Survey Says Consumers Prefer Email During Holidays


Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from StellaService’s Q3 2014 report, Essential Holiday Ecommerce Data & Best Practices

StellaService polled consumers in August 2014 to understand expectations specific to the the holiday season. Topics ranged from customer care through shipping and returns.

The impact of delivering bad service impacts customer retention. Just 5% of shoppers said they would continue to shop with an online retailer after receiving bad service during the holidays.

Northeast U.S. shoppers are the most forgiving, with almost 10% reporting they would shop with a site that gave them bad service during the holidays. The South held a firm line with 71% of Southerners reporting they wouldn’t return to do business with an online retailer that gave them bad service.

More than half of respondents said that email is their preferred communication channel during the holidays, with phone coming in second at 28%.

Email is clearly the preference of holiday …

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UPS to Hire Up to 95,000 Seasonal Workers

“UPS plans to hire up to 95,000 workers to help deliver packages during the busy holiday season — an increase from last year, when the company was caught unprepared for a boom in online shopping. The Atlanta-based company said Tuesday that the positions will include package sorters, loaders, delivery helpers and drivers.” [Source: ABC News]

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Ecommerce Presents Challenges for UPS

“When United Parcel Service Inc. Chief Executive David Abney bought his first book from Inc. about 15 years ago, e-commerce seemed no more complicated than ordering from a catalog. “Pretty basic,” he says. Online sales have mushroomed since then into a huge business for the package-delivery company—and a big problem. Because of the ubiquity of free shipping, fierce competition from other delivery services and Amazon’s power to drive down shipping costs as it gets even more enormous, UPS’s average revenue on each Internet-related package it handles is dropping.” [Source: Wall Street Journal]

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Neiman Marcus Acquires

“Neiman Marcus Group has acquired the German fashion e-commerce platform and Theresa, its flagship Munich store. Owned up until now by its founders, Christoph and Susanne Botschen, and investment firm Acton Capital Partners, the brand will run as an ‘independent subsidiary of NMG based in Munich,’ a statement from the brand read this morning.” [Source: Vogue]

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Time to Prepare Your CSRs to Answer Questions About Apple Pay


In addition to the iPhone 6, Apple announced Tuesday a payments platform accepted at more than 220,000 merchant locations as well as digital shopping applications.

Now payments happen with a single touch.

To pay, users will hold their iPhone near a reader with their finger on the phone’s built in fingerprint reader. A subtle vibration and beep lets users know the payment has been made. Users can also use Apple Pay to pay with a single touch in apps. Checking out is as easy as selecting “Apple Pay” and placing a finger on the fingerprint reader.

With the iPhone’s share of the mobile device market and projections for sales of the iPhone 6, Apple Pay has great potential.

Participating brick-and-mortar retailers include Babies”R”Us, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Nike, Staples and Toys”R”Us, while retailers offering Apple Pay in-app include Sephora, Starbucks and Target.

Of course, in the wake of major data breaches at retailers in recent months, …

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