The Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably impacted the holiday shopping season. For example, the National Retail Federation reported an 82% year-over-year increase in data traffic alone in early November. Supply chains are showing some strain.

However, UPS Professor of Logistics Alan Erera says that supply chains are generally responding well. And retailers prepared by beginning their holiday sales earlier.

The so-called Christmas creep and the expansion of Black Friday sales serve to spread out peak sales. While this has always been important for the supply chain, it is even more important for the 2020 holidays.

“If companies can get you to shop earlier for the holidays, they would love that,” Erera said. “We'll see if it persists in the future, but it's absolutely the case that spreading the peak helps on the operation side for these companies.”

And, he says, this level of reliance on e-commerce is likely here to stay: “It's not going to go back to the way it used to be. The good news is that there has been tremendous growth in robust platforms for enabling e-commerce, even for smaller players and local businesses.”

Read more of Professor Erera's insights on the Georgia Tech Professional Education website here.

UPS Professor of Logistics Alan Erera

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