Last-minute shopping continues to be a "bad" behavior that plagues consumers, and to some extent retailers, every year. Nearly one third (30%) of shoppers typically wait until the week of Christmas to do the majority of their holiday shopping, according to a recent report from RetailMeNot.
The survey indicates that as many as 91% of Americans have bought last-minute gifts during the holidays at some point. The number continues to remain high for numerous reasons:
44% of shoppers were undecided on what to get the recipient;
30% of shoppers became busy and ran out of time;
21% waited to see how much money they had left;
21% received an unexpected gift; and
21% simply forgot to buy early.
While e-Commerce continues to have a growing influence on the overall retail landscape, the brick-and-mortar store is still the favored option among late shoppers. Of those who shop at the last minute, 58% prefer to shop in-store versus online.
Customers Still Shop Late Even Amid Shipping Concerns
When waiting that long to purchase a gift for the holiday, shipping is bound to be a concern for the consumer. Upon making a late purchase, customers expect to have to pay extra in shipping costs. Only 34% of shoppers actually think they will receive their order in time without paying expedited shipping costs, if they place the order within one week of the desired arrival date.
Nevertheless, with all these factors in mind, there are still more people shopping for last-minute gifts online in 2015 (42%) than last year (32%). Some of this increase may be attributable to the overall growth of e-Commerce as a holiday shopping option.
Even if these shoppers miss free shipping deadlines, they’ll take steps to avoid expedited shipping costs. For example, 47% would elect to buy the item online and pick it up in-store, while 44% would check other retailers for the same item to see if they might offer free expedited shipping.