Most Shippers Met Last-Minute Delivery Guarantees for Christmas: Survey

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Keynote Systems Inc., San Mateo, CA, an Internet performance measurement company, said that most major e-tailers it surveyed during the holiday season met last-minute delivery guarantees in time for Christmas.


Of the sites for which delivery data are available, 15 met their guarantees, the survey said. These sites were: 800.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Cooking.com, eBags.com, eToys.com, gap.com, bananarepublic.com, oldnavy.com, Home Depot, J. Jill, KBToys, Macy's, Sears and Wal-Mart.


Five of the e-tailers missed on-time delivery for at least one order. They are: Best Buy, which missed one out of seven orders placed; Smarter Kids, which missed one out of six orders; Buy.com, which missed three out of six; Tower Records, which missed two out of five; and CDNow, which missed all six orders placed.


Keynote has reported throughout the holiday season on customers' shopping experiences with 40 popular retail Web sites. The company said it is tabulating results for the remaining e-tailers, and that results on whether all 40 merchants met their guarantees will be made available at the end of January.


Keynote tracked about six last-minute orders placed at each of the 40 retailers' sites based on their Christmas delivery guarantees. Orders were made by some of the 3,000 shoppers in Keynote's panel. Orders were made according to the guidelines posted at the site, and typically within an hour of the deadline. Merchants met the guarantee if the order was delivered or if delivery was attempted by midnight Dec. 24.


Other findings included:


· E-tailers took 1 1/2 days longer this year to deliver compared with last year, and exceeded the delivery promises they set to a greater degree this year than last.


· Transaction performance improved the week before Christmas, reversing its slowing trend since Thanksgiving.


· Shoppers mostly were treated to the speediest transaction times from Dec. 23 to Dec. 25, when transaction performance on almost all of the sites improved even more.


· Site availability remained high, at an average of 98.6 percent for all sites for the week. However, several sites experienced reduced availability.


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