It’s that time of the year again! Many of us are already daydreaming about all the delicious food we’ll be eating and the great company we’ll be keeping this holiday season. In the meantime, many companies are gearing up for what is arguably their busiest time of the year.
The need to be customer-centric is as critical as ever, especially if companies want to capitalize on the surge of online and offline traffic that comes with the holiday season.
Just in time for the holiday season, we take a look at the following stories and articles that highlight the importance of offering great Customer Experience (CX) during this time of year:
- E-commerce sales expected to reach milestone this holiday season
- Infographic of the Month: Black Friday By The Numbers
- Poor UX among main reasons people abandon online shopping carts
- Customer research narrows the “Insight Gap” in your digital experience
- iPerceptions Blog Post of the Month: CX Metrics Series - Task Completion
As the world becomes more mobile every year, e-commerce continues to take an increasingly bigger piece of the 'total retail sales' pie. This holiday season, e-commerce is expected to reach another important milestone.
As reported by eMarketer, Adobe is predicting that e-commerce sales during the 2017 holiday season will exceed $100 billion for the first time ever. This would be a 13.8 percent increase over the 2016 holiday season in the US, which had amounted to $94.4 billion in sales.
On that note, Adobe reported that Cyber Monday 2017 was the largest online sales day in history with $6.59 billion in sales! This represents over a $1 billion increase from Cyber Monday 2016.
It's also worth noting that $1.59 billion of these sales came from smartphones, which is a new all-time high. This shows customers’ increasing reliance on technology to do their holiday shopping.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) also highlighted that the average shopper spent a total of $335.47 over the 5-day period from US Thanksgiving day to Cyber Monday, with older Millennials (25-34 years old) being the biggest spenders at $419.52.
With this continuing growth in sales, it’s as essential as ever for companies to leverage the Voice of the Customer (VoC) so that they can prepare accordingly and generate a customer experience that meets their shoppers’ needs during this time of the year.
Black Friday may be one of the most analyzed shopping phenomena. Large amounts of research and predictions are made every year.
In preparation for Black Friday 2017, the American Marketing Association highlighted this great infographic compiled by Shopping.fm that looks at a plethora of great information about Black Friday, from its origins, to key stats about in-store and mobile shopping during Thanksgiving Day / Black Friday / Cyber Monday in 2016, as well as spending habits for key demographic groups.
The holiday season is a hectic time for any company. Not only do they have to concern themselves with offering the best in-store experience, but they need to make sure their online presence is flawless as well. This is especially true of the website’s shopping cart feature, which provides a direct link between the website and the company's proverbial wallet.
Econsultancy looked at five of the most common reasons people abandon their shopping basket, including “feeling pressured to make a purchase” and “using the shopping basket for research”. These two reasons are interesting as they are inherently user experience-related barriers:
- "Feeling pressured to make a purchase" is primarily driven by an experience that prematurely pushes a visitor towards making the purchase before they are ready.
- "Using the shopping basket for research" can often be caused by price shoppers wanting to view the final price with taxes and shipping costs included, before moving on to another website and continuing their research. Who hasn’t been guilty of doing that?
During this holiday season, the need to collect customer feedback is key to understanding customers’ needs and expectations so you can find ways to tackle shopping cart abandonment.
The Customer Experience (CX) is a massive concept with a lot of moving parts. Among the key cogs of your CX are your and your customers’ expectations of this experience, which must be synchronized if you want your CX to be a win-win for both parties this holiday season.
In a post for CMSWire, Howard Tiersky, CEO and Founder of the digital transformation company FROM, looks at 3 gaps that can come from a CX program. One gap is the ‘Insight Gap’, which comes from a misalignment between the digital experience you intended to create, and what your customers expected from this experience.
Tiersky goes on to highlight that for you to be able to narrow this gap, you need to perform customer research and can get inside the minds of your customers and better understand their needs. With understanding the needs of your customers you can tailor a digital experience that they can be satisfied with.
If this Customer-Centric Roundup proves anything, it's that the Customer Experience (CX) is as crucial as ever.
While you can gain a lot of knowledge from looking at your online visitors' holiday shopping behaviors using web analytics and session replay tools, unfortunately you may not be getting the full story. For example, while a shopper may have made a purchase, it's extremely difficult to know whether they actually accomplished what they came on your website to do without directly asking them.
In our blog post of the month, William Braün, Director of Analytics at iPerceptions, looks at a metric that helps you get this valuable context - Task Completion.
He looks at how you should measure this Customer Experience (CX) metric, why it's an essential metric to measure, and also provide a great use case that shows how you can leverage it to improve your Customer Experience and boost your website conversion.
Banner image source: Andrea Reggiani on Unsplash