This holiday season, chances are pretty good that you’ll buy at least one gift online. In fact, holiday ecommerce shopping over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend was up 16% over 2017, and more than 53% over 2015, thanks in large part due to how ridiculously easy our favorite retailers have made it for us to find literally anything with a few taps.
Gone are the days of rushing around to dozens of stores, fighting crowds and navigating supersized mall parking lots. For most shoppers today, holiday shopping now rings more peaceful – lounging on the couch with a phone, tablet or computer, carefully adding items to our carts and praying they arrive by Christmas.
The last part – the shipping anxiety – is the one part of online shopping that can really throw a snag in celebrations.
With concerns about whether items will come on time, come damaged or otherwise different than expected, the shipping aspect of holiday shopping is a major consideration.
- 35% of holiday shoppers say expensive shipping fees stress them out,
- 28% say making sure those items arrive on time also causes stress
It turns out – unsurprisingly – that customers aren’t at all hesitant to let their voice be heard when things go wrong. Turns out 20% of shoppers are willing to write a bad review of a company if their gifts arrive late. One in seven will complain on social media, and another third will simply buy the items elsewhere should shipping trouble arise. With customers so ready to jump ship, retailers need to meet – and exceed – shipping expectations to retain their jolly shoppers.
The Big Picture
Shipping small, parcel-sized items has been all but perfected by the retail giants and their partners. Large items, however, remain a challenge for buyers and sellers alike. More than a quarter of shoppers say shopping for a large item is more stressful than buying something small, a number that makes sense considering the unique challenges of oversized shipping.
Of course, the holiday season is an especially opportune time for large item purchasing. With once-yearly sales abundant, and folks in the giving spirit, it’s primetime for buying things like furniture, large electronics, or shipping sentimental, vintage heirlooms to a new home.
While plenty of the onus is on the customer to buy these items with enough time to allow for delivery, it’s on the retailer to ensure the right item arrives, and it’s on the shipping service companies to ensure items arrive in good shape and on time.
The Keys to A Happy Holiday
Timing is key when it comes to a satisfying online buying experience. Customers must plan accordingly, planning for the best case scenario but preparing for the worst. On the other hand, retailers must prepare on their end for last-minute and oversized orders that might challenge typical timelines. Using transporters who’ve proven themselves in the past is a good idea during the holiday rush. As well, retailers can impress customers with effective tracking capabilities and options like same-day local delivery when available.
So with a little planning and a bit of lead time, holiday shopping really can be as simple as browsing lazily on the couch and tapping away your list, one item at a time.