When it came to standing out and in front of their competitors over the 2012 Cyber Monday holiday, a new Innotrac report has found that retailer’s main focus was free shipping.
Last year’s Cyber Monday did not disappoint when came to sales. According to the SmartHub 3.1 November 2012 Cyber Monday report, retailers pulled in a record $1.47 billion in sales, which equaled a 17% growth over 2011.
While a majority of retailers offered free shipping on Cyber Monday, it did come with some stipulations for the consumer. According to the report, 69% of retailers offered some kind of free shipping option while 46% offered free shipping on all orders regardless of price.
The report also looked into Cyber Monday trends on shipping and delivery timing. Due to the holiday’s vast amount of deals and discounts offered to consumers, Cyber Monday is arguably the busiest day for fulfillment centers, warehouses, and shipping carriers. However, not all retailers are prepared to handle this type of demand.
While the first 10 months of 2012, according to the report, showed that between 68 to 80% of all orders were shipped no later than the day after the order was placed by the customer, on Cyber Monday, just over half of all orders (52%) were shipped the day after the order was placed.
To counterbalance, according to the report, many merchants were proactive and alerted their customers of any possible delays in shipping times. “Managing customer expectations can often prevent situations like this from turning into a potentially negative experience,” according to the report.
If customers are not alerted to any type of delays, especially during the holiday season, the report said “can result in decreased lifetime customer value, decreased reorder rates, and a decrease in the likelihood to recommend the brand.”