Nearly 50% of retailers aren’t optimistic about meeting demand this holiday shopping season, a new report shows.
Forty-eight percent say they’re concerned about existing supply chain constraints, transportation partners, insufficient labor and increased competition, according to a survey by data platform company Inmar Intelligence. The survey also examines how retailers are responding to changes in consumer behavior related to the pandemic.
Companies are adapting to different models for handling pickup and returns this season, with 70% of retailers offering buy-online, pick-up-in-store fulfillment. Most are offering free shipping, too. Twenty percent of retailers say shipping is free for minimum orders of $10 or less, while nearly 70% offer the same for minimum cart prices of $50 or less.
On the returns front, more than half of retailers said they accept online purchase returns in-store, and a majority offer instant store credit.
“The holiday shopping season has always been a staple in the retail industry as retailers rely on the high volume of sales,” said Rob Zomok, executive vice president at Inmar Intelligence, in a statement. “However, a crucial part of the customer experience and success of retailers is dependent on their ability to process and track returns at an efficient rate. With customers shopping both in-store and online at higher rates this season, this will be an important test for retailers.”
Merchants were asked to estimate their expected return rate (units returned versus units purchased) for the upcoming holiday season:
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