Holiday 2013: Lofty Delivery Expectations Taxed Carriers

Ecommerce grew 30% year over year during the 2013 holiday season, but Forrester principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru doesn’t expect history to repeat itself in 2014.

A major reason, Mulpuru says in this video, is that ecommerce is taxing the capacity of the carrier network. And that was especially evident with express delivery around Christmas.

“There were very lofty expectations that you can order things two days before Christmas and, depending on the retailer, you could get it shipped for free by Christmas,” Mulpuru says. “It’s just not something that was a realistic expectation.”

One thing Mulpuru sees as a possibility is carriers raising shipping prices in December, and maybe even November.

“It forces retailers to think more carefully about what free shipping offers they make and when, and it forces customers to think about where they are going to shop and when,” Mulpuru says. “It is possible it will send some traffic back to the stores.”

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