With Black Friday officially kicking off the holiday season just over a couple of weeks ago, we’re now in the midst of what is the busiest time of the year for many companies.
Providing a positive Customer Experience (CX) is as important as ever during the holiday season, especially with shoppers having more options than ever within their grasp. In this Holidays edition of our CX Roundup, we take a look at some of the recent articles that caught our eye:
- Most holiday shoppers will combine online and offline channels
- Move over, Mobile. Multi-Device is the future of online shopping
- The average E-commerce conversion rate increases on Black Friday
- CX requires collaboration, and CMOs will lead the charge
- iperceptions post: CX Metrics Series – Next Steps
- iperceptions news: iperceptions Platform Achieves HITRUST CSF® Certification
In an increasingly on-the-go world, it’s no surprise that holiday shoppers will rely on their mobile devices and laptops to do more of their shopping. In the process, this may result in a couple of noteworthy occurrences this holiday season, of which retail CX professionals should take note.
eMarketer is predicting that US retail sales this holiday season made using a mobile device (M-commerce) are expected to surpass $50 billion for the first time, a projected 32.6 percent jump from the 2017 holiday season alone. PwC also reports in their 2018 Holiday Outlook not only that 84 percent of shoppers are planning to shop online at some point during this holiday season, but also that 75 percent of shoppers plan to shop both online and in-store.
These gradual shifts towards leveraging multiple online and offline channels are significant. As shoppers’ behaviors and preferences continue to change over time, CX professionals must continuously adapt their approaches to ensure they meet their shoppers’ evolving expectations, regardless of the touchpoint they choose to interact with the brand.
We just saw that a combination of online and offline/in-store is the new norm when it comes to holiday shopping. However, when trying to dissect and improve Mobile conversion rates, recent research has been published to help quantify the importance of considering the different online channels at shoppers’ disposal, including Laptops and Desktops, and the role they play on conversion rates.
As reported by the American Marketing Association, recent research by Evert de Haan, P.K. Kannan, Peter C. Verhoef and Thorsten Wiesel discovered that:
“[Conversion] rates are higher when consumers start on a mobile device and end on a less mobile device, such as a desktop or laptop computer, versus when purchase paths start on a less mobile device."
The research also finds that conversion rates for more expensive items tend to be much higher when customers start on a mobile device before finally completing the purchase on a desktop or laptop.
Note that this research is based on findings using data from one large European online retailer. However, while these findings may change from brand to brand, it does highlight the importance of understanding the 'why' behind the 'what' of their actions, so you can make sure that your customer experience meets their needs based on their current expectations and preferred channels.
How do you know if your E-commerce conversion rate is good?
The frustrating answer is, it depends. However, Econsultancy recently published a great reference that provides a ballpark for different industries, which can come in handy for digital marketers attempting to answer this question (the global average is 1-3 percent, by the way).
An interesting finding that Econsultancy also highlights in this article - based on a 2016 study by Adobe - and a finding that is especially relevant for this time of the year, is that conversion rates during shopping events like Black Friday tend to increase significantly (5.5 percent), but then decrease to approximately three percent across the holiday season.
Measuring the Voice of the Customer (VoC) across the customer journey can be a valuable resource for any Digital Marketer looking for ways to contextualize their visitors’ purchase behavior and better determine what to do next to try and boost their conversion rates.
A topic of many Customer Experience Management (CEM) discussions is: Who owns the Customer Experience? Recent research by Forrester, commissioned by Accenture, argues that Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) should be taking charge, as they are in a unique position to drive the cross-departmental collaboration that is required for a CX program to run effectively and efficiently.
This research also compares some of the differences in mindset between organizations that encourage collaboration across the company (Collaboration Leaders) and those that don’t (Traditional Marketers). For example, Collaboration Leaders are notably more likely to say that their customer experience surpasses their competitors’ than Traditional Marketers (95 percent vs. 68 percent).
This research highlights the increasing role of the CMO when it comes to CX management. Although, it's also important to keep in mind that for a CX program to run on all cylinders, the Customer Experience needs to be engrained into the fabric of an organization, and each member of the C-Suite plays a critical part in this regard.
Every interaction with your brand impacts what people will do next, as they continue along their customer journey. CX professionals need the ability to pinpoint the types of experiences that lead to specific paths along the customer journey, particularly ones that are not very favorable for the brand (e.g. go check out your competitor, complain on social media, etc.).
Knowing what customers will do next immediately following a brand interaction can be very valuable knowledge for a CX professional. Unfortunately, knowing what customers are thinking of doing is next to impossible to do without asking them directly.
In our featured blog post, William Braün, Director of Analytics at iperceptions, looks at a metric that can help provide much-needed clarity in this regard – Next Steps. In this post, William further examines why you need to measure this CX metric as part of any Customer Experience program, how to best go about measuring this metric, and goes through a detailed use case showing the value it can provide.
To cap off our last CX Roundup article of the year with some news - iperceptions is excited to have recently achieved HITRUST CSF® certification for information security, one of the highest levels of security an organization can obtain when it comes to the secure creation, access, storage and exchange of Protected Health Information (PHI).
We are very proud to receive this certification, as it validates our continuous efforts towards the secure management of our clients’ and survey respondents’ information. To learn more, check out our press release announcing the news.
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