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Pitney Bowes survey: 49% of Americans shopping online earlier for holiday


Stamford, Conn. -- Half of Americans (49%) plan to shop online earlier for gifts this holiday season, with the main reason being to ensure they receive their packages on time (63%), according to a survey by Pitney Bowes.

“Last year, holiday shipping challenges stemmed from a perfect storm of record-breaking weather combined with over-promises to deliver orders on time and a last-minute shipping surge,” said Christoph Stehmann, president, e-ccommerce and shipping solutions, Pitney Bowes. “To help capture holiday sales this year and meet customer expectations, retailers should prepare well in advance for the unexpected, and provide real-time visibility on shipping packages and reliable delivery estimates.”

Overall, 70% of Americans consider shipping options to be an important factor in the shopping experience compared to 66% in 2013. Also, one-third (33%) of respondents said they plan to pay more attention to shipping this year compared to last year.

When it comes to free shipping versus fast shipping, 82% of Americans find free shipping where the product arrives in five to seven days more attractive, while 17% prefer fast shipping where the product arrives in one to two business days for a fee. As a result, retailers should consider offering free shipping as a delivery option well in advance of the holidays, Pitney Bowes recommended.

On average, Americans who find fast shipping more attractive than free shipping would be willing to pay $8.50 for the package to arrive within two business days. Relatively few (19%) would be willing to pay more than $10 for fast shipping.

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