Will Ecommerce Fulfillment Go the Extra Mile This Holiday Season?

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Kevon Hills is Vice President of Research at StellaService. Connect with Kevon on LinkedIn.

With each passing year, more ecommerce retailers urge their holiday shoppers to trust that they’ll be on time delivering each gift off their list. When customer care goes the extra mile, and CSR channels are well-prepared for holiday traffic, fulfillment presents retailers with another chance to shine in the eyes of seasonal shoppers.

In light of last year’s infamous fulfillment struggles from shipping giants like UPS, ecommerce retailers will need to exceed consumers’ expectations by streamlining fulfillment and offering steadfast commitment to delivery guarantees in order to remain competitive in holiday 2014.

Last year, StellaService placed orders with 25 of the largest ecommerce retailers on their last day for promised delivery by December 25 and learned that 12% of these orders arrived after their estimated delivery date. These poor results left gift-givers empty-handed, and …

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NRF Commissioned StellaService To Identify Top Customer Service Metrics

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StellaService VP of Research Kevon Hills joined STORES Media editor Susan Reda for its E-commerce Elite: Consumers’ Favorite 50 Retailers webcast. Joining Reda and Hills for the presentation was Artemis Berry, vice president of digital retail for Shop.org, and Pam Goodfellow, Principal Analyst at Prosper Insights.

The event showcased the findings of this year’s Favorite 50 list of consumers’ top ecommerce websites, and Hills joined to present exclusive new data on the emerging customer service metrics that shape the online shopping experience.

Companies topping the STORES list this year include first-place Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Macy’s.

“We believe that, in today’s competitive market, the service experience is paramount,” Hills said during the webcast. “Companies that focus on differentiating themselves to meet the expectation of shoppers are the companies that will lead their respective industries today as well as in the future.”

“We try …

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Target Now Delivers In Less Than Two Days On Average

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Target had an impressive showing in the Shipping area of the most recent Stella Benchmarks, a sign that the retailer is investing in initiatives to please customers with swift delivery.

The company improved delivery times by three full days in August, besting the competition with an average fulfillment time of one day, 13 hours. That’s a full day faster than its nearest competitor, Apple Inc.

The notable improvement comes three months after Target announced an initiative to fulfill orders more quickly. The company is also testing ship-from-store and StellaService Analysts received several orders in August that originated in locations not within proximity of Target’s distribution centers.

August marks the first time Target has lead the Stella Benchmarks rankings in Shipping, and the third time the retail chain has been in the Top 25 since January. StellaService data shows Target took four days, 15 hours to fulfill online orders the previous month.

A large part of this improvement …

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Winning the Customer Service Game This Holiday Season

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Kevon Hills is Vice President of Research at StellaService. Connect with Kevon on LinkedIn.

The retail world is preparing for the season of giving and shoppers are continuing to turn to ecommerce as a convenient alternative to crowded stores throughout the holiday season. The pressure is on for online retailers as customers are more emotional than ever during the holidays.

At the same time, the holiday shopping season represents a golden opportunity to create customer loyalty for seasons to come.

Throughout the 2013 holiday season, StellaService ecommerce analysts placed multiple orders, made calls, sent emails and live chats to the top retailers to measure the quality of their customer service performance during the holiday crunch time. We also polled consumers in August 2014 to understand expectations specific to the holiday season. It’s no surprise to find that just 5% of consumers would shop again at a retailer that gave them bad customer service during the holiday.

Based on …

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Stella Benchmarks: L.L.Bean Tops Rankings for the Fourth Time in 2014

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L.L.Bean provided the best overall customer service in August, marking the retailers fourth time topping Stella Benchmarks in 2014.

One of the keys to great customer service is matching expectations across all channels. L.L.Bean makes this a priority. The retailer repeated its top performance from the previous month by ranking among the Top 25 in Email, Chat, Shipping and Returns.

Stella Benchmarks includes 139 companies evaluated on a daily basis by StellaService. Customer care channels – Phone, Email and Chat – are measured daily, while fulfillment metrics are measured across multiple orders each month.

Nine companies that did not rank in the Top 25 overall last month earned a spot in August: Gap, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Motosport, Microsoft, Brooks Brothers and Wayfair.

Companies that have ranked in the Top 25 Overall every month in 2014:

  • J.Crew
  • L.L.Bean
  • Zappos
  • Shopbop
  • Net-A-Porter

One of the standouts in the most recent Benchmarks was Target’s …

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