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Isn’t it satisfying when you give advice and a soon after, a reputable source reinforces exactly what you said? It’s so validating! Many of you saw the blog earlier this summer about planning for Q4 early, and CBS news is advising exactly the same.

Supply chain issues that plagued us this year are expected to continue into 2022 as COVID-19’s Delta variant’s effects lingers. Many consumers are already shopping. More than 1 in 4 holiday shoppers plan to start by the end of this month, and more than half plan to start before Halloween, according to a new survey from CreditCards.com.

“I half-jokingly tell people ‘Order your Christmas presents now because otherwise on Christmas day, there may just be a picture of something that’s not coming until February or March,'” Scott Price, the international president for shipping giant UPS told the AFP wire service. When the head mugwump of UPS says things are going to get ugly, you better take him at his word!

Price went on to say that part of the issue is that low vaccination rates in countries that supply raw materials and components will continue to slow shipments, because higher rates of COVID-19 will lead to port closures. Once shipments arrive in the US, they will likely sit and wait as we are amid a labor shortage.

While it may be tempting for business owners to move their own sales and holiday programs earlier to meet the shifting shopping window, that would be a mistake, says Tobias Buxhoidt, parcelLab’s CEO and founder. Considering the inevitable logistics challenges, depleted stock levels and overwhelmed drivers, Buxhoidt suggests dazzling customers by over-communicating during fulfillment, shipping and delivery. Consider that 23% of customers won’t order from your business again if they have a negative experience, he adds, “this churn rate is too costly to ignore.”

Please keep in mind that out of all the presents of monetary value, the gift of life is the most precious gift of all. Therefore, we at FPC recommend you protect yours by getting your free vaccine. In our biased opinion, the second-best gift is terrific packaging design. After you’ve got your shot, come by and see us for a conversation!