It's the final stretch for holiday shoppers, and retailers are preparing for the ultimate shipping rush that's very likely to occur in the coming days. According to Shop.org's eHoliday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 84.2 percent of retailers say their standard shipping deadline for guaranteed Christmas delivery will expire prior to Friday, Dec. 20. 

Free standard shipping offers will follow suit, as nearly three-quarters (74.2 percent) of retailers who already have or will offer a free standard shipping promotion say their promotion will expire on or before Dec. 20.

"With Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year, we expect to see numerous offers from retailers for expedited and express shipping as we head into the final stretch and potentially biggest weekend of the holiday season," said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. "Companies know how important shipping offers are to their customers, many of whom will keep an eye out in the coming days as their favorite retailers are likely to up the shipping ante."

For those waiting until the last minute, one-third (33.3 percent) of companies that will offer a free or upgraded expedited shipping promotion say their customers will have until Saturday, Dec. 21, to take advantage of the offer. Nearly two in five (19.4 percent) retailers will let their customers take advantage of that offer through Sunday, Dec. 22, and 16.7 percent will go as late as Monday, Dec. 23. 

Families and friends with gifts to ship across the country should also take note: 73.5 percent of retailers will offer express 2-day shipping as late as Saturday, Dec. 21, for a guaranteed Christmas delivery, and another 26.5 percent will let procrastinators ship as late as Sunday, December 22nd. Nearly half (47.2 percent), however, say they are comfortable offering express 1-day or overnight shipping as late as Monday, Dec. 23, for guaranteed Christmas delivery. 

Read more about consumer behavior.

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