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Survey: Holiday shoppers worried over late deliveries, fraud

Consumers want to be sure their holiday packages arrive safely and on time.

Consumers have omnichannel plans this holiday season, but have concerns about their online purchases arriving safely.

According to a new survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers from Loqate, a GBG company, nearly half of respondents are planning a combination of in-store and online shopping for the 2021 holiday season. Almost nine in 10 (88%) plan to start their holiday shopping well before December.

However, late deliveries are a concern for virtually the same percentage (87%) of respondents, with 41% saying they are unlikely to purchase again from a retailer that delivered a late package. In addition, 80% of respondents are concerned about packages being stolen.

One-third (34%) of respondents plan to shop on brand websites, 18% on mobile sites, and 20% on mobile apps. When it comes to communication, email is the preferred method for receiving order updates for a leading 56% of respondents, with SMS text as the second-most preferred update platform.

Other interesting findings include:

  • More than half (54%) of respondents expect to spend the same amount of money on holiday shopping as they did in 2020, and one-quarter (24%) expect to spend more.
  • 34% of baby boomer respondents plan to shop strictly online during the 2021 holiday season, and 17% will shop brick-and-mortar only.

Recent data from Blackhawk Network’s “2021 Holiday Shopping Forecast” also indicate consumers have concerns over their online purchases arriving in a timely fashion. According to Blackhawk, nearly a quarter (24%) of U.S. consumers surveyed say they will shop earlier this year due to concern over shipping delays (30%), or worry that the pandemic will impact their ability to shop (36%).

And a recent survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers from Accenture revealed that 34% of consumers overall — and 52% of younger millennials — are worried about stock availability and not being able to buy what they want and need for the holidays. The same number (34%) said they plan to do their holiday shopping earlier this year.

Thirty-six percent of consumers surveyed by Accenture said that they have noticed empty shelves when shopping in-store, and 26% said they have noticed more out of stocks this year when shopping online. A parallel survey of 120 U.S. retail executives in the United States found that 99% said that they have done something differently this year to ensure supply of stock.  And 52% said they’ve taken extraordinary steps to do so.

The Accenture survey also supports Loqate’s findings that baby boomers are comfortable with online holiday shopping — 54% of baby boomers who participated in the study anticipate doing most of their shopping online.

"In the age of digitization and ongoing global supply chain and shipping disruptions, this holiday season is shaping up to be the year that will make or break many retailers," said Matthew Furneaux, global commercial director at Loqate. "At the same time, retailers have an enormous opportunity to build customer trust and loyalty by minimizing risks and delivering on rising expectations for shopping flexibility and delivery reliability."

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