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Valentine’s Day Export: Delivering the Love Wrapped Gifts!

sahil bajaj

Sahil Bajaj

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

February 9, 2024

12 min read

Valentine’s Day, supposedly the most romantic day of the year, is right around the corner. The day may have a lot of charm to it, but it certainly isn’t an easy deal for vendors and consumers. As per the annual survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights and Analytics, consumers plan to shell out USD 25.8 billion on this year’s Valentine’s Day. This makes an average expenditure of USD 185.81 per person.

It’s time to cater to one of the busiest seasons of the year for shippers—Valentine’s Day. To satisfy the customers with timely order delivery, the vendors should have an efficient supply chain to accommodate the urgent demands of Valentine’s Day exports. With a lack of functional and proper supply chains, shippers may fall short of making the Day pleasant for the buyers. Therefore, logistics play a significant role in executing Valentine’s Day international shipping efficiently. These Valentine’s Day logistics rely on the expertise of suppliers and shipping partners to make timely delivery of the overwhelming number of orders.

Valentine's Day Export

Holiday Seasons and Their Impact On Supply Chains

It’s no secret that the holiday seasons are invariably the busiest time for the logistics and supply chain industry. Besides being the occasion to celebrate, woo loved ones, and travel, a major chunk of the holiday season is about giving gifts. There is always a considerable surge in online and offline shopping during the holiday months, increasing sales in the gift industry.

Having an impeccably sorted supply chain allows companies to serve their customers on time. Customers can buy products and services at any time, even during the holiday season. However, if there are any disruptions in the supply chain or management of logistics, it may cause inconveniences that will ultimately lead to customer dissatisfaction. These disruptions may result in delayed deliveries of holiday gifts, stockouts, and back-orders. Since the most important aspect of gifting for a customer is to have the gift delivered on a specific day, a delay would mean missing the special occasion.

The holiday season is by far one of the most profitable times of the year for merchants. However, disruption in supply chain management can impact their businesses even before the holiday season kicks in. Hence, merchants need to draft a blueprint through efficient planning to handle the potential supply chain disruptions and market volatility.

Valentine’s Day exports are susceptible to many problems. The holiday shopping madness only adds to these issues. Many problems like heavy traffic, bad weather, and other unexpected events can affect Valentine’s Day international shipping. As the supply chain falters in this busy season, the retailers may face many repercussions. For instance, if the stock in the warehouse is insufficient, it becomes a pressing issue for retailers to supply the products in demand among their customers. Missing products in the store aisles, stockouts in warehouses, or late Valentine’s Day international delivery harbors unhappy customers. These dissatisfied customers may leave negative reviews or choose another store to buy from, cutting on your sales. A McKinsey & Co. study reveals that during stockouts, 70% of shoppers will likely shop from another brand.

While some stores face stockouts, others may be dealing with overstocking. These issues arise from a poorly managed supply chain. Overstocking can result in additional warehousing and other costs. These discrepancies occur due to delays in shipping, inaccurate demand forecasting, and failure in managing both eCommerce and physical stores. To fare well in profits during the holiday season, retailers must handle their stock efficiently without overspending on their delivery logistics. It’s worthwhile to get help from last-mile shipping partners for Valentine’s Day international delivery.

Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to express love in many affectionate ways. On this day, billions of people purchase flowers, chocolates, greeting cards, candies, and other gifts to celebrate their love. While customers may be looking for the most beautiful flowers or delectable chocolates for February 14th, the logistics industry is equally busy making arrangements for this special Day.

The Valentine’s Day international shipping process begins weeks before the holiday season. It requires careful supply chain management to store, transport, and distribute the most popular gifts. There are mainly three items that always top the chart of Valentine’s Day gifts, namely, flowers, chocolates, and greeting cards. Let’s dive into the workings of the supply chain to deliver these products.

