- According to an Accenture report emailed to Retail Dive, none of the 116 retailers studied managed to deliver in one day this year, compared to three retailers that did so in 2019. On average, retailers took 2.8 days to fulfill orders this year, compared to 1.8 days last year, the report found.
- Zara, Staples, CVS, Lowe's and Amazon Prime were among the top-performing retailers that had the fastest delivery orders completed with no errors. Twenty-one percent of orders arrived at their destinations within one week, a slight decrease from 22% in 2019, per Accenture's findings.
- The report noted that 65% of retailers either offered buy online, pickup in store; reserve online, pickup in-store; or curbside pickup — an increase from 52% last year. It also found that 57% of retailers are offering contactless pickup, an option that wasn't offered in previous years.
Retailers have done what they could to keep their supply chains flowing this year, but carrier caps could derail their ability to get products to consumers on time this holiday season, according to the report.
Though retailers have relied increasingly on alternatives such as BOPIS to put goods in the hands of consumers, carrier capacity problems and consumer safety concerns will require retailers to come up with creative solutions and quickly pivot to meet consumers' demands, Steve Osburn, managing director in Accenture Strategy's retail industry sector, said in a statement.
"[T]his season continues to be one of the most challenging that many retailers have ever seen," Osburn said.
Other reports have indicated that shipping delays could be more severe as consumers continue to shift spending to e-commerce. This year's package delays could range between 14% and 18%, but those slowdowns could be prolonged for densely-populated cities, according to LateShipment.com's research.
With the surge in e-commerce sales comes a spike in returns, shipping delays and other hiccups for retailers. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that UPS imposed shipping limits on a number of retailers, including Macy's, Gap and L.L. Bean, to manage the surge in e-commerce.
But as retailers fall behind on parcel deliveries, their physical storefronts have allowed them to implement BOPIS and curbside pickup services for consumers. A lengthy list of retailers have introduced curbside and BOPIS options for consumers this year, including Best Buy, Walmart, J.C. Penney, Jos A. Bank, Men's Wearhouse and Joann.