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Report: 1 in 5 Consumers Getting Holiday Deliveries Already Feel Behind Schedule Buying Gifts

New uShip “Shipping Stress Test” report reveals e-commerce holiday boom is not without its issues

Austin, Texas – November 15, 2018 – uShip, the logistics technology company, released its “Shipping Stress Test” report that found one in five consumers getting holiday deliveries already feel behind schedule buying gifts; holiday shoppers also list expensive shipping fees (35%) and making sure gifts arrive on time (28%) as common stressors to their holiday gift giving.

The study, conducted online with third-party research firm YouGov, uncovered not only what’s presently stressing holiday shoppers out when buying gifts, but also the potentially harmful actions those awaiting holiday deliveries are looking to take if those deliveries don’t arrive on time. The full report is available at


When asked to rate their holiday shipping experiences last year, just about half (48%) of consumers receiving holiday shipments gave a grade of B. Not bad, but room for improvement this year and with plenty of wiggle room to fall if retailers aren’t buttoned up. Millennials and Gen Z consumers aged 18 to 34 expecting deliveries – customers with significant purchasing power in 2018 – expressed the highest level of disappointment with holiday shipping; 20 percent awarded a grade of C or lower.

“It’s a critical time for brands and retailers – the holiday shopping season has begun, and customers are already feeling the pressure. With major e-commerce moments still on the horizon, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is still tremendous potential for customer let-down this holiday season. No one wants to be that company who fails to deliver on-time and suddenly becomes the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, leaving their customers without their gifts,” said Mike Williams, CEO of uShip.

For companies looking to make the grade this year, uShip uncovered what specific stressors holiday shoppers awaiting deliveries were experiencing, including:

●      High shipping fees (34%, more than 1 in 3)

●      Not everyone offers two-day shopping or less (29%, over a quarter)

●      There are too many ‘ship by’ dates to remember (16%, 1 in 6)

●      They might not be home to get the package and have to track it down (28%, over a quarter)

●      Not being home to get the package is a particular pain point for oversized shipping, in fact, a quarter (26%) of all holiday shoppers said it’s more stressful buying an oversized gift than a parcel sized gift

Unsatisfied customers do plan to voice their disappointment in one way or another; brands and retailers should expect to feel long-term effect if shipping and delivery isn’t up to par this holiday season. In fact, if gifts arrive late, holiday shoppers awaiting deliveries plan to:

●      Complain about the retailer or shipping service on social media (15%, 1 in 7)

●      Avoid shopping with that retailer next year (35%, more than 1 in 3)

●      Call customer service to complain (37%, more than 1 in 3)

●      Buy the gift from another brand or retailer (31%, 1 in 3)

●      Write a negative review of the brand or product online (20%, 1 in 5)


The majority of holiday shoppers waiting on deliveries are presently toeing the line between feeling anxious (39%) or excitement (39%) when waiting for a delivery. For brands and retailers looking to stay on the right side of that fine line, there is still time to keep the customer happy when all they have left to do is wait for their gifts to arrive. Solutions include:

●      Same-day delivery options – whether it’s offering branded same-day delivery options or partnering with third-parties such as Amazon Prime, Postmates, or other, 27 percent of consumers getting holiday deliveries said if a gift arrives late, they’ll use a same-day delivery option to get their item or something else in time.

●      Get a handle on oversized delivery ASAP – While perhaps a smaller subset of orders than traditional sized packages, retailers still need to be prepared to help deliver on those WOW gifts – sofas, cars, appliances, etc. that require extra TLC for on-time, reliable delivery. Many holiday shoppers said they’d buy an oversized item if shipping was cheaper (24%) and easier (18%), suggesting a big business opportunity for shippers/retailers who can nail down the perfect non-traditional delivery strategy (such as uShip).

●      Boost in-store inventory and go the extra mile for the last mile – while many consumers are going online for their holiday shopping needs, if a gift arrives late, more than a quarter (28%) of consumers getting holiday deliveries are going old school and making that emergency run to the store to get it or something else in time. Retailers/brands can go the extra mile by ensuring they have shipments coming in to stores until the final moment, as well offering local delivery through third-parties, white-glove delivery, set up/installation and any other last-minute logistical needs that an emergency in-store purchase might need.

●      Having a reliable, last-minute shipper/s in place –1 in 10 consumers getting holiday deliveries are still willing to pay whatever is needed to get something else shipped on time if their gift arrives late. If possible, retailers need to act now to set up a delivery system that can handle eleventh-hour orders. Someone else’s fail could be someone else’s gain.

The full report is available here.

Research Methodology

uShip commissioned YouGov PLC — a third party, professional research and consulting organization — to poll the views of 1,084 adults who identified themselves as holiday shoppers (out of 1,207 total US adults aged 18+). Fieldwork was undertaken between October 24 – 25, 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

About uShip
uShip makes it quick, easy, and affordable to ship large or bulky items. From cars to cranes and furniture to freight, our straightforward and transparent platform helps people, businesses, e-commerce sellers, and multinational logistics companies ship with greater speed and efficiency. Launched in 2004, uShip is based in Austin, Texas. Find out more at, or on Twitter at @uship.