With plenty of warnings that current supply chain challenges may make this holiday season more complicated than usual, everyone is gearing up early. From consumers, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, carriers, and logistics companies, everyone is planning for a challenge in ordering and receiving products. Additionally, as the year comes to a close, COVID-19 will remain a global X-factor. The threat of the virus will continue to influence consumer buying behavior and force shutdowns in areas where vaccines are in short supply. Additionally, illness and quarantine requirements will continue to remove workers from an already bare-bones workforce.
Despite the widespread unpredictability at play, the following statistics can offer some insights into the 2021 holiday season. They’ll also point to some areas to watch as organizations around the world strive to keep their supply chains flexible and responsive through the end of the year.
Overall Trends in the 2021 Holiday Season
First, we’ll take a look at a few broad developments with implications for retailers—and anyone moving freight through the final quarter of the year.