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Online holiday shoppers worried about late deliveries, porch piracy

Shoppers have two big concerns when it comes to online holiday shopping.

Late delivery of packages is the number one concern of holiday shoppers, cited by 38.6% of respondents in a survey by Austin-based Convey. The fear of theft came in second, with 21.9% worried their packages will be stolen after delivery. The survey of more than 2,500 U.S. consumers identifies the trends and themes that will define the online shopping experience this holiday and beyond.

In line with the concern about porch piracy, 66.5% of respondents said the ability to track packages en route is an important service, while 12.8% said they'd like the option to change delivery destinations once orders are in transit.

The report, “Last Mile Delivery Wars: How to Keep Retail Promises and Win with Reliability,” also found that while cost still trumps speed  when it comes to delivering holiday gifts, the latter is becoming increasingly important. Sixty-four percent of respondents cited ‘cost’ as the most important factor when it comes to shipping.  ‘Speed’ was second, cited by 18.7%, which is twice as many as last year. 

According to the report, a faster estimated delivery date in the online shopping cart has a big impact on purchase decisions, with 28.6% of shoppers more likely to buy if the order would arrive within a week, compared with just 7.5% who said the shipping date doesn't impact their likelihood to buy. And  79.3% cited ‘free two-day shipping’ as important. By contrast, just 30.8% of respondents said ‘in-store pickup’ is important.

The survey found that one bad experience can have lasting impact.  Nearly 73% of surveyed shoppers said they are  are unlikely to purchase from a brand again after a poor delivery experience.

Other findings from the report are below.

  • One bad experience can have lasting impact. Nearly 73% of surveyed shoppers said they are  are unlikely to purchase from a brand again after a poor delivery experience.
  • 83.7% said that delivery is important to overall shopping experience, up from 73.6% in 2018. And for 43.8%,  the delivery experience is considered very important.
  • 98.3% of respondents   want a notification in some form if their delivery is late – up more than 10% from last year (87.8% in 2018).  
  • Shoppers overwhelmingly prefer to be notified via email (55%) and SMS (32.5%) if their package is late. By contrast, just one in 10 expect to have to visit a tracking page to find out about delays (10.2%).

“Our annual study is designed to illuminate key shipping trends that retailers can use to improve the overall brand experience,” said Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, chief growth officer at Convey. “We confirmed that consumers want shipping to be both free and fast, and store pickup isn’t necessarily a replacement for direct delivery. Consumers also expect transparent communication about deliveries and are actively seeking ways to track and manage shipments. For brands that like to think they aren't competing with Amazon, the data clearly suggests that shoppers think they are.”

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