Buying holiday gifts digitally is supposed to be the hassle-free alternative to brick-and-mortar retail, but the majority of online shoppers say the experience has left them feeling disconcerted.
According to a recent Pitney Bowes survey of 3,002 US digital shoppers, 56% of respondents encountered an issue during the last holiday season as they shopped online for gifts. By comparison, 36% of respondents in 2017 said the places they shopped for gifts the prior year had "let [them] down during the holidays."
The root cause? Problems with post-purchase and delivery experiences.
Of the 56% who said they had a poor experience, some had the wrong item delivered (6%), while others said their package was lost in the mail and never arrived (7%). But it was more likely that the shipment arrived late (15%).
A lot can go wrong during the last mile of delivery—gift packages can be tossed carelessly onto porches, get damaged in transit or stolen. Still, 91% of US gift buyers were worried about late delivery—surpassing all other concerns, a 2018 Dropoff survey found.
And at a time of year when free shipping offers are expected, consumers had issues with a delivery fee being added to their order. Pitney Bowes’ survey found that 12% of respondents felt the cost of shipping was too high, but didn’t delve into whether or not the purchase was made based on those grounds.