Solving the Nightmare Before Christmas: Decoupling Shipping from Delivery

As the holidays near, many retailers will be hard-pressed to deliver gifts on time. Here’s why decoupling shipping from digital delivery can provide an optimal, digital solution for consumers.

According to a new report from eMarketer, e-commerce sales will jump 18% in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. The increase in online shopping is already stressing shipping companies as orders pile up. And, consumers, accustomed to free next-day receipt of their purchases, are now finding that “next day” may mean “next week” as shipments are delayed. And, all of this is coupled with the uncertainty of store openings, which are happening at a different pace.

As the holidays approach this is likely to get worse.

And while this may be a problem for consumers, it could be the nightmare before Christmas for retailers as the holidays approach. Shipping companies have already announced holiday surcharges and are moving up shipping deadlines by weeks at a time. If you want your gift shipped by Hanukkah or Christmas, you’d better buy it soon. 

Retailers will likely need to get used to this new reality. For many, success with the 2020 holiday gift shopping season will hinge on e-commerce sales as consumers either can’t or won’t shop for gifts in store and need to address distance gifting for presents to be shipped to friends and relatives they likely won’t be able to visit. And, while BOPIS may work for gifting for people in your household, it won’t work as well for consumers looking to send a gift to your friend across the country or relative across the state.

Fortunately, there is an answer for retailers: The act of shipping a gift doesn’t have to equate with the act of digitally delivering a gift. 

With GiftNow, retailers can ensure that gifts are delivered instantly. If a customer wants to purchase and send a gift on the first day of Hanukkah or on Christmas morning, for example, they can buy it online, add a personal message or video and have the gift delivered to the recipient’s inbox or phone in a matter of minutes—the gifter only needs to know the recipient’s email address or mobile number. The retailer makes the sale, the gift giver sends the gift and the recipient gets a delightful digital gifting experience on their device. The actual product can then be shipped and arrive a few days later. While this doesn’t eliminate surcharges, it can reduce or eliminate the need for rush shipping costs because the gift experience is delivered digitally, thereby reducing overall shipping costs.

And, like that last present in the stocking, there’s another benefit, it’s contactless—which is important in the current environment. The recipient can adjust the gift for size or color and also specify the shipping address before the product ever leaves the store or warehouse, eliminating returns which further benefits the bottom line.

This holiday season is going to be different, but there are things retailers can do to minimize risks and grow gifting sales. Digital gifting with GiftNow mitigates shipping worries and costs and can increase holiday gift sales.

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