Most Christmas Delivery Deadlines Extended to Dec. 20

Don’t worry if you’re a holiday shopping procrastinator: Most standard shipping deadlines for Christmas delivery have been extended to Dec. 20 according to Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation.

What’s more, late holiday shoppers have until Dec. 23 to take advantage of expedited shipping promotions.

According to Shop.org’s eHoliday Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, eight in 10 retailers’ standard shipping deadlines for Christmas delivery will expire before or on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Shoppers can also shop online as late as Dec. 23 as 5.3% of retailers say they will offer upgraded expedited shipping promotions through that date.

“As consumers shop around for the perfect gifts, express and standard free shipping offers could be the deciding factor for many procrastinators this holiday season,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell.

According to the survey, extreme procrastinators will have until Dec. 22 when 86% of companies’ free expedited shipping promotions expire. What’s more, 22% of digital retailers will offer express two-day shipping options for guaranteed Christmas delivery through Dec. 22, and 30% will offer overnight express shipping through Dec. 23 for guaranteed Christmas delivery.

More than 92% of online retailers will offer free shipping at some point during the holiday season, the survey says, and more than half (56.3%) say their budget for free shipping promotions specifically is somewhat or significantly higher than last year.

The eHoliday survey, now in its 10th year, provides a snapshot of the holiday activities of both large and small online retailers, many of which have been in business for at least 10 years. The survey, conducted by BIGresearch for Shop.org, included 3,446 consumers between Sept. 19, 2011 through Oct. 7, 2011, and 51 online retailers from Sept. 22 –Oct. 14, 2011.

Jim Tierney (jim.tierney@penton.com) is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-358-4265.

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