Halloween is one of the most widely celebrated days in the U.S., with 70 percent of Americans expected to take part in the costumed revelry this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Halloween spending survey. Halloween sales are projected to reach $8 billion this year, and that is certainly a treat for retailers. “Typically, when Halloween sales are strong, it provides eCommerce retailers with a good indication that holiday sales will be strong too,” says Joseph DiSorbo, CEO of Webgistix, an eCommerce fulfillment company. Halloween is one of busiest times of the year and Webgistix sees a 10 percent increase in shipment volume in October as consumers shop for costumes, decorations, party favors, special effects and other Halloween merchandise.
However, as with many eCommerce fulfillment companies, Webgistix’s shipping volume peaks in December, when the average daily shipment volume is more than 40 percent higher than at any other time of the year. Among the most popular merchandise that adult consumers buy online are health and beauty products. “We’ve shipped a very high volume of nutritional supplements, fitness products and beauty supplies this year,” DiSorbo remarks. “These types of purchases are often quite personal and I think many people feel comfortable buying them in the privacy of their own homes.” Webgistix ships more orders on Mondays than on any other day. Furthermore, the most common shipping destinations for eCommerce orders in the U.S. are California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois, which happen to be five largest states by population. However, the UK is the most common destination for orders that Webgistix ships to outside of North America and the firm has shipped items as far away as Siberia.
As to what is most important to eCommerce consumers when it comes to shipping and handling, both the quantitative and qualitative data DiSorbo has collected over the years point to two things: order accuracy and delivery time. “Those two factors consistently rank higher than anything else, including delivery costs and return policies. They are extremely powerful drivers of repeat business and referrals for eCommerce retailers.”