WASHINGTON D.C., Dec 14, 2009—Holiday procrastinators take note: it’s not too late to shop online and receive gifts by Christmas, but the window is closing.
According to Shop.org’s eHoliday Study, conducted by BIGresearch, nearly two-thirds (62.3%) of retailers’ shipping deadlines for Christmas delivery will fall on or before December 18, with the majority of holiday shipping deadlines (34.0%) occurring on Dec. 18 itself.
Many of the busiest online shopping days of the year are expected to occur the week of December 14 as shoppers everywhere head online to make holiday purchases in advance of impending shipping deadlines.
“Online shoppers don’t need to deal with long lines, store hours or winter weather, but they do need to plan ahead,” said Scott Silverman, Executive Director of Shop.org. “To entice online shoppers on a budget, many retailers will offer special sales and promotions as shipping deadlines near.”
Shoppers looking to save on shipping should also keep December 18 in mind, as 17.9 percent of retailers said that would be the last day the company would offer a free shipping promotion for holiday gifts. Shop.org’s website, CyberMonday.com, maintains a free shipping section with a list of retailers still offering the popular promotions for delivery by Christmas.
According to the first portion of the eHoliday survey, released in October, four out of five online retailers (79.4%) will offer free shipping with conditions at some point during the holiday season, while more than half (57.4%) also plan to offer free shipping without conditions. The popular promotion is one factor driving shoppers to the web, with one-third of holiday shoppers (33.1%) planning to spend more online this holiday season because of free shipping specifically.
“In this economy, shoppers are taking a look at the entire purchase price – including shipping – before deciding where to shop,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Though free shipping isn’t “free” for retailers, companies know these promotions can set themselves apart from their competition and are relying on them more heavily to bring in shoppers.”
Those who miss standard shipping deadlines may still be able to take advantage of expedited shipping offers from select retailers. According to the survey, half of online retailers (54.2%) will offer overnight shipping options for Christmas delivery through December 23.