Holiday scorecard for e-tailer deliveries

With many consumers keen on sticking close to home, buying gifts online was a popular option this holiday season.

But how well did e-tailers do at fulfilling guarantees and getting orders to customers in time for Christmas? Not bad, reports Keynote Systems, an Internet-services company that tracks online retailers' performance.

Keynote tracked six last-minute orders at 40 retail sites, all placed within the last hour or so of their Christmas-delivery-guarantee timeframe. Of the 21 sites for which data is now available (it is still being processed), 16 met their guarantee for all six items. Among the on-time deliverers:, Barnes and Noble,, Wal-Mart, Sears, Macy's, Gap, Home Depot, J. Jill, KBtoys, and eToys.

A few merchants struggled, however. Best Buy and Smarter Kids each missed one of the orders, Tower Records missed two, and missed three. CDNow delivered all six items late.

Overall, most e-tailers exceeded their delivery expectations during the holiday season, Keynote found, despite the fact that some struggled with such last-minute orders. Compared with last year, when the average delivery took less than five days, this year was a bit slower: taking six days from the click of the "buy" button to the doorbell.

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