2 E-com Needs for Holiday 2017
Even e-commerce shoppers value prompt delivery and courteous customer service over price, reveals a report released today about holiday buyers. This finding means e-commerce marketers are dealing with many of the same pressures as brick-and-mortar retailers.
Trustpilot’s “Consumer Behavior and Expectations: The 2017 Holiday Season Report — What E-commerce Business Owners Need to Know” (opens as a PDF) shows while surveyed consumers said they valued price the most, their actions told a different story. Retailers and e-tailers with the fastest delivery and the best customer service won them over, reports the company that helps businesses with online customer reviews.
“As traditional and online retailers continue to battle over price, they’re creating a level playing field; there’s a limit to how low you can go,” said Don Ross, president of the Americas at Trustpilot in today’s announcement about the research. “Shoppers are starting to look at other areas to help them decide what and where to buy. Furthermore, sellers who rely heavily on price but fail to meet post-transaction expectations are paying dearly in customer reviews, which have year-round ramifications on paid and organic search, clickthrough rate and acquisition costs.”
Going forward into Holiday 2017, the National Retail Federation’s “Holiday Headquarters” page says there’s reason for optimism:
“NRF expects holiday retail sales in November and December — excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants — to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year.”
So here’s how Trustpilot’s report says retailers and e-commerce marketers can best capture this consumer spending:
Trustpilot said the pressure to deliver increases during the holidays. The research shows the one-star customer reviews it found said packages showed up with the words “days later” and “still waiting.” The actual word “delivery” in the one-star reviews rose from 17 percent in October to more than 19 percent in December 2016, a 13.27 percent increase.
Inversely, five-star reviews often said “fast delivery” as a laud.
Trustpilot’s announcement reads:
“While thousands of consumers indicated pricing was one of the most important considerations for the 2017 shopping season, language analysis of more than 1 million consumer reviews signaled a shift in buying behavior. Consumer sentiment favored brands offering superior customer service and timely fulfillment over other popular holiday initiatives, such as discount pricing and flexible return policies.”
Ensure Customers Are Happy
Happy customers write good reviews, which consumers see. While consumers may say they care about price, what they do is read customer reviews.
Trustpilot says the reviews customers like to see are:
“Great service,” “excellent service” and “fast delivery” were frequently cited in five-star reviews, peaking in December 2016 at nearly 22 percent of all five-star reviews.
Other findings from the research include:
- 48.2 percent of respondents said they were most likely to rely on customer reviews than price tools; and
- “Price” showed up in only 4 to 5 percent of one-star reviews; 10 percent in five-star reviews.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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