Inflation and supply chain issues are already impacting back to school shopping, with a study from Inmar Intelligence finding that 65% of shoppers plan on changing their shopping patterns this year. With many parents feeling the pinch, price sensitivity is at an all time high and concern about being able to fill backpacks in time for the coming school year is pushing many to start earlier in the hunt for the best deals.
A full two thirds of survey participants said they would be putting more effort into looking through flyers, coupons, emails, social media and more in order to find promotions to ease the pain of inflation. That said, shoppers are also filling their carts with more supplies than ever with 41% saying they plan to spend more this year, an increase of 17% over 2021.
“While back-to-school shoppers still plan to spend this season, this data shows that they are hyper focused on extending the value of their dollars,” said Aaron Kechley, interim president of Inmar’s Martech division. “Brands need to be agile, reacting quickly to shopper demands and providing those savings.”
For many companies looking to get back to school supplies stocked and available to meet this demand, the rising cost of shipments has made the challenge of providing those savings greater than ever in 2022. Fuel prices are at all time highs, bringing additional surcharges to shipments that eat into profit margins. Consolidating orders to move more products with fewer trucks or improving routing efficiency to reduce the number of road miles in their delivery can help to address this issue, but with shipping capacity remaining low, uncovering those more efficient shipment options remains a challenge.
Traditionally, finding ways to optimally consolidate orders into shipments and put them on the most efficient route with the fewest number of trucks required has been a daunting task that, depending on order volume, could take hours or even days out of the week to plan effectively. Packing multiple customer orders into the most ideal mode allows a greater quantity to be dispatched at once, greatly reducing both the costs for the shipper and the number of road miles — and thereby the amount of fuel — needed to get shipments to their destination. But with many performing this optimization via manual process or through third-party software or spreadsheets outside of their Transportation Management System (TMS), uncovering the most efficient options is rarely an easy task.
Assessing each individual order’s size, weight, locations, pickup and delivery times, and consolidating them onto the most cost-effective and available routes and modes is typically a valuable but time-consuming task. However, with automated tools like Shipwell’s Load Optimization, it can now be completed in a matter of seconds.
There may not be much that shippers can do to improve gas prices or inflation, but with improved efficiency, it’s possible to significantly reduce the time it takes to plan and route shipments as well as the costs associated with moving them. And with that capability, you can pass the savings on to your price-sensitive back to school shoppers.For more information on Shipwell’s new Load Optimization capabilities, click here. Or to speak to an expert about how Shipwell can help you to uncover greater efficiency in your supply chain, schedule a demo today.