Ninety-three percent of consumers will look to pick up purchases in stores this holiday season in order to save time and money, according to a survey by e-commerce firm CommerceHub emailed to Retail Dive. When asked why they had chosen buy online, pick up in-store services for previous purchases, 49% said they could get their purchase quicker than delivery; 44% said it was less expensive because of shipping costs; 5% were concerned about package theft and 2% chose it because they weren’t able to sign for packages at home or work.
Sixty-four percent of respondents said that a delivery delay would impact their decision to shop with a retailer again. But choice ranks highest priority for shoppers this holiday season (44%), while 24% of shoppers said exceptional delivery and fulfillment options were paramount.
Eighty-three percent of respondents said it was either somewhat or very important for retailers to offer environmentally conscious shipping and delivery options. CommerceHub surveyed more than 3,000 people in the United States.
This holiday season seems to be focused on the many methods customers have available for obtaining their purchases, from e-commerce to in-store shopping to hybrids like BOPIS. It has led to challenges from all sides by retailers as they try to accommodate consumer wishes while still upholding their revenue goals. Snagging holiday shoppers now can offer long-term results for retailers, as newly acquired customers have the potential to become brand loyal.
But meeting expectations isn’t cheap: Target will spend $50 million more this season than it did the same time last year in order to double its fulfillment roster and ensure skilled employees are available in stores throughout the season. Walmart restructured its entire supply chain this year in order to streamline its digital and store operations. And even marketplaces are getting in on the competition: Etsy prodded its sellers this year to offer free shipping.
But that demand for options comes with costs beyond what the retailer or consumer pays. A 2018 survey from Deloitte found that 82% of shoppers think free shipping is one of the most enticing promotional offers. But, as exhibited in the report from CommerceHub, consumers want not just free and/or fast shipping — they also want environmentally friendly shipping options. Similarly, 60% of Gen Z shoppers think it’s very important for brands to be environmentally friendly, according to research by Gen Z Planet. The role of packaging and last-mile delivery will be worth watching in years to come as companies seek solutions that keep customers happy on multiple fronts.