Online Holiday Shipping Deadline Looms
Most holiday shipping offers are set to expire on or before December 18, according to a new study by Shop.org and BIGresearch.
Nearly two thirds (62.3%) of retailers’ shipping deadlines for Christmas delivery will fall on or before December 18, with 34 percent of shipping deadlines occurring on December 18 itself.
Many of the busiest online shopping days of the year are set to take place this week as shoppers go online to make holiday purchases in order to meet impending shipping deadlines.
"Online shoppers don’t need to deal with long lines, store hours or winter weather, but they do need to plan ahead," said Scott Silverman, Executive Director of Shop.org.
"To entice online shoppers on a budget, many retailers will offer special sales and promotions as shipping deadlines near."
Shoppers looking to save on shipping should also be aware of December 18, as 17.9 percent of retailers said that would be the last day they would offer a free shipping promotion for holiday gifts.
According to shop.org’s eHoliday survey, released in October, the majority (79.4%) of online retailers will offer free shipping with conditions at some point during the holiday season, while more than half (57.4%) also plan to offer free shipping without conditions. The popular promotion is one element driving shoppers online, with 33.1 percent of holiday shoppers planning to spend more on the Internet this holiday season because of free shipping.
"In this economy, shoppers are taking a look at the entire purchase price – including shipping – before deciding where to shop," said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch.
"Though free shipping isn’t "free" for retailers, companies know these promotions can set themselves apart from their competition and are relying on them more heavily to bring in shoppers."
For shoppers who miss standard shipping deadlines they may be still able to use expedited shipping from some retailers. More than half (54.2%) of online retailers will offer overnight shipping options for Christmas delivery through December 23.