Happy as the day is long: meeting customer expectations whatever the hour
By: Yonder Digital Group
Repeat buyers spend 33% more than new ones. Now consider that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as to keep an existing one and it is clear to see why retailers invest so much time and money in producing comprehensive customer retention strategies. Loyalty schemes that reward consumers with points or offers to redeem in store or competitive pricing placements all make for happy shoppers who will come back time and again.
At a seasonal peak for retail, it was predicted that £1.74 million would be spent every minute online in the UK on Black Friday, with £700 million spent before 9am.So with more and more of us buying online and at a time that suits our busy lifestyles why are those shopping outside of traditional retail hours down in the dumps? Research carried out by Yonder Digital Group offers an answer, revealing that nearly three quarters of e-tailers are failing to provide live agent interactions after 8.30pm and thereby missing a key opportunity to engage with consumers and turn filled baskets to sales. Our research canvassed the opinions of 2,000 UK customers to find out exactly when they are most likely to shop. More than 25% prefer to do so after 8.30pm by which time many retailers have shut down their live query handling either online or over the phone.
And herein lies the problem: with over 50% of consumers choosing to shop after 6pm (this figure rises to 71% when looking at 18-24 year olds) any non-standard queries they might have, for example, about delivery specifics or product features, must go unanswered. Unsurprisingly carts are abandoned and custom taken elsewhere. With time a precious commodity few are willing to wait until morning for responses to their questions.
Multichannel living has fostered expectations of flexibility around individual user's habits. Browsing for shopping on a smartphone whilst commuting home on the train might only convert to a purchase from a tablet later on in the evening whilst finally relaxing feet up in front of the television. E-tailers have to be able to meet these demands for flexibility and personalisation in their customer service delivery whatever the hour of the day.
Savvy online providers are doing just this and realising the financial benefit to be had from analysing the customer journey and identifying the critical times at which shoppers require access to live agent support. Shoppers interact with retailers across various touchpoints and data gathered from these can be used to tailor customer service delivery to meet consumer needs at different stages in their purchasing experience. Not only will this ensure shoppers have access to live query handling at the times they need it but it will also allow e-tailers to measure how effective individual tools are in converting baskets to sales. A more rationalised service equates to increased revenues.
With night owl e-shopping gaining considerable momentum it is essential that online retailers invest the same efforts in providing seamless, tailored customer service at night as they do in the day. Although restricting live agent provision may once have been seen as a cost-saving measure now, as our research demonstrates, the opposite is the case and e-tailers' revenues are suffering as a result. Once a provider loses a customer, 68% of consumers won't go back: far easier to keep a happy shopper happy than to win around an unhappy one.
To download the full report, click here: https://yonderdigitalgroup.com/
Yonder Digital Group, Steve West