Shipping proved problematic for some retailers this holiday season
While the offer of free shipping proves an attractive bonus for consumers to choose one retailer over another, the option also comes with the underlying promise that customers will receive their goods in a timely fashion. This becomes even more important during the holidays, when swift delivery can mean the difference between a tree bountiful with gifts or one without any at all.
According to a recent study from customer service reviewer StellaService, many items did not reach their intended recipients until after Christmas had passed this year. This was despite orders being placed before the holiday delivery cutoff date set by online retailers. Of the 25 retailers that StellaService purchased items from, nearly one-third failed to ship their goods in time, while 12 percent of all 75 orders placed arrived after their estimated delivery date.
Because of these matters, retailers need to set realistic goals for their operations. While some problems inevitably stem from factors beyond merchants' control, many issues related to inventory management and quickly processing purchases at the point of sale can minimize the chance that goods will arrive late. Notably, Zappos possessed one of the latest possible dates for customers to order goods that would ship in time for Christmas, December 23, and the company was still able to successfully deliver all items in time across the three regions that StellaService studied.
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