By Cheryl Durzy, Founder & CEO -Experts are predicting nearly $200 billion in e-commerce sales this holiday season. LibDib’s Makers and Buyers need to be prepared for this spike in wine and spirits sales as we head into December (a.k.a. the final stage of OND).
To put it in context, over the last four years e-commerce has steadily grown during holiday sales by 13-17%. During Covid, it is predicted to rise by 25% or more. That’s a lot of shipping!
Even FedEx is preparing customers for shipping delays and other issues. While watching Sunday Night football with my husband and son, I was struck by FedEx’s new commercial. It made me giggle (and my 17-year old son too, which is not the easiest these days) and reminded me that if FedEx is asking consumers to “Shop and Ship Early,” we need to continue to push this message to our Makers and Buyers. After all, we want every Maker to be able to get their wine and spirits products to trade buyers in a consistent and timely manner.
So, what can LibDibbers do to avoid delays in shipping this year?
- Orders: Pack up your wine and spirits orders. Ship them the second you get a LibDib order notification. Seriously. This is your time to shine with your existing buyers (and with any other buyer that might discover your products and place an order). Do not let the shipping delay fall on you. Don’t wait a day or two. Ship it. Now.
- Buyer Communications: Review your depletions. Reach out to your Buyers to see if they need a reorder. Explain that things might take a little longer during the holidays, so perhaps they should order sooner rather than later. Maybe suggest they double up on an order just in case. These are unprecedented times. The message to Buyers should be: It’s better to be prepared than be caught empty handed.
- Platform Product and Inventory Maintenance: If you are going to be on vacation or you’re not able to ship, take your products out of the LibDib marketplace until you are available. If you get an order from a new buyer and are not able to ship immediately and the order is cancelled, do not expect to get an order from that Buyer again. New vintage, ran out of inventory? Update update update!!
- Consider adding a volume discount to your product. LibDib makes it easy to enter volume pricing. Do the work and encourage your buyers to stock up their wines and liquors and purchase by offering them a great price!
- Use LibDib: We will do our best to set buyer expectations on shipping delays. We have some new features on the LibDib distribution platform that takes shipping history, average delivery details and provides the Buyer with an idea of when things will be shipped.
- Make sure you are using LibShip (it is now a requirement per our updated Terms of Service). Why? We get the tracking number and buyers can log in to the platform and see where their orders are at all times.
- Maker Managed Storage: If you want your product to have 2 day or less shipping time, consider storing inventory in the market you are selling. It’s a little late to get this going for the remainder of the year, but always good to get prepared for 2021!
- Order Early! If you have any e-commerce capabilities at all, be prepared for the craziness. As mentioned above, 25% e-commerce sales growth is expected. Your customers will be expecting alcohol products in certain time frames as well. With that in mind, ordering as early as possible from LibDib can keep products arriving before Out of Stocks occur. We have recently added a new feature to automatically reorder via text. Check it out!
- Be patient with shipments. We are pushing our Makers to ship as fast as we can. The reason our model works and your customers can get the best small batch spirits and wines out there is our Maker fulfillment model. We have recently implemented a new policy about 48-hour shipping. We encourage day-of shipping, have a new way to track packages via LibShip, plus we are committed to making improvements to the ordering and shipping process over time. Common carrier shipping delays are going to happen, but if we are all prepared and provide customers with expectations….hopefully we can tamper any disappointments.
- Stock up. If you have any LibDib wines and spirits that are selling well during regular times, consider adding a minimum of 25-50% more to your order to be ahead of the expected growth. We are asking our Makers to put together some quantity discounts for you (in markets where that is allowed), so check the platform!
Happy Holidays all. It’s a crazy busy time of year, but I am thankful for all our Maker and Buyer support.
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