When it comes to shop services, 75% of consumers surveyed on a study published by the national retail federation expect delivery to be free even on orders under $50, up from 68 percent a year ago. Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) demand free shipping the most, with 88 percent expecting it. That compares with 77 percent for Generation X (1965-1980), 61 percent for millennials (1981-1994) and 76 percent for Generation Z (1995 and later).
Free delivery is certainly important when sending a gift to a loved one or a client however there are other services which become more important when ordering a gift online like: gift wrapping, adding a greeting card, the possibility to deliver the product on a specific date and not showing the product price on the invoice. At gala10.com customers can find these and dozens more services offered by awarded online shops globally with only a few clicks. We have selected over 5,000 online shops in 50 countries identifying over 1,300 shop services.
Our dedicated team has selected in the USA 141 online shops in 18 categories. For more information about our selection process please click here.
We have grouped the shop services in six different categories: Client segment, Product, Order, Delivery, Payment method and After-sales services. You can find a detailled explanation of all sub-categories of shop services we have identified here.
Let’s look at our main findings.
1. Client segment
28% of the surveyed shops have a dedicated department or person for corporate clients. Germany and Japan offer similar rates, therefore this is online the other major leading economies.
The most common service offered by 34% of the surveyed shops are gift cards. US shops are leading the way when compared to Germany and Japan. According to Globenewswire historically, the gift card market in the United States has recorded a steady growth with an average growth rate of 11.7% p.a. during 2015-2019. Adoption of e-Gift cards is also expected to increase significantly. The gift card industry in United States will continue to grow over the forecast period and is expected to record a growth rate of 9.2% p.a. during 2020-2024. The gift card market in the country will increase from US$ 163,000 million in 2019 to reach US$ 221,000 million by 2024.
US shops are leading the way as well with free greeting cards. 34% of the surveyed shops offer a free greeting card. Compared to German and Japanese shops this is 30-50% higher.
However when it comes to offering wrapping paper, which is very important when ordering a gift, only 14% of US shops offer this service. Compared to 40% in Japan, USA is (together with Germany) lagging far behind.
US shops don’t seem to see a demand of professional and more expensive greeting cards with only 3% offering them. Even less important seems to be the possibility to personalize gifts by uploading a picture (or logo for companies) with only 1% of shops offering this service. This fact seems to be in contrast with the statistics mentioned at the beginning of this study. A possible explanation can be found in the fact hat personalized gifts are offered by new, less traditional shops, that can’t be categorized well in our 18 categories. Some of these shops are Cafepress Inc, Etsy, Memorable Gifts, Hallmark Cards, etc. Hence, these new shops stay out of the radar in our study.
US shops are absolutely leading when offering their products to customers that offer from abroad. 81% of the surveyed shops accept orders from customers that have an address outside of the USA. This is not surprising since the US is the largest private market in the world with approx. 15% of immigrants and as the major economy of the world.
18% of shops in the USA offer free delivery and 12% offer free delivery for orders above USD 50. At a first glims one would have expected a higher percentage of shops delivering for free, specially if it is well know that customers want free delivery. However one must be clear about the profitability of its products. You cannot offer competitive prices and free delivery at the same time. However, as low as 18% might seem, it is on the top of the surveyed shops compared to Germany (13%) and Japan (11%).
If you want your gift to be delivered for a birthday for example only 20% of the surveyed shops will be able to meet your expectations. While 54% of all shops will be able to deliver your gift within 1-2 days you won’t be sure if it will arrive on the exact day of the birthday. However, US shops offer a unique service which is only offered in very few countries which is ideal for gifting: “don’t show product price”. This service allows you to send a gift with an invoice containing all details of the product but without showing the purchase price. And if you are late with your gift wishes, there is only a 7% of all surveyed shops that offer same day delivery, so it’s better if you plan when order your gift (believe me that even your mom will appreciate it if the gift arrives timely for her birthday or mothers day).
5. Payment Methods
As in basically all countries credit cards and specially Visa/Mastercards are the most commonly offered payment methods by online shops in the USA followed by PayPal. Compared to Europe, in the USA people are more used to pay by instalments (21% offered by the surveyed shops) instead of paying with an invoice. In fact, none of the surveyed shops offers payment with invoice.
6. After sales services
Almost 80% of surveyed shops offer money back guarantee which is the highest rate among leading economies like Germany and Japan. However only 5% of shops offer free return which is the lowest rate among the leading economies.
The perfect gift
If you are wondering what is the perfect gift for the next occasion and you want to send a gift in wrapping paper, with a personal message and deliver it on the exact date of the occasion you might be best served with flowers, a gift basket or wine. You will find a few shops in these categories that offer all of these services.