Get Ready for Staggering Holiday Shopping Sales & Crushing Delivery Demands

In 2017, holiday retail sales grew by $692 billion — a 5.5% increase.

The third annual Holiday Survey conducted by Dropoff collected data about shoppers’ preferences regarding holiday gift deliveries. The results are in, and they reveal that customer expectations are high.

91% of shoppers say receiving their delivery on time is of high importance (6% more than last year)

At the same time, many of the same shoppers (71% — that’s 15% more than last year) anticipate that they’ll be doing last-minute shopping in 2018. That means ultra-flexible, highly efficient delivery options are a must.

42% of respondents put a premium on the ability to choose same-day delivery when checking out

For shoppers anticipating a last-minute shopping scramble,  same-day delivery is a top priority and they’re willing to pay for it. 31% said they purchased a gift in the last year that was delivered on the same day as their purchase.

67% of consumers have abandoned their gift purchase because the offered delivery times were slow (16% increase over last year)

More than half of the survey respondents said that they’re more likely to patronize retailers that offer same-day delivery at holiday time. And, this is key: 75% said they would be likely to shop with a retailer again in the future who successfully offered same-day delivery to them in the past.

80% of shoppers wouldn’t go back to a retailer that gave them a negative delivery experience

Regardless of the supply chain involved, retailers get the blame for a bad experience with a delivery. Although about half of the respondents don’t have a preference for who delivers—as long as it’s on time and undamaged—they also reported a mistrust of traditional carriers.

Take note of these consumer segments

  • Millennials are 118% more likely to have paid extra for same-day delivery on a gift.
  • Luxury shoppers are 105% more likely to have purchased same-day-delivered gifts in the last year than non-luxury shoppers.

What’s the takeaway for retailers?

As shopper demands continue to evolve, we can expect another spike this season. Your customers want a variety of delivery options — including FAST and FREE choices. Customers remember if, and how well, their holiday shopping expectations were met. They use that impression to decide whether to give you repeat business. So the impact you make on your customers during the holidays can pay dividends — or cost you big. If you make the effort to develop fast, convenient delivery options during the holiday rush, you’re likely to benefit from customer loyalty all year long.

Does your shipping program offer that kind of flexibility?

Check out our free webinar about e-commerce shipping costs, where we answered your top questions about how much to charge customers in order to turn your shipping program into a profit center!