The Unique Demands for Holiday Gift Deliveries
Though we’re in the peak of summer, retailers are preparing for the holidays looming just a few months away. If the growth in holiday retail sales in 2017 (a 5.5 percent increase to $691.9 billion) serves as any indication for the 2018 holiday season, retailers can expect an influx of shoppers with evolving demands. As delivery continues to play a vital role in holiday shopping, consumers want faster delivery options and will shop elsewhere when those options aren’t available.
A recent report from Dropoff revealed an overwhelming rise in delivery expectations during the holidays, from same-day delivery options to integrated technology like real-time tracking. The report also shows that the holiday shopping season presents a crucial opportunity for retailers to drive customer loyalty. To capture that loyalty, however, retailers must reframe how they typically approach delivery to accommodate the unique demands of holiday shoppers.
Consumers Have Higher Expectations for Gift Deliveries
Consumers report that a gift delivery is more important than an item they purchase for themselves. Ninety-two percent of consumers say it’s more important that a gift is delivered on time, and 75 percent of consumers say they care more about having real-time tracking for gifts than when waiting for their own delivery. Of those surveyed, 85 percent say they’re more likely to purchase from a retailer again when their gift purchase can be tracked in real time.
Same-day delivery is highly beneficial for retailers both during and beyond the holiday season. Over half of holiday shoppers are more likely to purchase gifts from a retailer that offers same-day delivery. Furthermore, 75 percent of consumers are highly likely to shop with a retailer again after purchasing a gift that arrived same-day during the holidays. On the other hand, retailers that don’t offer expedited delivery options are likely to lose out. Sixty-seven percent of consumers have abandoned a gift purchase during the holidays due to slow delivery times.
Delivery That Moves Faster Than Consumers
Seventy-seven percent of consumers are already planning on shopping last-minute during the 2018 holiday season, a 15 percent increase from last year. This creates a small delivery window for retailers and logistics partners to fulfill those orders on time. Inevitably, when consumers shop for gifts at the last minute, as many of them plan on doing, other expectations, as well as concerns, increase. Almost all (92 percent) last-minute shoppers are concerned their gifts won’t be delivered on time, so they’re much more likely (78 percent) to choose retailers with same-day delivery.
Retailers Get the Blame When Gift Delivery Goes Wrong
When a gift delivery goes wrong, such as a package arriving late or the wrong item being delivered, it leaves a bad taste in customers’ mouths. Regardless of which carrier delivers the gift (e.g., UPS, FedEx, USPS), consumers blame the retailer. When a gift arrives late, 80 percent of consumers say it reflects poorly on the retailer. Seventy-four percent say the same when a gift arrives damaged. Only 20 percent of consumers are likely to purchase from a retailer again after they’ve had a negative delivery experience.
The Big Picture of Holiday Delivery
Holiday gift delivery impacts so much more than the two months it’s carried out during the year. Meeting the increased expectations during this very limited time frame leaves a lasting impression on shoppers and enables retailers to reap benefits beyond the holidays. Consider that 87 percent of consumers said they're likely to shop with a retailer again after having a holiday gift delivered same-day. Compare that to 74 percent of consumers who are likely to return after receiving same-day delivery for an item they’ve purchased for themselves. So while holiday gift delivery isn’t always easy to accomplish, it’s definitely worth the effort.
Sean Spector is CEO and Co-Founder of Dropoff, a tech-driven same-day delivery service that provides businesses a fast, reliable and professional solution.
Related story: Same-Day Delivery Drives Brand Loyalty and Purchase Intent
Sean Spector is the CEO of Dropoff, which is modernizing the standards of same-day delivery by offering businesses a superior experience built on convenience, reliability and unmatched customer service. Through innovative technology and trusted, professional delivery drivers, Dropoff seamlessly becomes an extension of any business and a true last-mile logistics partner.