Voxware, a provider of cloud-based solutions for distribution operations, released consumer survey data demonstrating the heightened expectations to which online retailers will be held during the 2016 holiday shopping season. In the third biennial survey of its kind, more than 500 consumers were surveyed about their holiday shopping plans, 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.
As compared to the results of past surveys, in 2016, shoppers significantly increased their expectations for the accuracy and speed with which retailers deliver holiday purchases. Smaller and specialized retailers are not excluded from these increased standards, with 67 percent of respondents expecting a similar or better experience as compared to what larger retailers provide.
Significant findings of the Voxware Survey of Holiday Shoppers 2016 include consumer expectations for accuracy and speed at the holidays increased since 2014:
- 84 percent of consumers stated that expectations are higher than they were two years ago.
- 78 percent stated that their expectations for on-time and accurate delivery are higher during the holiday season than during other times of the year.
- 25 percent of respondents expect holiday gifts purchased online or by phone to be delivered within two days even if they did not request expedited shipping; in 2014, only 8 percent of respondents had this expectation.
“Although few U.S. retailers promise delivery within two days of an order being placed, there is clearly an increased expectation for speed and accuracy,” observed Keith Phillips, president and CEO of Voxware. “Call it the Amazon Prime effect if you like, but understand that new standards have been set, and retailers need to meet or exceed them, or risk being passed over by consumers.”
Significant findings of the Voxware Survey of Holiday Shoppers 2016 include the negative impact that errors or delays have on retailers is higher than ever:
- 27 percent of online or catalog shoppers will altogether abandon shopping with a retailer that makes even one error in product delivery.
- 63 percent will abandon shopping with a retailer altogether that makes two to three errors in product delivery.
- 19 percent of online or catalog shoppers will abandon shopping with a retailer altogether that delivers a holiday purchase later than promised even one time.
- 60 percent will abandon a retailer if it delivers later than promised two to three times.
- 35.4 percent will abandon shopping with a retailer altogether after receiving one incorrect item (up from 16.5 percent in 2014).
- Three incorrect items or less will cost a retailer 91.8 percent of their customers (up from 68.4 percent in 2014).
- In 2014, only 35 percent of respondents reported being less likely or much less likely to make future purchases from a retailer that failed to deliver holiday purchases within two days of the promised delivery date. In 2016, those same reactions were selected by 45 percent of respondents.
- 27 percent of respondents expect to be offered some type of compensation (i.e., discount, coupon, credit, etc.) from retailers that send them an incorrect item.
- 9 percent expect to be offered compensation if items are delivered late
- 46 percent of respondents said that they were likely or very likely to publicly share their negative experiences online, with an additional 29 percent reporting they were somewhat likely to do the same.
Significant findings of the Voxware Survey of Holiday Shoppers 2016 include small and specialized retailers must perform as well, if not better, than larger retailers:
- 21 percent of consumers surveyed expect an even higher level of service from small and specialized retailers than provided by their larger counterparts.
- 46 percent of respondents expect them to deliver service that is equal to that of their large competitors.
“This survey shows that consumer expectations are at their highest level during the holiday season with expediency, accuracy and traceability driving online retail shopping trends. Retailers are facing tremendous pressure to get orders right and get them delivered faster than ever before,” said Phillips. “With 77 percent of shoppers intending to have more gifts delivered to themselves this season compared to last year, the stakes are too high for fulfillment failures.”