Still Waiting for Christmas Deliveries? Blame Online Shopping Surge

If you’re still waiting for holiday gifts to arrive, you’re not alone. The surge in online shopping this year has left many companies unable to deliver, literally.

According to the latest report from the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, Groupon, and possibly many others, have failed to deliver gifts on time for the holidays. Naturally, UPS blamed Amazon for not having packages prepared on time, while Amazon faulted UPS for being late on deliveries. To keep customers happy, Amazon is offering $20 gift certificates and refunding shipping orders. Kohl’s has gone further by paying for the entire cost of late orders. Wal-Mart is offering just $25 to those who did not get packages on time.

It was no surprise that online shopping surged this year. As expected the numbers were overwhelmingly positive – a 37% increase in online shopping accounted for 14% of all holiday sales. While the weather and technical problems may have exacerbated the difficulties, the numbers were a little higher than predicted. On top of that, there were six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, giving shoppers, retailers, and carriers less time to negotiate shipments.

Perhaps these errors will be corrected by next year, but according to reports, Amazon hired 70,000 additional employees to handle this year’s holiday shipments, 40% more than the previous year – how much more will be necessary? Perhaps it’s time to get those drones moving.

Publish date: December 26, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT