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Survey: Free trumps speed for holiday shipping policies

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Survey: Free trumps speed for holiday shipping policies

Consumers well-equipped to seek out competitive products and retail policies; mobile device ownership at all-time high this holiday season.

Consumers expect to hear knocks on their door from delivery services well into the holiday week and for no cost at all, according to professional services firm Deloitte and its annual holiday survey of consumer spending intentions and trends. Furthermore, the ubiquity of personal mobile devices allows consumers to take their time researching purchases and store policies giving them opportunity to request exactly what they want.

Nearly 9 in 10 shoppers prioritized free shipping over fast shipping (13%) when purchasing gifts shopping online.

Free shipping listed as top retailer policy preferred by shoppers; customers expect even more perks

Free shipping is the top priority for shoppers when it comes to retail policies, with 72% of responding consumers planning to take full advantage of the perk. Nearly 9 in 10 shoppers prioritized free shipping over fast shipping (13%) when purchasing gifts shopping online. In fact, 60% of consumers think they could order after Dec. 17 – just one week prior to Christmas Eve – and still receive free shipping.

Despite shoppers expecting free shipping to be fast, they are not willing to pay much to expedite their shipping. On average, respondents were willing to pay only an additional $5.10 for same-day delivery. 

"Consumers value their time as much as dollars saved. So when it comes to shipping their holiday purchases bought online, they are expecting free shipping and they want options to get it delivered quickly," said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution practice leader. "With consumers spending more time comparing prices and policies for the holiday season, they are going to seek out the retailers who offer them exactly what they like. The challenge for retailers is that free and fast shipping are standards year-round, potentially causing a disruption for the industry as a whole as they redefine the supply chain process to be more efficient."

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