So, the Canada Post strike continues. From the sounds of it, the strike will continue for at least another week at the minimum even if the Government does push through their legislation.
The question is, how is it affecting us? We’ve definitely seen an increase in local sales, while seeing a contrasting decrease by a more significant amount of shipped sales; even with FedEx in-play. In fact, our overall conversion rate (no. of sales / visitors) is down by 23%.
Of course, conversion rates don’t tell the whole story – it just indicates the number of sales which includes local pickups and shipping orders. We certainly have seen an increase in local pickups recently; from both our regular customers and new. Unfortunately, local pickups have always been a smaller average dollar sale than our shipped orders.
Currently, the saving grace for us on shipping are our customers who are putting orders through on our new $200 free shipping level. The monetary increase in revenue there has provided us with an on-going stream of funds while we wait for the strike to end.
Certainly, speaking with others, customers have often just put their ordering on-hold till the strike ends. I think most small businesses are hoping that once the strike does end, we’ll see a rush of orders. It certainly is what I’m hoping for, even if I’m not planning for it.
Overall, financially we’re still quite stable – while we are running a loss during this period, I generally plan for the worst anyway during a year and we have sufficient available funds to ride out the strike. I certainly wouldn’t be hiring if I didn’t think we could handle it.