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Zappos Is Zippiest: Amazon Unit Tops List as Fastest Holiday Shipper

Amazon’s Zappos unit topped the list of fast holiday shippers in a study conducted by Kurt Salmon and StellaService. The study analyzed shipping times for orders placed on Cyber Monday from over 50 retailers across a broad range of categories, including traditional big boxes, specialty retailers and online-only e-tailers. It found that retailers in the top-five delivered multi-unit orders in an average of 2.9 days.

Retailers that ranked at the top of the list pulled out all the stops to offer fast and free shipping and deliver an exceptional customer experience despite the increased order volume, according to the study.

The list of top five companies for holiday shipping are the following:

  • Zappos: 1 day
  • Barneys New York: 3 days
  • NET-A-PORTER: 3 days
  • Costco: 3.3 days
  • Neiman Marcus: 4.4 days

What the Top Five Are Doing Right
The study found that the top-five retailers delivered multi-unit Cyber Monday orders in an average of 2.9 days, which was less than half the average fulfillment time of 6.2 days achieved by retailers in the analysis. In comparison to Cyber Monday, off-peak average fulfillment time was quicker, coming in at 5.3 days.

According to Michelle Bogan, partner in Kurt Salmon’s Retail and Consumer Products Group, “The slower fulfillment time for Cyber Monday orders in the overall study indicates that many retailers forecasted less demand, perhaps due to slow economic growth. But ecommerce continues to boom as free shipping and guaranteed product availability increase the convenience factor. Retailers at the top of their game for fulfillment will adjust forecasts, retrain or increase staff in distribution centers and be better prepared for later peak order times.”

In addition to fast delivery, top retailers offered free shipping: 70% of retailers in the study offered free shipping with Cyber Monday orders. Other qualities Kurt Salmon examined were: Focus on Presentation, such as wrapping items in tissue paper or including thank you notes with orders;

Kurt Salmon in partnership with StellaService will publish the full results of their fulfillment analysis, including single-unit orders, in the first quarter of 2014.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.