eFulfillment Service shares shipping carrier deadlines for the last date parcels can be shipped, in order to arrive by Christmas, December 25, 2020. The ecommerce fulfillment team reminds consumers and internet retailers that these deadlines aren’t “order-by” dates and these dates don’t allow time for order processing at fulfillment centers, especially during the peak shopping days from Thanksgiving through the Christmas holiday.

“Shoppers should shop earlier this year than any previous year,” recommends Linda Sorna, eFulfillment Service Client Care Manager. “We expect high-volumes and complications from COVID-19 will affect shipping services this year. We’re encouraging our clients to communicate with their customers to expect longer shipping times and to order as early as possible.”

Please remember that you should add at least two (2) additional business days to these dates for the required order processing time.

The ecommerce holiday season unofficially kicked off in mid-October with Amazon’s Prime Day sales promotion, and it did so with a bigger focus on its marketplace sellers, or small businesses, versus its own products. Digital Commerce 360’s early analysis shows that these smaller businesses accounted for a larger percentage of Amazon’s overall sales as compared to previous Prime Day performance. Popular categories included online orders for home goods (especially bedding products), electronics, nutrition and crafts. Because of the higher performance of these smaller businesses during the Prime Day promotion, eFulfillment Service ecommerce fulfillment experts are expecting increases in FBA Prep services, as those online businesses replenish inventories sold on Prime Day. eFulfillment Service clients from startups to more seasoned internet retailers are all expecting higher online volumes, especially in categories supporting hobbies, comfort at home and health.

For the last several months, high volumes have impacted ecommerce retailers selling on Amazon and Walmart to internet artisans selling on Etsy, eBay and their own websites powered by Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and other shopping carts. Shippers have had to increase resources to manage the higher online order volumes coming out of fulfillment centers, as consumers shopped more from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shippers and fulfillment centers alike dealt with workforce challenges, both recruiting to meet the higher workload and replace absent teammates who fell ill, needed to be quarantined or take care of children home from school. eFulfillment Service has seen internet order volumes 20% to 40% higher since March 2020, and expects the holiday season to follow those trends.

“We hire additional staff for the holiday season every year,” says Merry Hawley, eFulfillment Service’s Human Resources Manager. “This year we’re adding more staff than in a typical holiday season, and bringing them on earlier.”