In a holiday season that is seeing growing reports of retail shipping issues, ecommerce startup Jet.com warned customers it couldn’t guarantee Christmas delivery for certain items not flagged as eligible for two-day delivery.
Warnings of later deliveries are also coming from FedEx and Amazon. Jet.com began issuing the warning to customers on Dec. 14, and is considering instituting fees for expedited shipping next holiday season, which it doesn’t do currently.
“This year’s holiday gift rush has led to nationwide shipping delays that have affected many of our fulfillment partners,” the company said on its website. “We are committed to creating the best possible experience for our customers, so we wanted to let you know that we can no longer confidently guarantee delivery by Dec. 25 for any items not flagged as eligible for two-day delivery.”
Jet.com does some of its own fulfillment with a couple of distribution centers, but mostly relies on third parties to get orders to customers. And that maybe part of the problem: Unlike Amazon’s FBA, Jet.com doesn’t have the massive network to do its own fulfillment.
Liza Landsman, EVP and Chief Customer Officer for Jet.com, said the company opted for being proactive in issuing the warning of shipping delays, referring to “broader delivery challenges” being experienced this year.
“Because it’s our first holiday season, we erred on the side of preserving a great experience for our members by communicating super early about any potential impacts caused by industry-wide delays,” Landsman said. “We and our partners are still hitting the overwhelming majority of estimated delivery dates – we just decided to be a first mover in transparency with consumers about the nationwide fulfillment challenges that are impacting a small percentage of customers.”
She added Jet.com is having “a terrific December,” adding it hit 2 million members last week and is on track to meet or exceed the commitment to its board of $44.9 million in gross merchandise value (GMV) during the month.
Because Jet.com’s model rewards retailers at checkout that can fulfill orders fastest by being closest to the customer, the company erred on the side of caution in issuing the warning, Landsman said.