Consumers have ever higher expectations for getting orders shipped out on time, and the nation’s retailers didn’t disappoint this holiday season.
Nine-three percent of retailers kept their promises and delivered Christmas orders within their prescribed times, according to a study from Kurt Salmon, the retail management consultant arm of Accenture Strategy.
High marks went to traditional big box retailers as well as specialty retailers and, of course, Amazon Prime. The report singled out Amazon for living up to its two-hour delivery promise right up to midnight on Christmas Eve.
It also noted retailers Best Buy and Kohl’s, which allowed customers to buy online and pick up in store until late in the day on Dec. 24. Target offered orders placed by 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve to be picked up by closing time at 10 p.m.
“Delivering on shipping promises before Christmas is extremely challenging and has huge consequences for those that get it wrong,” said Steve Osburn, managing director of Kurt Salmon, in a statement.
“With online sales continuing to rise, retailers have to ensure they are operationally robust to deliver on time, able to change direction at a moment’s notice and offer flexible delivery alternatives to avoid letting customers down.”
The study found that a third of retailers avoided having a “last order promise date,” the highest percent in recent years.
All of the retailers that failed to deliver had a cutoff date of Dec. 19 or later.
Retailers have set the bar high. Target offered a holiday special of free two-day shipping on all holiday orders.
The majority of retailers take an average of six days to deliver, according to Accenture Strategy.
The survey found that 54 percent of U.S. consumers expect holiday orders to arrive in three days — and with free shipping.