Retailers Move Up Online Order Date for Guaranteed Christmas Delivery
Consumers are shopping online for their holiday gifts in incredible numbers, with record breaking sales on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the days that followed. According to Adobe Digital Insights, online sales revenues have been over $1 billion per day every day since November 1.
To keep up with the hype and ensure high customer satisfaction, retailers are moving up the date for guaranteed Christmas delivery this year. Early data from analytics firm StellaService shows the average retailer has a Christmas order cutoff date of Tuesday, December 19. Last year, it was set for Wednesday, Dec 21 and in 2015 it was Sunday, December 20.
Shipping companies have had two years to adjust to the increase in online sales. 2015 was the first year online sales surpassed in-store sales, and that sent shippers into a frenzy. On-time deliveries for UPS dropped from 97% in 2014 to 91% in 2015, and FedEx reported a rate of 95%. Retailers can use this information to adjust their sales strategies, just as the shippers can modify operations to fit consumer needs. This combination may have led to the change in Christmas shipping cutoff dates.
Since most online orders are paid for by credit card or debit card, the orders are processed right away. As long as you complete the order before your retailer’s designated cutoff date, you should be able to get the item in time for Christmas. However, if you are placing an order in store to be delivered to your home, your payment method may affect the shipping guarantee. Personal checks often take a few days to clear, and that may affect the terms for shipping. Keep that in mind when ordering last-minute Christmas gifts so you can get your items on time.