American Marketer


Luxury retailers lead in speedy shipping service: report

December 21, 2016

Image courtesy of Nordstrom Image courtesy of Nordstrom


Nordstrom and Burberry were among the retailers to earn top marks for their delivery in new research from Kurt Salmon.

For its research, Kurt Salmon placed orders with 84 retailers across big boxes, specialty retailers and pure-play ecommerce sites on Cyber Monday. The researchers tracked data for both home deliveries and in-store pickups, comparing speed, accuracy and cost.

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At the top of Kurt Salmon’s leaderboard was Coach, which delivered in two days. Following was American Eagle, Burberry and Kate Spade, who all got packages to their destinations in three days.

Burberry holiday gifting

Burberry holiday gifting

Nordstrom was tied with retailers such as Zappos and Target for four-day delivery.

“Luxury retailers took the lead in delivering excellent customer service around fulfillment this Cyber Monday, with the fastest retailers delivering goods in an average of 3.5 days,” said Steve Osburn, managing director, Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy. “Retailers are very aware of the unprecedented change taking place in the industry, and are under great pressure to deliver against rapidly changing consumer expectations.

"Ensuring they are operationally robust to fulfill customer orders and deliveries around a hugely emotive time of year is crucial for organizations wanting to build lasting loyalty," he said. "Being nothing less than a well-oiled machine at this time of year is simply not an option.”

While not all packages arrived in mere days, Kurt Salmon noted improvement across the board from last year. Whereas in 2015, only 82 percent got orders to their recipients within two weeks, this year 94 percent managed to deliver within this timeframe.

Additionally, 17 percent got their packages to the customer within one week. Average delivery time has decreased from 8.7 calendar days to 8.3 this year.

There were also less cancellations or order errors, such as missing or incorrect items, with only 12 percent of the purchases subject to these difficulties compared to 15 percent in 2015. This year, 26 percent of orders had a cancelled item, down from 34 percent in 2015.

More than half of retailers delivered all of their orders correctly this year, whereas only 30 percent could claim that feat last year.

As with last year, 52 percent of retailers offered a pick up in-store option. 2016 click n collect 400

Santa taking advantage of Selfridge's click and collect service

Free shipping is becoming the standard, with 92 percent of retailers offering a free delivery option. However, this year saw more stores placing a minimum spending benchmark for this service.

Bricks-and-mortar retailers are heeding the demands of shoppers and doubling down on omnichannel services such as order online, pickup in-store and same-delivery this holiday season, but free shipping still remains the best way to encourage online gift purchases.

Free shipping has long been a favorite holiday promotion for shoppers. As mobile shopping grows, and with it the demand for instant gratification, services such as order online, pickup in-store are getting a lot of attention, but in terms of volume, free shipping still has the bigger influence (see story).