Retailers, Shippers Gird for Higher Package Volume This Christmas
Oct. 30, 2014
Online retailers and shipping companies are determined to bounce back from a disastrous 2013 holiday season that saw major delays and missed delivery deadlines for many last-minute online purchases. This year, to combat an even higher percentage of expected online shoppers, nearly 80 percent of retailers will set their standard shipping deadlines for guaranteed Christmas delivery at least a week before Christmas Day, according to a new report from Shop.org. Last year, only 73.7 percent set that deadline. Shop.org also found many retailers made investments in shipping and fulfillment this year, in response to last year’s problems, which were exacerbated by last-minute deals, bad weather and a short holiday season.
“Retailers and their delivery partners this year are proactively planning to make sure they meet customer expectations for delivery and customer service,” said Shop.org Executive Director and NRF Senior Vice President Vicki Cantrell. “In addition to ramping up their online promotions earlier to entice customers to start shopping earlier in the season, many companies this year also have invested in functionalities such as live chat, checking in-store product availability and buy online – pick up in store.”
FedEx expects its package volume between Black Friday and Christmas Eve to increase 8.8 percent from last year and is hiring 50,000 seasonal workers to help with the Christmas onslaught of packages.