Consumers Worried About Out of Stock Items and Shipping Delays – But They Are Not Changing Their Behavior


AUSTIN, Texas – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Consumers know they are facing potential challenges over the coming holiday season, but so far they are not necessarily changing their behaviors to adapt to the coming crisis.

Supply chain issues and delivery delays are on the minds of buyers, according to a study of more than 1,300 U.S. consumers released today by Convey by project44, the global leader in consumer experience management. delivery (DEM). Convey by p44’s fifth annual holiday survey reveals that despite their concerns, the majority of consumers (57%) will start shopping at or later than last year, creating a catch-22 for retailers during the most critical time of the year. The main points to remember include:

Holiday warnings have yet to change consumer behavior

Buyers, many of whom were burned in the last holiday by late deliveries, are aware of the looming supply chain and delivery issues this season. But expectations remain high and retailers are expected to adapt to a wide range of consumer buying preferences.

  • The main concerns of consumers during this holiday are out-of-stock items (50%); shipping delays (46%); high prices of goods (46%); and higher shipping costs this year than last year (41%).

  • However, nearly 6 in 10 people (57%) plan to start their holiday shopping around the same time or later than last year, just less than in 2020 (61%).

  • More troubling for retailers, only 37% of consumers who will start shopping at the same time or later are willing to give retailers more than an extra day or two to deliver the items.

  • 71% who plan to start shopping later this year admit free shipping is important to them, indicating that they may have unrealistic expectations in today’s environment.

Amazon Prime is shaping holiday shopping

Retailers should assume that their customers are also buying from Amazon – and that those shoppers meet the expectations set by the speed and efficiency of the online retailer.

  • Eight in 10 (79%) say their household has an Amazon Prime membership, and the Prime membership reaches an astounding 89% for wealthier consumers.

  • Almost 9 in 10 shoppers (87%) are likely to buy from Amazon this holiday season.

  • Mass merchants (Walmart, Target and Best Buy) rank far behind with 67%, followed by department stores (Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s & Kohl’s) with 34%.

Delivery must be free, fast – and on-time delivery expectations must be met

Even amid warnings of shipping disruption and higher costs, most Americans say free shipping (88%) and on-time delivery (88%) are important to the overall holiday shopping experience.

  • According to buyers, the three most important delivery services are: free 2-day delivery (71%); free shipping on returns (63%); and the ability to track packages en route (62%).

  • Transparency is the key. Most buyers (56%) are more likely to complete a purchase if the Estimated Delivery Date (EDD) is visible in the cart.

  • Almost all consumers (98%) want retailers to notify them of late deliveries. Most (76%) prefer direct notification via email or SMS.

  • Almost seven in 10 (67%) say they will no longer shop with a brand after a bad delivery experience.

Growing same-day delivery options

The ability to order online and receive the item that day is important for buyers, especially younger ones.

  • 42% say it’s important to order online for same-day in-store pickup. This number rises to 54% of young buyers (defined as 18-29 years old).

  • 36% of respondents say it’s important to order online for same-day home delivery. This number rises to 48% of young buyers.

“Buyers are going to put retailers to the test this year, despite realizing the challenges that sellers face,” said Carson Krieg, director of industry solutions and strategy at Convey by project44. “Free, fast and on-time delivery is the expectation, thanks to Amazon’s dominant influence in retail. This year’s survey reveals that transparency about pricing, estimated delivery dates and shipping delays is of the utmost importance to keep sellers competitive.

About Convey by project44

With delivery expectations skyrocketing, brands can’t leave the critical last mile to chance. Convey by project44 offers a cutting-edge delivery experience management platform that combines real-time visibility, post-purchase experiences, and advanced insights and analytics to create a solution capable of perfecting last mile delivery. Supply chain and customer experience leaders, including The Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, Ferguson and Ingram-Micro, rely on the software and expertise of Convey by project44 to act to ensure that customers buyers receive their orders as and when they want them, resulting in more satisfied and loyal customers and a lower cost to serve. Founded in 2013, Convey was acquired by project44 in September 2021 and is based in Austin, Texas. Learn more about Convey from project44 at


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