Governors across the country are urging people to shop online and at a social distance. The problem is that internet shopping is currently very inconsistent. Here are some of the reasons behind the vastly different delivery times.
Delays Due To "Essential" Needs
You may have noticed messages on websites such as Amazon that some orders have been delayed because they focus on the "items that customers need most". This means that people who work in Amazon warehouses select items that people need first to survive. Then they pack and ship other orders for the remaining time.
However, since sites such as Amazon sell both proprietary and third-party products, this can only apply to items shipped directly from Amazon's warehouses. Items from individual sellers on Amazon Marketplace shipped from their own location may not take that long to ship nonessential items. This is why some products arrive within two days while others take a week or more.
Delays Due to Temporary Shutdowns
While some warehouses are open, but operate with reduced capacity (or focus only on essential items), others are closed. For example, a clothing order I posted to Torrid more than a month ago finally showed up, but other parts of the order are still being executed. Normally I receive orders within a week.
This was because the company had completely closed its warehouse because clothing was not considered essential. As soon as it opened again, orders started to ship again (albeit slowly).
Most companies are simple with this information. Search for banners at the top of websites or for additional information on order pages. Most stores still allow orders while closed and ship them when they are allowed to reopen. When in doubt, search the company name in your email inbox. You will no doubt find an update email explaining how that particular organization handles pandemic issues.
Delays due to short staff
Like many companies, when Torrid was allowed to reopen its warehouse, the company required working with fewer staff. This is to minimize the exposure of employees to each other, so that there are fewer people to pick and pack items. Many stores in the United States experience this.
The key to dealing with delays due to limited staff is patience. If you need something quickly, it is best to order it locally and have it delivered via Shipt or a similar service.
Delays in Overseas Shipping
Since the coronavirus is a global pandemic, shipping has been suspended in some countries. . You could order something from eBay or another major online marketplace, such as Aliexpress, just to get a notification that your item cannot be shipped from its destination to yours.
You usually get other options for different shipping locations. (possibly with higher shipping costs). Other times you just have to wait. Now is a great time to shop locally from open businesses, both in-store and through delivery.
Delays due to high shipping volume
Finally, not only are warehouses facing everything from inventory shortages to staffing problems, there is the huge number of people now ordering en masse online.
As big shippers prepare for the holiday rush by hiring part-time labor, running additional trucks and routes, and so on, this sudden rush in March and April is a little unprecedented.
It is always frustrating when shipments are delayed. But hopefully, knowing that all the tormented warehouse workers and delivery guys are doing their best to get your stuff out the door will take some more patience.