Findings from the latest Holiday Shipping study from Accenture Strategy reveal that despite 2-3 times higher volumes in the e-commerce and BOPUS categories on Cyber Monday, retailers were able to keep their shipping promises while ramping up their BOPUS/curbside offerings.
The study analyzed deliver to home orders placed with 116 retailers across a variety of categories to measure shipping speed, order accuracy and delivery costs.
Among the key findings:
· Delivery timelines took a slight hit with top performing retailers fulfilling orders in an average of 2.8 days compared to 1.8 days in 2019.
· 65% of retailers offer either BOPUS/ROPIS or curbside compared to 52% in 2019
· 57% of retailers are offering contactless pickup (something that has not been offered in previous years)
Moreover, retailers are heavily pushing the BOPUS/curbside option, with several providing promotions or incentives for choosing that method.
· 21% of orders arrived in 1 week compared to 22% in 2019
· 0 retailers managed to deliver in 1 day compared to 3 in 2019
It is encouraging to note that retailers have managed to avoid a supply chain crunch to date. However, with carriers placing shipping caps, there’s some question about whether retailers are going to make the promises that they will ultimately struggle to fulfil in the coming weeks.
Steve Osburn, managing director in Accenture Strategy’s Retail industry sector said, “Retailers have been creative in trying to “flatten the curve” and it seems these efforts are paying off, especially given significantly increased volumes in the ecommerce and BOPUS categories. However, the work is just beginning and with local shutdowns, carrier capacity issues and consumer safety concerns, this season continues to be one of the most challenging that many retailers have ever seen. Success will require flexibility to update current plans when things change, creativity to come up with new solutions on the fly, and agility to implement the new plans in time to meet consumer demands throughout the rest of the holiday season.”