Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Holiday Package Delivery Falls Short

The US holiday shopping season was a success, bringing in $608.1 billion in sales between November and December (a 3.8 percent increase from last year). While free shipping and guaranteed delivery by Christmas gave consumers incentive to shop online, many were dissatisfied with their experience. A recent study shows that 1 in 10 eCommerce packages were received damaged this year.

StellaService, a company dedicated to measuring the service performance of online retailers, conducted a study during the holidays to determine which companies and mail carriers delivered the highest percentage of damaged packages and products. Analysts ordered about 3200 packages from 121 retailers. In total, 313 packages were damaged, and 16 products were damaged in the process.

Here's what they found:

Out of the three carriers evaluated, UPS, United States Postal Service (USPS) and FedEx, UPS delivered the highest percentage (11%) of damaged packages, followed by USPS (10%) and FedEx (7%).

36% of retailers evaluated had a damaged package rate of less than 5%

19 companies had zero damaged packages, including Walmart, Target, Rakuten, and Dell.

The following advice was given to online retailers to help prevent damaged shipments from arriving at customers' doorsteps:

  1. Know your carriers (and the terms of your contract). Make sure mail carriers are meeting service level agreements (SLA) for damaged packages. 
  2. Thoroughly test your packaging to ensure packages arrive safely and in good condition. Consider the effects of extreme temperatures on products. 
  3. Reevaluate your packaging twice a year. 
  4. Use a third-party watchdog for SLAs in vendor contracts. 

For more detail about this study, check out the original article below from StellaService


by Samantha Warner
Marketing Extraordinaire