Peak season delivery: what do customers expect?

August 9, 2018

E-commerce delivery has seriously evolved in recent years. Whether it is Christmas, Black Friday or a regular Monday, customers expect a lot from e-tailers in terms of delivery. Those who can stand the pressure and deliver for Christmas shoppers will really be spreading the joy this peak season. Let’s delve into what customers expect from peak season delivery and meet the retailers that are delivering just that.

Delivery options for last-minute shoppers

Did you know over a quarter of consumers expect orders placed by 22nd December to arrive in time for Christmas? (Retail Week).

And that last year, Amazon’s final Prime Now order that was delivered in time for Christmas arrived in 58 minutes at 11:58 p.m. on Christmas Eve 2017. Cutting it close is an understatement!

Despite the recent popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in Europe, which encourages shoppers to buy their gifts early – and at a discount – many customers are leaving their Christmas shopping until days before the big day.

When time is of the essence the ability to deliver an item quickly is crucial. Research conducted by DropOff discovered that 71% of last-minute shoppers have abandoned a purchase due to slow delivery. Being able to deliver quickly in the days and hours before Christmas is crucial if you want to appeal to those that have left their Christmas shopping till the eleventh hour.

On-time delivery

Sounds pretty obvious, but trust us nothing ruins Christmas like a gift that hasn’t made it in time. Dropoff revealed that customers have higher delivery standards when purchasing gifts. 92% of customers say that on-time delivery is more important when purchasing a gift than when purchasing something for themselves.

It may be the season to be jolly, but 44% of customers stated that a bad delivery experience at Christmas makes them feel twice as negative than at any other time of the year (Retail Week). Spread the Christmas joy by ensuring your customers have their gifts safely under the tree in time for the 25th.

Same-day delivery

Delivery doesn’t get much more premium than same-day delivery. When it comes to gifting customers are even more prepared to splash out. According to DropOff, 31% of consumers have purchased a gift and chosen same-day delivery in the past year.

For last-minute Christmas shoppers or those that simply want to get their gifts wrapped as soon as possible, same-day delivery could be invaluable this peak season.

Retailers offering premium peak season delivery

Customers have high expectations during the peak season. So let’s meet the retailers going above and beyond for their customers.

Amazon

So it seems Father Christmas doesn’t ride a sleigh he drives an Amazon Now delivery van. Yes, Amazon certainly seem to be giving Father Christmas a run for his money by delivering gifts at two minutes to midnight on Christmas Eve!

In the weeks before Christmas 2017, more customers decided they needed to get in on Amazon’s ultra-fast delivery action. The e-commerce giants announced that in just a week over four million people signed up to Prime so they could benefit from superior shipping options.

ASOS

Another e-tailer to reap the rewards of upping their peak season delivery game was ASOS. In the run up to peak season 2017 they introduced same-day shipping option, ASOS Instant along with their Try Before Your Buy initiative. The latter gives customers the opportunity to turn their bedroom into a changing room. With Try Before You Buy customers order multiple items, but are only charged for the ones they decide to keep.

CEO Nick Beighton notes these two factors contributed to ASOS’s peak season success in the company’s quarterly trading statement. With sales increasing by 30% compared to the same period in 2016, ASOS are certainly seeing that by giving their customers what they want they can increase their revenue dramatically.

Conclusion

Customers want it all and they want it now. Whether it is Black Friday or any other Friday customers expect retailers to deliver. With so much choice available, if customers can’t get what they want when they want it they will go elsewhere. By upping your peak season delivery offerings you can ease a little of your customers’ holiday stress and they will love you for it.

This month we are talking all things peak season preparation. For more inspiration why not check out our peak season 2018: all the dates you need to know or five brands offering a Black Friday alternative blog posts.

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