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68% of Retailers Not Well Prepared To Provide Multiple Holiday Shipping Options

AR Temando ImageAs many as 68% of retailers say they are not well prepared to provide multiple shipping options that will meet customer expectations this holiday season, according to a survey from Temando.

On the whole, smaller retailers reported being less prepared to provide multiple shipping options than their larger counterparts. Only 24% of micro-level retailers (those shipping fewer than 20 deliveries per week) are prepared to meet these expectations, while 29% of small retailers (shipping 21 to 100 deliveries per week) are prepared for the season. Mid-sized (36%) and Enterprise (50%) retailers are better prepared, likely due to the greater number and variety of consumers they ship to, which makes multiple shipping options a business requirement.

To conduct the survey, Temando and Research Now surveyed more than 200 retailers in the U.S., UK, Australia and France in October 2015. The responding retailers ship more than five deliveries per week and operate in retail categories such as electronics, clothing, furniture, toys, home and garden and books.

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These retailers also are ill equipped to handle shipping delays throughout the season, with only 24% reporting that they were actually well prepared to handle them. Retailers also need to improve on their return processes if they want to meet customer expectations this holiday season. Up to 71% of all retailers indicated they are not well prepared to handle returns. 

There are numerous shipping difficulties retailers of all sizes experience as they go into the holidays. High courier rates — cited by 28% of retailers — remain the largest barrier to achieving shipping goals, with meeting customer expectations (27%) coming in a close second. Customer expectations consist of various factors, including overall quality of service, availability of shipping options, shipping costs, returns, tracking and notifications (via email and SMS).

Retailers listed a lack of total automation (19%) as their third-biggest shipping difficulty during the holidays. A majority of retailers responded that their systems were either manual or only somewhat automated, including:

  • Warehouse management (64%);

  • Booking a courier (61%);

  • Customer product returns (72%); and

  • Delivery tracking/customer communication (58%).

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