Warning: Most Consumers Holiday Shop Online Just Days Before the 25th


holiday-shopping-onlineSome people procrastinate all year round, especially when it comes time for the holidays. Are you feeling guilty as charged? You’re not alone. According to October eCustomerServiceIndex results released by eDigitalResearch and the Interactive Media in Retail Group, almost half of shoppers ordering gifts online will wait until the week before Christmas to make their purchases. So, what effect does your procrastination have on the rest of the world? Couriers and mail services will surely have their work cut out for them during this holiday season.

2,012 British consumers were asked when they could place an order online and feel confident it would arrive before Christmas. Fifty three percent surveyed responded December 17th or before, and 32 percent replied up until December 20th. According to Andrew Starkey of IMRG, consumers have shown increased confidence in mail carriers when compared to results from 2013. Last year, only 34% of online consumers were willing to place their order within a week before Christmas. This year, 47% expressed confidence in a timely Christmas delivery within the same time frame. Interestingly, 18% of the online consumers surveyed have placed orders in the past that did not make it in time for Christmas, even though 91% of those people believed they ordered within a realistic time frame.

eDigitalResearch Commercial Director Derek Eccleston stresses the importance of the need for stores and their mail partners to diligently prepare for the impending onslaught of holiday orders. This operational planning will be crucial in keeping timely promises from both entities. Inevitably, though, some orders will not make it on time. Customer service will also need to be well-prepared for unhappy customers wanting answers and information on their packages.

What’s the best online ordering strategy for on-time Christmas presents? Perhaps the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Phillip Stanhope, provided the best advice. Never put off tomorrow what you could do today.