Retailers will be eager to learn that 83 percent of consumers intend to purchase more gifts in 2018 than they did the previous year. However, results from Voxware's fourth biennial holiday shopping survey show consumer expectations are even higher this year as well.
Nearly 87 percent of consumers surveyed have a higher expectation for correct and on-time delivery during the holiday season than any other time during the year. Meanwhile, 86 percent of shoppers believe their expectations for correct and on-time delivery is higher now than it was two years ago. In fact, 48 percent of those surveyed now expect to receive their holiday purchases within two days using standard shipping, a 14 percent increase from 2016.
Online shopping will again be a primary source for holiday gifts. The survey found that 45 percent of shoppers intend to complete 50 percent or more of their online shopping on Black Friday while another 40 percent intend to complete 50 percent or more on Cyber Monday. A whopping 57 percent of shoppers intend to purchase 50 percent or more of their gifts from Amazon this year.
While many retailers will be delighted with some of these numbers, they better ensure their distribution operations are optimized for the seasonal surge to guarantee the correct item is delivered on time. Less than 14 percent of those polled will likely shop with that retailer again if the product doesn’t arrive within two days of the promised delivery date. If the item is incorrect the first time, 31 percent of shoppers will abandon shopping with that retailer altogether.
“Consumers have many choices for where they shop,” says Keith Phillips, president and CEO of Voxware. “They trust that when they submit their order, what they ordered will show up on their doorstep and when it’s promised. If not, they will take their business elsewhere and that particular retailer might be the next filing Chapter 11. Consumer expectations during the holidays continues to rise and retailers must deliver or face harsh consequences.”
One other reality that retailers need to be aware of is the increased role social media plays in shopping habits. According to the survey, if delivery is late or the wrong item is received, more than 78 percent of consumers will share their negative experiences online about that product or retailer.
More than 500 consumers were surveyed about their holiday shopping plans, their expectations for delivery of items that they purchase online during the holiday season and the impact that late or incorrect deliveries have on their future shopping decisions. More results from this survey will be released in December.