Report: Free Shipping, Customer-Centric Offerings Will Drive Holiday Sales


A report compiled by Ann Arbor-based CFI Group, based on a survey of 500 online shoppers about what they expect from retailers this holiday shopping season, revealed several consumer trends, including a preference for operational flexibility and a variety of fulfillment options.

The report indicates that 76 percent of consumers will shop at a competitors site if a retailer runs out of a product, 65 percent are willing to purchase additional items to qualify for free shipping, and 95 percent will wait up to five days for standard shipping.

Additionally, 47 percent of consumers will look elsewhere if a shipment arrives later than expected, and 14 percent prefer in-store pickup as their go-to delivery choice. Thirty-four percent of consumers also indicated a preference for live chat customer service during the holiday season.

“It’s about flexibility,” says Sheri Petras , CFI Group’s CEO. “If a retailer has all those fulfillment options available, the customer is going to be able to stay within that retail family, as opposed to shopping someplace else.”

CFI Group has been measuring customer experience and business insights since its founding in 1988 and operates a network of global offices. The firm collaborated on the report with Radial, a commerce technologies and operations company.

A full copy of the Retail Report can be read here.