them all😊). Staying at home has changed our behaviours and has stressed the importance of investing in things that make home-time more enjoyable and productive. Looking for some exercise equipment? You may have to settle for lifting bricks on a yoga mat. Want to introduce a pet into your life? We’ve heard of year’s long wait lists to get puppies into homes. Well, at least we can get toilet paper nowadays. But gifting items is likely to be a challenge in the next ten weeks.
Plan for Peace of Mind
We’re lucky to have planned well ahead of this holiday season; our suppliers who help us make our soap, our candles and our packaging have worked with us since the Spring in order to ensure we are prepared for one of the busiest holidays seasons to date. We invite you to gift from our special collection this holiday season, but also suggest you start early.
If you’re a business owner that would like to gift your customers or employees, we’ve also introduced a corporate gifting catalogue and order process (email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested!). It’s super simple to use. We’ll email you a form, and you can select products for anyone you want to gift, enter their address, and we’ll get the job done. Add a gift note, enter multiple addresses, and enjoy free or discounted shipping. Best of all, have it all done well in time for the holidays.
With a little planning ahead, the only thing you’ll need to do once the holidays arrive is sit back, lather up, and enjoy some down time.