Skip to main content Retailers set earlier holiday shipping deadlines


Washington, D.C. –- Nearly eight in 10 (79%) retailers surveyed will set their standard shipping deadlines for guaranteed Christmas delivery to expire at least a week before the holiday, compared to 74% who said in the 2013 holiday season. In addition, according to’s EHoliday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, approximately one in five (21%) will set those deadlines to expire Dec. 19 or later, compared to more than one-quarter who said so last year (25%).

Of the 92% of retailers polled who plan to offer free standard shipping of some sort in the upcoming holiday season, nearly seven in 10 (69%) say their guarantee for Christmas delivery will expire on or before Friday, Dec. 19. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of retailers polled during 2013 had a deadline on the equivalent day (Friday, Dec. 20, 2013).

For those waiting until the last minute, one in five (21%) companies surveyed that plan to offer a free or upgraded expedited shipping promotion will give customers until Tuesday, Dec. 23 to take advantage of the offer. By contrast, 15% of retailers polled will let their customers take advantage of that offer only through Monday, Dec. 22, and another 15% will end their free expedited shipping promotions on Sunday, Dec. 21.

More than half (57%) of retailers surveyed who plan to offer express two-day shipping say their deadline for guaranteed Christmas delivery will expire on or before Sunday, Dec. 21 while the balance will end guaranteed two-day shipping on Monday, Dec. 22.

When it comes to one-day express shipping, half (50%) are comfortable offering express one-day or overnight shipping as late as Tuesday, Dec. 23 for a guaranteed Christmas delivery; three in 10 (30%) have set Monday, Dec. 22 as the deadline for their one-day express delivery deadline.

In a separate survey released in Aug. 2014, asked retailers which site and service features they have invested most heavily in before the holiday season, and many agreed shipping and fulfillment features were of utmost importance.

According to the survey, four in 10 (41%) have invested significantly in live chat, and more than one-third (34.5%) noted they have invested in technologies that allow shoppers to check in-store availability. Other areas of investment include shipping deadline calendars (31%), “ship from store” functionalities (27%) and buy online – pick up in store services (25%).
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds