IBM Study Identifies Consumer Expectations In Online Shopping

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Nearly half of shoppers now prefer to do their shopping online, according to a recent IBM Institute for Business Value study on changes in consumer expectations.

The study, which collected and analyzed more than 110,000 responses from global surveys since 2011, sought to identify what shoppers expect when shopping online and what retailers can do to better meet these expectations.

Three major consumer shifts were identified:

  1. A growing preference to shop online.
  2. More openness to communicate with retailers and the importance for well-tailored messaging.
  3. Expectations that digital benefits will cross over into physical stores.

Growing preference for online shopping

One metric measured in the study was shoppers’ “perceived convenience.” While in-store purchasing is still preferred by most shoppers, online delivery has jumped in preference from 23% of shoppers in 2011 to 36% of shoppers in 2014. This shift introduces a “new range of non-traditional competitors that present …

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2014 Customer Care Coverage: Trends from the Contact Center

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For ecommerce customers, the contact center is the retailer’s best opportunity to make a strong connection and deliver a memorable experience. Below are a few 2014 developments for the teams on the front lines of customer care.

Selling in the Contact Center

There’s no doubt that retailers are contacted every day by shoppers who show intent to purchase with questions about specific products or policies. These customers are golden. They’re primed for purchase. Now, it’s up to the retailer to make sure sales don’t slip through the contact center. In November, we offered three metrics that should be considered across all channels to ensure the contact center is helping move sales through the purchase funnel.

See the story: Sell, Sell, Sell in the Contact Center With These Three Metrics

Stellar Interactions

We define a Stellar Interaction as one in which “the customer service representative diligently answered the initial questions, anticipated follow-up inquiries and …

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2014 Fulfillment Coverage: Trends in Shipping, Delivery, Returns

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Following the difficulties surrounding deliveries from retailers during the 2013 holiday season, we saw some interesting themes emerge in 2014. Below you’ll find a collection of trends noted by StellaService Analysts this year.

Ship From Store

Retailers that used their physical stores as “mini distribution centers” saw great advantages in 2014.

We first noticed the impact of this strategy with Best Buy. In January, we wrote:

“When Best Buy announced plans in June to implement a ship-from-store strategy, the retailer’s average Total Days to Delivery was around 5 days, spiking to nearly 7 days in mid-August, according to StellaService data.

In September, StellaService data shows some impressive efficiencies beginning to surface. Best Buy’s Total Days to Delivery dips to 4 days, 18 hours, compared to 4 days for Amazon.com.

By October, Best Buy orders were being delivered to StellaService Analysts faster than Amazon.com orders. In fact, Best Buy was faster all throughout …

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Zappos’ Rob Siefker Talks 2014 Customer Service Initiatives

Rob Siefker, Zappos’ Director of Customer Loyalty sat down with StellaService to discuss the company’s 2015 customer service initiatives. “We’ve built ourselves as a brand around service…” Siefker said, “but we really need to step up our game and find ways to reengage the employee base and get a little more exciting.”

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