Parcel Pending is the leading provider of package management solutions for multifamily communities in the United States and Canada. With nearly 3 million packages delivered monthly, and 70% month-over-month package volume increases during the pandemic, we are witnessing firsthand how consumer trends have affected multifamily properties across the country. This is especially true for package management challenges related to increased deliveries during the holiday season.

Given the impact of COVID-19, Parcel Pending expects the 2020 holiday shopping season will be very different from previous years. Here are a few of our most important predictions:

Black Friday will take a backseat to Cyber Monday.

In light of social distancing recommendations, it’s hard to imagine Black Friday weekend looking anything like previous years.

Some retailers have decided not to open their doors on Thanksgiving, which doesn’t bode well for the usual midnight doorbusters deals1. Health and safety precautions will keep many of the remaining stores from admitting their usual number of in-store shoppers. And, as if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, many consumers will not want to shop shoulder-to-shoulder in stores overflowing with fellow deal-seekers.

The shift from Black Friday as a physical event to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend as a virtual event was already well underway, following the shift in consumer preferences towards convenient, contact-free shopping and delivery methods2. Last year’s Black Friday online sales reached $7.4 billion, the second largest shopping day ever behind 2018’s Cyber Monday3.

This holiday season expect retailers to bank on these shifts in consumer preferences. We anticipate retailers will take their deals online, potentially bundling or deepening discounts in an attempt to drum up sales volume and replicate the in-store experience of buying more than initially planned4.

The holiday shopping season will start earlier.

To compensate for reduced consumer spending and the loss of in-person holiday shopping, many retailers are expected to move their winter promotions calendar up to drive sales and increase revenue5.

An earlier start to the season could also include special shopping events like Prime Day, which was rescheduled after Amazon’s logistics operations were overwhelmed with demand during the early weeks of the pandemic. The event is now slated for October 13-14, with many experts estimating that the earlier date will help the company get a head start on the holiday shopping season while also spreading out the spike in deliveries more evenly6.

Since the start of the pandemic, couriers have been experiencing record delivery volume, with the USPS seeing a 70% increase in package volume since the end of March7. An earlier start to what would become a much longer and potentially bigger shopping season could have significant consequences for delivery networks that are already stretched thin.

More online shopping, more resident packages.

An earlier shopping season and more promotions spell even more packages for multifamily communities. Many of our multifamily partners have already experienced record-level package deliveries since the end of April – as many as 270 packages per week8.

However, if current shipping volume for regular items holds and online shopping increases during the holiday shopping season, Parcel Pending estimates that properties could see as many as 486 package deliveries per week during the 2020 holiday season – a 60-67% increase over current delivery volume.

“Americans are shopping online now more than ever due to COVID-19, and multifamily communities need to be prepared to manage even greater package volume for the remainder of 2020,” says Lori A. Torres, CEO and Founder of Parcel Pending. “Now is the time for multifamily communities to invest in smart locker solutions.”


Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend is just around the corner. Many properties already have a lot on their plates providing much-needed services for residents. Managing even more packages could take up valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Parcel Pending lockers can help make receiving those special holiday deliveries safer and more secure for residents without sacrificing convenience. Reach out to a member of our team today to find the best solution for your property’s needs and budget.

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Updated to include official Amazon Prime Day dates for 2020.

Sources:

  1. Kern, Miller. Mashable. Black Friday is going to be weird this year – and that’s a good thing. (2020, August 6). https://mashable.com/shopping/black-friday-2020-future-predictions/.
  2. Parcel Pending. Is Contactless Delivery the Future of Multifamily?. (2020, May 5). https://www.parcelpending.com/blog/is-contactless-delivery-the-future-of-multifamily/.
  3. Sherman, Alex. CNBC. Black Friday shoppers spend record $7.4 billion in second largest online sales day ever. (2019, November 30). https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/30/black-friday-shoppers-spend-record-7point4-billion.html.
  4. Hanbury, Mary. Business Insider. Doomsday predictions about the end of Black Friday are now reality, as the pandemic threatens the most important shopping day of the year. (2020, July 21). https://www.businessinsider.com/what-does-black-friday-look-like-in-the-us-2020-7.
  5. Retailers set earliest-ever holiday sale plans. (2020, August 24). https://www.dawn.com/news/1576015.
  6. Lunden, Ingrid. TechCrunch. Amazon’s Prime Day mega sale event will take place October 13-14. (2020, September 28). https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/28/amazons-prime-day-mega-sale-event-will-take-place-october-13-14/.
  7. Bogage, Jacob & Dawsey, Josh. The Washington Post. Postal service to review package delivery fees as Trump influence grows. (2020, May 14). https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/14/trump-postal-service-package-rates/.
  8. Parcel Pending. (2020, June 18). Multifamily Communities Should Expect Holiday-Level Package Volume Throughout 2020 Per Parcel Pending [Press Release]. Retrieved from https://www.parcelpending.com/news/