CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
February 22, 2020
Forward Thinking

Early holiday shoppers have highest expectations for order fulfillment

Early holiday shoppers have higher expectations for swift delivery than their more leisurely neighbors, a survey shows.

Early holiday shoppers have higher expectations for swift delivery than their more leisurely neighbors, a survey shows.

Fifty-six percent of shoppers who complete 75 percent or more of their shopping online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday expect delivery in two days or less, according to the study by voice platform provider Voxware Inc. Ironically, only 30 percent of those who wait longer in the season to complete their lists have the same high expectations.

The early shoppers are not only more demanding, but they hold a majority in the consumer population. One in four shoppers stated that they purchase between 50 and 75 percent of their holiday gifts during this frantic, four-day period. That group was slightly larger than the opposite end of the scale—the 23 percent who confessed to doing less than 10 percent of their holiday shopping during this window of time.

The survey showed that retailers face challenges in meeting those holiday demands, but they also revealed a silver lining—shoppers have lower demands for fast delivery in the rest of the year. Fully 87 percent of these early shoppers agreed or strongly agreed that they have higher expectations for correct and on-time delivery of their purchases during the holiday season as compared to other times of the year.

"What we have discovered in this survey is that early online shoppers, especially during the four days surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, place the same if not higher demands on distribution operations for fast and accurate delivery as during any other time of the holiday season," Voxware President and CEO Keith Phillips said in a release. "Retailers need to focus as much on these early customers as they do on the last minute shoppers in order to meet and exceed the expectations placed upon them."

This is the third biennial survey of its kind fielded by Voxware. More than 500 consumers were surveyed about their holiday shopping plans, their expectations for delivery of items that they purchase online or by phone during the holiday season, and the impact that late or incorrect deliveries have on their future shopping decisions. More results of the survey will be released in December.

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