1. Flowers

Gifting beautiful, fragrant, fresh flowers to the lover is one of the most popular ways to express love. The complication starts with fresh flowers having a short shelf life. Due to their transient life, suppliers need the cold chain, a temperature-controlled supply chain, to manage and deliver them. After plucking and preparing the flowers, the suppliers pack them by hand to board them onto refrigerated airplanes for Valentine’s Day international shipping.

The procedure for managing these blossoms involves intricacies and proper care. After harvesting, the buds need to be cooled down to 33℉ to 35℉. The temperature is carefully maintained throughout the transit journey using the cold chain, which starts with land transport, like trucks, from the grower to the nearest local airport. The shippers then load the flowers onto both freight and commercial aircraft.

Once the flowers land at the destination, officers inspect each shipment for contraband, pests, and disease. After clearing customs, the flowers are once again put into near-freezing temperatures and eventually dispatched to the warehouse. All the distribution centers receive the flowers before the product finally reaches the florists.

But what if there are disruptions like customs clearance taking extra time or factors that may impact the temperature-sensitive facility? These small issues can escalate into bigger ones, like flowers dying or spoiling before reaching the florists. These eventualities highlight the significance of having proper logistics and supply chain management in place for Valentine’s Day export.

2. Chocolates

Next in line to flowers are exquisite chocolates that accompany these bouquets of love. However, shipping these yummy treats is a daunting task for retailers or businesses. The transportation of these temperature-sensitive and delicate items is much of a concern. The procedure involves insulating or protecting the chocolates from humidity, moisture, and temperature fluctuations after their packaging is complete.

A promising Valentine’s Day export of chocolates requires refrigerated containers to follow the cold chain rigorously from the start to end destination. Therefore, you need full visibility of the goods and their transportation journey across the supply chain to make the Valentine’s Day international delivery of chocolates successful. It involves tracking individual components throughout to ensure that the chocolates are in good condition.

3. Greeting Cards

Another favorite of customers is greeting cards that accompany flowers, chocolates, and other gifts. Like any other item, Valentine’s Day international shipping of greeting cards also needs planning. There are deadlines to meet for every order of these cards, as they need to reach the customer on Valentine’s Day at a specified address. Fortunately, this popular Valentine’s Day gift demands fewer special requirements than flowers and chocolates. Valentine’s Day transport of greeting cards to customers is much easier. Lovepop’s greeting card supply chain may serve as a good example of how to efficiently manage the delivery of greeting cards.

Keeping in mind the logistics factors, you can consider the shipment size, weight, delivery timeframe, and final destination to prevent additional costs. It will help avoid the extra costs and give your customers a delightful experience.

How Can Shippers Ensure Timely Delivery?

Most of the eCommerce and retail store vendors find themselves bombarded with orders for flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, and other popular Valentine’s gifting items, and customer complaints if they fail to deliver them on time. Here are the four ways by which omnichannel retailers can ensure they make the occasion happy for their customers:

Choosing the right supply chain partners: Importance of finding a reliable 3PL partner

The love-filled Valentine’s Day is all about finding worthwhile partners. Finding the right partner for your Valentine’s Day export and shipping needs is very important for your business to control and manage your supply chain effectively.

Several firms depend on multiple partnerships, like with 3PLs, delivery services, and manufacturers, for last-mile delivery. However, the more layers you include in your partnerships, the higher the complexity and slower the speed of delivery. These layers may present more possibilities of breakages in functionality, operations, and services. Thus, latching your business with one 3PL partner that analyzes and understands your infrastructure and uses its technologies and capabilities to enhance your supply chain operations will ensure effective and timely Valentine’s Day international delivery. A single 3PL partner will eliminate the layers and also make the process faster.

Essential technologies for a streamlined supply chain

It’s extremely important to use appropriate technologies to have your supply chain running smoothly. There are many state-of-the-art technologies and abilities your 3PL partner must possess to help you give the best experience to your customers. Some of these advanced technologies include:

● Distribution Order Management (DOM) extends an order routing logic to ensure that the goods are shipped from the facility that is nearest to the customer. It helps you get fast delivery at reasonable shipping rates.

