Who Made It On The Holiday Retail Good List? (And Who Didn't)

Check it once, check it twice — there's always companies who could be named either on Santa's naughty or nice list for delivering on consumer promises that stack up to old Saint Nick's speed. This year, three companies were named on the Kurt Salmon consulting "Santa's Good List for Holiday Shopping Shipping."

Cyber Monday hit a record $2 billion in sales this year, which followed a slow Black Friday shopping start. Retailers have put their guarantee that packages will arrive in time for Christmas Eve, but just which ones did it best during the busiest shopping days? According to Kurt Salmon's list, which looked at companies that delivered multi-order Cyber order in an average of 2.6 days, there are 11. That delivery figure is nearly half the time (5.7 days) the average retailer fulfilled Cyber Monday orders in.

Here's who made the list:

  • 1-day delivery: Google
  • 2-day delivery: Net-A-Porter, Walgreens
  • 3-day delivery: Amazon, Barneys New York, Cabela's, Nike, Staples, TOMS, Under Armour.

This is the first time Google topped the list, and Net-A-Porter and Barneys are repeat winners. Kurt Salmon reported that: "Cyber Monday fulfillment times put retailers on track to deliver against their holiday season goals of speeding up holiday fulfillment by two days to 6.1 days this year."

“Retailers who fulfilled Cyber Monday orders in three days or less are clearly firing on all cylinders,” Steve Osburn, retail strategist at Kurt Salmon, said in a company news release. “So far this holiday season, consumers are benefiting from retailers’ accurate forecasts; improved alignment between merchandising, marketing and distribution; and better inventory visibility.”

So what landed some companies on the naughty list? Kurt Salmon's analysis showed 16 percent of retailers had website issues due to high demand, which included check-out crashes. Best Buy's website crashed for about 90 minutes.  Their research showed that 15 percent of retailers were out-of-stock at checkout, and also found 34 percent of retailers were unable to complete the multi-item orders within two weeks of Cyber Monday. That figure is higher than the 25 percent of retailers in 2013.

"In most cases, it was one or two high-demand items in the order that proved problematic," the company reported.

“While we saw a few hiccups in Cyber Monday fulfillment, retailers responded well to significant sales spikes,” Osburn said. “This bodes well for last-minute e-commerce orders, but there are always variables. Last year, 15% of last minute orders did not reach their destination in time, and despite retailers’ adjustments, consumers would be wise to give themselves a buffer or upgrade delivery options when placing orders over the next week.”

Kurt Salmon's research also looked at the number of retailers who offered free shipping on orders and how that strategy kept up during the biggest shopping days. The report said 78 percent of retailers offered Cyber Monday free shipping on Cyber Monday, up from last year's 70 percent. But not all free shipping offers were the same as only 51 percent of retailers offered free shipping on all orders. The remaining bunch required customers to hit a spending threshold. Their research also pinpointed that the buy-online-pick-up-in-store option is gaining in popularity as it was offered by 37 percent of retailers.

"With industry leaders such as Google and Amazon investing in their same-day delivery capabilities in addition to start-ups like Deliv, retailer offerings and consumer adoption are likely to follow suit. More retailers are also leveraging ship-from-store capabilities to fulfill orders, but in some cases, this may have contributed to delays in multi-item order fulfillment and inventory challenges," the company wrote in the news release.




The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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