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Holiday Shopping Forecast: Product Availability, On-Time Deliveries Matter Most to Consumers During Peak Season, Study Shows

Christmas-sqProviding a sneak peek at online shoppers’ expectations during the upcoming 2015 holiday shopping season, a new survey from eBay Enterprise and CFI Group reveals that consumers desire multiple ordering and more shipping options, while showing that product availability and late deliveries have the biggest impact on retailers’ bottom line.

The newly released Holiday Outlook Report 2015: What Matters Most During Peak Shopping Season report shows that of the 500 online shoppers surveyed, 79 percent reported that rather than waiting, they are likely to switch brands when the items they are shopping for are out of stock.

“The critical nature of product availability is emphasized when realizing that not only will a retailer lose a sale on the out of stock item, but often times on other products in an overall purchase,” said CFI Group CEO Sheri Petras, in a news release. “It’s true that consumers have a strong desire for multiple ordering and shipping options, but first the product must be readily available.”

The report further emphasizes the importance of product availability and omnichannel alignment: Of the online shoppers that report utilizing in-store pickup, 62 percent do so in order to save shipping cost while 17 percent do so to get products immediately. This combined 79 percent underscores the importance of having more products available both in-store and online.

Honoring promised delivery dates is mission-critical for retailers, according to the study. Not only can late deliveries cause 56 percent of consumers to not shop with that retailer in the future, but another 56 percent say their primary reason for contacting customer service during the holidays is related to shipping or delivery. More than a quarter of consumers will contact customer service the day after a delivery date has been missed and 48 percent will do so if two days pass, causing a strain on a retailer’s resources to track shipments and communicate the status of orders to customers.

Download the complete report here.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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