COVID-19 & Holiday Shipping Volumes
Keeping it real
The COVID-19 pandemic has strained virtually every industry and, in particular, has hit the shipping and logistics industry hard. Shipping gifts like flowers (which are perishable to boot) is even harder because often customers purchase for a specific date for special reasons - birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and more!
To help our customers make the best decisions possible when purchasing for these important dates, we’ve put together a guide to give with some in-depth information that will help purchasers to make an informed decision about what, how, and when to purchase Farmgirl Flowers as well as what to expect after an order is confirmed.
Short on time? Skip ahead: Choosing a delivery date.
The current state of the shipping industry
FedEx & UPS
At Farmgirl we’ve always prided ourselves on being a transparent organization, and that transparency is more important now than ever. We’re not going to sugar coat it, at the moment the shipping industry is overwhelmed, understaffed, and is therefore not always able to release information to the public and its customers in a timely or clear manner.
Coupled with short staffing, our shipping partners have seen huge, holiday-like spikes in volume. For context, online sales across all e-commerce industries for May 2020 were more than $82 billion. This is an almost 80% increase over May 2019. Additionally, social distancing protocols that courier companies and shipping centers alike have adopted to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep their employees safe have further impacted the speed of these services.
Simply put, our shipping partners have been dramatically affected by this pandemic.
Choosing a delivery date 🗓
First, some context! , Yes, our shipping partners have been experiencing delays due to all the reasons we’ve laid out above but, in spite of that fact, we’ve still managed to hit a 95.5% on-time delivery rate. However, in order to accommodate and anticipate the less than 5% of packages that may be affected by potential delays, we have developed some new recommendations for tackling shipments that are for big, important events. Baby showers, birthdays, weddings, and more - we’re looking at you!
Recommended #protips for choosing a delivery date
This is our first time shipping in the middle of a global pandemic, but this is not our first rodeo when it comes to shipping delays. We've been delivering Farmgirl to recipients all over the contiguous United States since 2016. Here are top tips and tricks that we recommend right now to make sure your gift gets there, on time, when you can’t be there yourself.
🎉 If you’re ordering for a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or any important moment, choose a delivery date a day or two before the event date. We know (we know!), we send flowers for life's events big and small and we want them to arrive on *the* day to make it extra special... When this is all over, we hope we can go back to getting the bouquet there on the big day, but for now we recommend taking the early bird and shipping your arrangement to arrive early! Give your loved one, bestie or colleague a reason to smile before everyone else does!
⏳ That extra delivery cushion also gives you (and us!) a little time to make things right in case something goes wrong! This time cushion ensures that even if the shipment is running late by a day your order will still arrive on time. A day or two of some flex room also gives our Customer Support team some leeway to make new arrangements in the event that an order should be heavily delayed.
💐 But will my bouquet survive an extra day in transit? The short(ish) answer? You bet. We specifically source our flowers and pack our bouquets with extra hydration to survive the trip - even if it’s a little extended. A quick trim and a fresh drink of water will make up for any extra time in the box!
If my bouquet arrives a day or two before the event, how do I keep it fresh?
We’ve got a pro tip (or ten!) for that! Follow these care tips right here!
And, in the rare event that something you ordered arrives in less than perfect condition, we’re here to make it right. We go above and beyond planning and preparing to make sure every Farmgirl order knocks it out of the park, but we know that with a perishable product sometimes circumstances, like shipping, can get the best of us. While this is out of our direct control, rest assured that we are 100% accountable for our recipients and their experience with Farmgirl... We choose to ship nationally and so we also choose to make it right - even when it’s at our own expense.
In the event that your order is severely delayed or suffers damage in transit because of delays, we’ll make it right by sending a replacement - free of charge. And, back to our advice to ship an order to arrive a day or two before its due, an early delivery date gives us the opportunity to ship out another arrangement before the big day!.
Friday delivery dates
Scoping out a Friday delivery? Let’s talk brass tacks! Delivering at the end of the week gives us less wiggle room to make things right in case of a delay. More on that below!
If my Friday delivery is delayed, why can’t FedEx or UPS just deliver on Saturday?
The majority of our parcels are shipped via expedited (that’s overnight) service and, unfortunately, our shipping partners don’t offer that same service to every zip code on the weekends. Our partners also have reduced operating hours over the weekend.
If a Friday delivery becomes delayed the first thing our customers and recipients notice is that the tracking usually updates to Monday delivery, instead. We know - we don’t like to see this either.
What can you do if your Friday delivery is delayed?
Just like we always do, we’ll try our best to do everything we can to make it right in the case an order is delayed before the weekend In most cases, this means we’ll send out a free replacement, but, due to the weekend, the soonest we can set that up to arrive is the beginning of next week. This timeline may be a bit longer depending on what was ordered and which Farmgirl distribution center or shipping partner it will ship from.
Bottom line? When it’s not a 'nice to have' but a 'needs to be there' sort of situation and the deadline is Friday, we strongly suggest ordering for delivery on Wednesday (two days early) and following these care tips to keep flowers in tip-top shape until the end of the week!
Thank you for your support ❤️
First, gold star. If you’ve made it this far, we see you and appreciate your dedication to the details!
Finally, we’d love to thank you for your support and understanding during these incredibly unusual and challenging times. At Farmgirl, we want you to know that every decision we make is focused on you and your experience. We’re always trying new things and coming up with new ways to mitigate these delays and make sure we can help you to knock a gift out of the park. We put a lot into making sure every order gets there on time and our incredible Support Team works around the clock and behind the scenes to make sure our customers and recipients are happy.
We’re committed to getting it right and, when that fails, making it right. but we couldn’t do anything that we do without the amazing support from customers like you.
We understand that you may have further questions as well and our Customer Support Team is always ready to help.
Just shoot us a message and we’ll get back to you in 24 hours or less, Monday - Friday.
More information on our COVID-19 related FAQs can be found here.