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5 reasons to ‘shop early, ship early’ this holiday season

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It’s hard to believe that there’s little more than a month left till the end of the year. Seasonal sales will soon be kickstarting our holiday shopping frenzy — but, given the current situation, we know shopping this year will be quite different.

Instead of people queueing outside their favourite stores, eagerly waiting to enter and sift through sale items, we will see them glued to their mobiles and laptops, trying to grab the best deals online and shopping in bulk before the sale marathons end.

In addition to trying to find the best offer, dealing with returns and refunds may make the whole holiday shopping experience stressful. Plus, any kind of delay in the shopping or shipping processes can lower the chance of your gifts arriving on time for festive celebrations. Here are five reasons why “shop early, ship early” should be your motto for this year’s holidays.

Reason 1: The luxury of time

The hunt for the perfect gift can be time-consuming. Sometimes, you know exactly what your family and friends want; sometimes, you don’t. By starting your shopping now, you have more time to think about the kinds of gifts your friends and family will like and whether they fit your budget.

More often than not, people end up spending a lot on gifts when they shop at one go during the holiday season — just because things are sold at a bargain. However, a heavily discounted tag doesn’t always mean the item is of good quality. Allowing yourself time to think and shop peacefully will help you find unique, quality items.

Reason 2: Changing shopping trends

Holiday sales aren’t the only times you can grab a bargain. Over the past six months, many brands have offered heavy discounts on their online stores. Take advantage of these sales and enjoy a more relaxed holiday shopping experience.

As a bonus, because you’re shopping early, you’ll have more time to compare discounts and sales across multiple websites.

Reason 3: Get it before it’s sold out

Every year, a popular toy or gadget becomes a must-have, and if you wait too long, you could miss out on gifting it to your loved one. Similarly, popular clothing sizes and colours or styles sell more quickly than others. Avoid missing out on the things that you really want by shopping now, when there is plenty of stock to choose from.

Reason 4: Ship early and save on costs

This year’s online holiday sales are sure to attract a lot of people. More people shopping online means your chances of finding what you want are reduced with every passing minute.

Statista reported that global retail websites generated almost 22 billion visits in June this year. Expect this number to increase a lot more during the holidays, which is considered a peak shopping season. Things online will go out of stock quickly, which can also lead to restocking challenges and even more stress for couriers and deliveries.

To make sure family and friends receive their gifts early and not after the festivities, it is best that you ship them as soon as possible before the holiday season strikes.

Reason 5: Shipping deadlines

If you’ve already bought your gifts, congratulations, you’re already ahead of the game! Now, you need to consider the shipping cutoff dates. Every logistics company has shipping cutoff dates, and these are adjusted during the holiday season to make sure that shipments reach their destination on time and as committed.

Waiting too long to ship gifts to your loved ones is likely to be more expensive and potentially more challenging as you come closer to major holiday celebrations. For a hassle-free holiday season, ship your gifts as early as possible, especially if your loved ones are on the other side of the world.

Shopping early means you don’t have to stand in long queues or browse hundreds of websites because something you like is out of stock. Last-minute shopping also tends to lead to more expensive impulse purchases because of limited choices and a need to “get it done”. If you plan ahead, do your research, hit the stores and websites on time and ship early, you can relax and enjoy a happy holiday!

(Maya Nakhdjavani Rao is Managing Director Customer Experience at FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa.)

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