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Many shoppers are starting to get ready for the shopping frenzy by starting to chip away at the list early. Adobe finds that “out of stock” messages in October product searches are up 250% compared to the pre-pandemic month of January 2020, and they’re up 325% compared to October 2019. What this shows us is that people are beginning to feel the pressure to buy and to move on quickly if their items are not available for purchase immediately. 

How does this affect the promotional marketing industry? Experts are saying that “Inventory issues…could stifle growth,” says Sarah Whitaker, owner of Hopkinsville, KY-based Williams Advertising (asi/360402). “If I can’t sell you the shirt you want, you’re either going to wait to order, or not order at all, unless we can offer a very similar option.” Small businesses are in an especially unique situation as many small businesses are still recovering from the shutdowns implemented at the height of the pandemic. 

So what’s a small business to do? Many of us need to get creative seeing as how what was once a 30-60 day turnaround time for items is now being doubled! Here are some easy ways to work around the challenges facing businesses around the globe: 

  • Buying American made items is the easiest way to make sure your products have less time to travel, and then sit idly on a ship in the ocean.

  • Think about shipping directly to consumers or offering pre-order options for your customers.

  • Have a backup plan. Get creative with your item options! Not finding your drawstring bags? Try looking into shopping bags instead. Looking for customized apparel? Think about unique accessories like socks or sweatbands!

Talk to your promotional marketing team and come up with creative solutions and let’s all make this holiday season the best one yet!

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