Early Holiday Shoppers Have Highest Expectations for Order Fulfillment

Customers plan to do a significant portion of online and phone-based holiday purchasing during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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Voxware, a provider of cloud-based solutions for distribution operations, released survey data that indicates early holiday shoppers expect short delivery windows for the items they purchase online or over the phone.

Not surprisingly, the survey results indicate that customers plan to do a significant portion of their online and phone-based holiday purchasing during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday timeframe:

  • 17 percent of respondents report completing over 75 percent of their holiday shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • 25 percent stated that they purchase 50 to 75 percent of their holiday gifts during this four-day period.
  • 23 percent of respondents confessed to doing less than 10 percent of their holiday shopping during this window of time.

Among early shoppers who report completing 75 percent or more of their online and phone-based holiday shopping during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday timeframe, 56 percent expect standard delivery within two days of their purchase. In comparison, only 30 percent of those who do their shopping later in the season have the same high expectations.

Eighty-seven 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. Only 76 percent of those that shop later in the season hold retailers to a higher standard during holiday time.

Ninety-three percent of early shoppers reported that they are having more items delivered to themselves this year versus having retailers ship directly to their gift recipients. These findings may reflect the need of early shoppers to personally receive, wrap and then resend gifts to recipients. Ninety-five percent of early shoppers also stated that being able to track their packages online was important or very important to them.

“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,” said Keith Phillips, president and CEO at Voxware. “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.