The FINANCIAL — It’s the most competitive time of the year for retailers, and many pulled out all the stops to ensure customers received their orders quickly and accurately in time for the holiday season. According to Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy, luxury goods consumers were top of the list for experiencing a speedy delivery in the 2016 Holiday Shipping survey.
The study, which took place during Cyber Monday, saw online orders being placed from 84 retailers across a broad range of categories, including traditional big boxes, speciality retailers and online-only e-tailers. The study analysed online orders that were shipped to consumers, as well as those collected in-store, to measure shipping speed, accuracy and cost.
Santa’s Nice List for 2016 Holiday Shipping – Fastest Delivery Times
Delivered in 2 Days: Coach
Delivered in 3 Days: American Eagle, Burberry, Kate Spade
Delivered in 4 Days: Lululemon, DSW, GNC, Nordstrom, Target, Zappos
Retailers on Santa’s Nice List 2015
“Luxury retailers took the lead in delivering excellent customer service around fulfilment this Cyber Monday, with the fastest retailers delivering goods in an average of 3.5 days,” said Steve Osburn, managing director, Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy. “Retailers are very aware of the unprecedented change taking place in the industry, and are under great pressure to deliver against rapidly changing consumer expectations. Ensuring they are operationally robust to fulfil customer orders and deliveries around a hugely emotive time of year is crucial for organizations wanting to build lasting loyalty. Being nothing less than a well-oiled machine at this time of year is simply not an option.”
Execution improves for all
While the top retailers excelled, many more were in close pursuit. 17 percent of retailers delivered within the first week of Cyber Monday, and the vast majority (94 percent) delivered packages within two weeks, compared to 82 percent in 2015. Overall delivery times improved to 8.3 calendar days, compared to 8.7 in 2015. Furthermore, only 12 percent of orders encountered an error – such as a cancelled, missing or incorrect item – compared to 15 percent in 2015.
A smarter, more accurate service
Retailers were smarter about what they offered for buy online, pick-up in store (BOPUS) on Black Friday, offering a limited selection. While the percentage of late orders changed minimally from 2015 to 2016, there was an improvement in the number of cancelled items. In 2016, 26 percent of orders had a cancelled item, compared to 34 percent in 2015. Just over half (55 percent) of retailers delivered all orders correctly, compared to just 30 percent in 2015.
Free shipping and flexible delivery options
While 92 percent of retailers offered a way for customers to get free shipping, 2016 saw more retailers (39 percent) add a minimum spend for free shipping. The percentage of retailers offering a BOPUS or reserve in-store option remained flat compared to 2015, with 52 percent of retailers offering an in-store pick-up option.