4 Ways You Can Sell Even with Supply Chain Delays
Here are a few headlines I’ve scanned recently when it comes to global supply chain delays.
“No End in Sight for the COVID-Led Global Supply Chain Disruption” That one’s from Forbes.
CNBC takes it up a notch with “Supply Chain Chaos is Already Hitting Global Growth. And It’s About to Get Worse.”
ABC News asks, “What’s Causing America’s Massive Supply Chain Disruptions?” , and the Washington Post hits it straight on with “Inside America’s Broken Supply Chain.”
Seriously, just type in “global supply chain” and you’ll find pages of stuff like this, all talking about the ships that are floating just outside of some of the largest ports in the world. They’re filled to the brim (if cargo ship have brims?) with pretty much every kind of product you can dream up.
And some of the so-called “higher ups” are saying that parents should essentially tell their kids to set a low bar when it comes to their holiday expectations, as Santa’s sleigh might not be as loaded as it once was.
What the import experts know about supply chain delays
Now, it might be harsh to drag kids into this kind of conversation, but let’s be honest: there is a supply chain disruption happening.
There are a lot of reasons behind it that I discuss in this episode of my podcast, but what a lot of it boils down to is that retailers aren’t getting the items they ordered delivered when they expected them.
That’s not just e-commerce business owners like you and me. Even some really big retailers are being impacted.
Ryan at Active Freight is my import expert, and whenever I have a question about importing products into the U.S., I call him. He shared his insight about the current issues with me, including options for what we can be done.
Outside of calling in a militia to hijack the port, nothing can be done to speed up containers stuck at the port. We have an unprecedented bottleneck of cargo along our ports coupled with a shortage of equipment and manpower.
There are some companies that have deep enough pockets to charter their own cargo planes and vessels. For everyone else, time is the only fix.
As I don’t believe in hijacking ports (or anything else, for heaven’s sake!) I’m thinking that we’re just going to have to do some waiting.
BUT there are things to do WHILE we wait.
4 things you can do to sell products even with supply chain delays
I have experienced a whole heck of a lot of supply chain shipping delays over the last 10 years as an e-commerce seller. None of them are exactly what I’d call fun—in fact, they’re dang frustrating.
Here’s what I learned I could do (and what YOU can do) when delays happen.
- Look for other places to buy products. Find wholesalers or makers who can get products t to you in 2-3 days. That generally means going with a local or regional company—and make sure you communicate with them well to verify that products are in stock and can ship within your timeframe.
- Sell gift cards. Gift cards are a favorite of shoppers anyway. For a lot of people, they’d rather purchase a gift card to give instead of actually picking out a specific gift. Take advantage of that preference.
- Offer a “buy now, ship later” deal. Sweeten the pot with an extra little bonus something you can send out with the waited-for item.
- Sell older inventory. Maybe it’s something you spruce up with a little inspiration from Pinterest or maybe you just repackage it a bit.
Listen to this episode of the Because I Can Life podcast to get more details—and to find out about what I did with a Father’s Day item that definitely did NOT show up by Father’s Day. (It has a happy ending, I promise.)