Nearly 46% of US retailers will end standard shipping promotions Dec. 17, with almost 6% going as late as Dec. 21; 43% of retailers will offer free expedited shipping through Dec. 21:

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Dec 12, 2012 – National Retail Federation (NRF)

WASHINGTON , December 12, 2012 (press release) – Though millions of holiday packages are crossing the country right now en route to their intended doorsteps, many Americans may choose to wait until the last minute to finish their holiday shopping. In 2010 and 2011 the average person still had half of their shopping lists to complete as of mid-December.

In response, this year retailers are planning to meet consumers’ needs with a plethora of shipping deals well through the final shopping days of the holiday season. According to’s 2012 eHoliday Study conducted by BIGinsight, 45.7 percent of retailers surveyed will end standard shipping promotions by Monday, December 17, with others going as late as December 21 (5.7%).

“Even after weeks of record-level online traffic to their sites, retailers are well aware that millions of their customers will still shop at the very last minute, regardless of how early they may have started their shopping this year,” said Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “For some procrastinators, express and standard free shipping offers could be the deciding factor in whether or not they purchase something. In anticipation, retailers will save some of the best deals of the year for the final stretch to reel in the countless last minute holiday shoppers we see each year.”

Consumers waiting until the very last minute, however, may have to hunt a little more diligently to find free or expedited shipping offers to guarantee Christmas delivery. While four in 10 (43.3%) retailers surveyed will offer free expedited shipping through December 20 or 21, 36.7 percent say they will not offer expedited free shipping offers at all this year. Additionally, extreme procrastinators will have until December 22 when 13.3 percent of companies’ free expedited shipping promotions expire.

According to’s eHoliday survey, nine in 10 online retailers (89.7%) will provide a free shipping offer at some point during the 2012 holiday season, and consumers are keen to take advantage of these deals as more than one-third (35.0%) said they specifically choose to shop online because of free shipping.

“Having a few extra days to wrap up their shopping lists will help holiday procrastinators this year as they browse web sites and stores for gift ideas,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “Once shipping deadlines start passing, shoppers will look to retailers not only for deals and promotions, but also for services such as same-day delivery and buy online and pick up in store. Many more will look for instant gratification and seek out gift cards and music, movie and game downloads for their friends and family.”

About the Study

The eHoliday Study provides an authoritative snapshot of the holiday activities of both large and small online retailers, many of which have been in business for at least ten years, and also includes the sentiments of online holiday shoppers. The Study, conducted by BIGinsight for, surveyed 2,988 consumers from September 26 – October 11, 2012 and 40 online retailers from September 25 – October 11, 2012.

BIGinsight delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, BIGinsight represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues., a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world's leading membership community for digital retail. Founded in 1996,'s 600 members include the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. and more than 60 percent of the Internet Retailer Top 100 E-Retailers. It's where the best retail minds come together to gain the insight, knowledge and intelligence to make smarter, more informed decisions in the evolving world of the Internet and multichannel retailing. programs and activities include benchmarking research, events and networking communities.

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