● Software applications, like the Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), enable you to manage and control the daily operations in your storage facility. This software facilitates inventory receiving and put-away, optimizes pick-ups and shipping of packages, and provides updates for timely inventory replenishment.

● Software like the Labor Management Systems (LMS), which helps increase the productivity of employees, minimize labor costs and play a vital role in maintaining high standards of customer service.

Addressing challenges in equipment, infrastructure, and workforce

During the taxing and challenging holiday season, when businesses witness a 3x-10x growth in the volume of orders. There is immense pressure on infrastructure, equipment, and workforce. 3PLs must have a solid planning structure throughout the year, especially before the peak season, to achieve success in their first quarter. However, the challenge arises when it comes to maintaining equipment and your employees. It can prove counterproductive to overwork your human resources during the peak season since the additional business pouring in the first quarter requires their full attention. Another big task involves managing the returns in Quarter 1, as there is a huge volume added from the peak of Valentine’s Day.  

Customer relationship management: Dealing with dissatisfied customers post-holiday

The holiday season rush, leading to increased volumes of orders, also results in more unhappy customers. Businesses need skills and expertise to manage these dissatisfied customers right after the peak holiday season. If your firm is successful in catering to the complaints of these customers, it may receive more business and sales during the next season. The exceptional challenge of Valentine’s Day is that it calls for stringent post-click processes from omnichannel retailers. Unlike Christmas, when a delay in gifts is slightly manageable, Valentine’s Day gifts are a one-off deal. So, you may want to prevent any hiccups in the supply chain that may leave your customers without a gift while pushing them to buy something else last minute. Hence, It’s inevitable to maintain current processing and online shipping cut-off times for efficient Valentine’s Day international deliveries.

Shiprocket X: Facilitating Seamless International Shipping

The solution to your troubles sits right at the heart of Shiprocket X’s international shipping facilities. You can enhance your business and grow it beyond borders by making Valentine’s Day international shipping easier with Shiproket X’s end-to-end worldwide shipping solutions.  

Make Valentine’s Day international delivery possible in more than 220 international destinations with Shiprocket X’s cross-border shipping solutions.

Experience the transparency in doorstep B2B deliveries, through air freight from India to any destination around the globe, without weight restrictions.

Shiprocket X’s international shipping makes it a cakewalk to serve your global customers and expand your footprint worldwide.

Conclusion

Valentine’s Day marks the biggest romantic celebration of the year, and businesses can serve their cupid-struck customers best with efficient cold chains and supply chains. Maintaining the health and strength of your supply chain throughout the year allows vendors to cruise through the peak season in February without any glitches. There are many obstacles in the path of a logistics provider trying to make a successful Valentine’s Day export. The logistics provider needs to maintain a level of transparency and visibility in the entire cold chain. During the excruciating pressure of the holiday season, when a firm may not be able to handle these challenges, it’s best to tie up with a 3PL partner who has the required expertise. A single 3PL partner managing all operations throughout the chain can eliminate unnecessary layers and assure a successful Valentine’s Day international delivery, keeping your customers happy. 

What is the right temperature to maintain chocolates in a cold chain?

As chocolates are perishable, fragile, and temperature-sensitive items, they need a cold chain for their shipping process. You must maintain a 10-18 degrees Celsius temperature storage for the chocolates to stay in perfect condition during the transit in international shipping.

How do you control the disruptions in the supply chain during a Valentine’s Day export?

To avoid any interruptions in the supply chain, you must track your shipments from the pick-up point to the final destination for complete visibility throughout. Secondly, make contingency plans for unpredictable scenarios, like middle and end-mile deliveries. Lastly, opt for a delivery partner that provides full transparency and an open line of communication for real-time updates during the shipping process.

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