holiday shopping

In its latest holiday shopping trends report, researchers at CommerceHub found most consumers would be willing to pick up online orders in-store if it meant getting the item sooner or for a deal. The survey, which polled more than 3,000 consumers, also found that many shoppers are planning to shop on specific sale days and during planned promotions.

The report revealed consumer sentiment in regard to delayed deliveries. Authors of the report said they “found that 64 percent of consumers would not order from a retailer again if they experience a delivery delay — showing that delivery delays ultimately impact the retailer, not the courier or delivery service.”

[Related story: Millions of Shoppers Saddled With Holiday Credit Card Debt — From Last Year]

CommerceHub also said that “despite all of the hype around same- and next-day delivery — only 3 percent [of respondents] felt same-day delivery is reasonable and 46 percent of consumers think three to five days is reasonable for online delivery.”

With buy online, pick up in-store, or BOPIS, the poll found that 93 percent of consumers “are likely to pick up purchases they order online in-store so that they can get their items sooner or for less.” And with promotions, the report revealed that 68 percent of consumers “will look to shop on designated deal days this year, which is up 25 percent from 2018.”

Erik Morton, senior vice president of product and Strategy at CommerceHub, said when shoppers choose to pick up their purchases in-store, “retailers are not only able to reduce their shipping costs, but also sell even more product, as these same consumers (85 percent) tend to make additional purchases once they come in-store to retrieve their orders — something that could easily feed into holiday sale buzz.”

Morton cited Target Corp. chief executive officer Brian Cornell’s assertion that shifting online fulfillment from distribution centers to stores reduced costs by 40 percent. Target said it is now looking to have two-thirds of digital orders fulfilled from physical stores. Morton said BOPIS “caters toward consumer’s desire for instant gratification, a concept that isn’t going away.”

Regarding delivery this holiday season, Morton said the “delivery wars are far from over” and that Amazon, Walmart and Target, among others, “have begun offering same-day delivery to ensure their customers can get what they want as soon as possible — and they’re spending a lot of money doing so.”

“Retailers will continue to try to best each other when looking to provide the most convenient experience for customers during this season,” Morton explained. “For those retailers who have the capabilities to provide fast shipping, BOPIS/BORIS (buy online, reserve in-store) and accurate delivery promises, they’re really at an advantage when it comes to meeting consumer expectations for convenience, which leads to increased brand loyalty and more sales. That said, as major retailers/e-commerce giants work to make same and next-day delivery a reality, it’s imperative that they keep customer expectations in check.”

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