Late Delivery, Porch Theft Among Top Concerns for Holiday Shoppers

Majority of consumers want ability to track packages en rout
A package on the front steps of a house

Online shopping has its benefits, such as last-minute deals and convenience, but a new survey suggests that for some consumers, delivery speed and security remain top of mind.

With the holiday shopping season on the horizon, a new report by retail delivery-management platform company Convey shows delivery problems for online purchases remain a big concern. To find out what consumers thought of the shipping and delivery process, Convey surveyed 2,550 shoppers who said they had made at least 10% of their purchases via the internet over the past 12 months.

Among the respondents, almost 84% said the delivery process is important to the overall shopping experience — up from about 74% in the previous year’s survey — with nearly 44% saying it is “very important.”

Specifically, just under 39% of respondents said late delivery of packages was their biggest worry, making it the No. 1 shipping-related concern this holiday season. In fact, an overwhelming 98% said they would want some kind of notification from the retailer if their delivery was going to be late.

The second-biggest concern, cited by roughly 22% of respondents, was the fear that packages would be stolen from consumers’ porches or front doors after they were delivered.

As a way to ease worries over package security, 66.5% of respondents said having the ability to track packages while they were en route was an important service. Meanwhile, close to 13% said they would prefer to be able to change delivery destinations even after packages were on the way.

The need for speed

Overall, the study found, speed is becoming an increasingly important element when it comes to delivery options. While cost was the top shipping-related factor for consumers — cited by more than 64% of respondents — almost 19% of respondents named delivery speed as most important, up from 11% who favored speed in the 2018 survey.

Likewise, speed was important, even for those most concerned with cost, as more than 79% of all respondents said the offer of free two-day shipping was an important factor in their buying decisions. And close to 29% of those surveyed said they’d be more likely to buy an item if they knew it would arrive within a week, compared to 7.5% who said the shipping date played no role in their shopping decisions.

For many people, free shipping has become an expected feature of buying online. However, as you make your holiday shopping plan, it’s a good idea to check in advance with online retailers you plan to buy from to make sure you won’t be met with unexpected fees. That also gives you time to find an alternative retailer if you don’t want to pay delivery costs.

Also, it’s a good idea to consider ways to protect any merchandise delivered to your home, including installing a security camera and insuring particularly valuable shipments. This can save you the headache of going through a claim if thieves strike.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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