Google Express Brings Same Day Delivery To More Cities

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The fight for fast deliveries is on.

Google announced this week new details around Google Express, a same-day delivery service that will compete directly with Amazon Prime.

“Our idea was to make shopping your favorite local stores as easy and fast as shopping online, and to help you get what you need delivered the same day,” Google said in a release.

In addition to San Francisco and New York, the service is now available in three new cities: Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Across all cities, more than 7 million people can now access Google’s same-day delivery service, and in Northern California almost 12 million have access to next-day service.

Retailers and brands participating in the program include 1-800-Flowers, Barnes & Noble, Nine West, PetSmart, Vitamin Shoppe and Sports Authority, and regional merchants such as Paragon Sports in New York and Vicente Foods in Los Angeles.

Google Express members will enjoy:

  • Free same-day or overnight delivery on …

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Agents Need Attention to Detail When Answering Email Inquiries

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By Jake Novick, Senior Research Associate, StellaService

While many are still worrying about what costume to wear for Halloween, we know that every retailer is already looking ahead to the more important holiday, which, by the way, is only 78 days away. Analysts are predicting that this will be yet another record year for ecommerce sales so, as we demonstrated in our Q3 report, preparation is key.

Not just preparation, but also a commitment to paying attention to the details.

Nearly half of shoppers prefer to communicate via email, which is the most challenging channel for retailers based on several metrics. One way we measure attention to detail on the email channel is asking multiple questions and noting when an agent addresses all of our inquiries directly on the first response. This helps us understand whether a retailer’s agents are giving adequate attention to all questions within an email rather than sending it off quickly with a templated response.

In August, we turned up …

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Q&A: TurnTo CEO George Eberstadt Talks Assisted Shopping

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Happy Customer is always on the lookout for innovative approaches to customer service. We recently visited with TurnTo Networks CEO George Eberstadt about his company’s approach to “Assisted Shopping.” Retailers using TurnTo’s technology include Saks Fifth Avenue, Newegg and Sur La Table.What is “Assisted Shopping” and how is it different from live chat?

The difference is in the approach. Both share the vision of taking the customer experience that a shopper gets with a primo in-store associate and bringing it to the web: the shopper can ask questions in her own words and get the information she needs back quickly. Live chat takes a very literal approach: make the associate available to the web shopper by putting her on the other end of a chat line. “Assisted Shopping”, on the other hand, says: use ALL the resources that the web makes available to get shoppers the fastest possible answers from the best sources, whatever the question. That includes …

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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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