The clock is quickly ticking away to the holidays and simultaneously consumers are making their shopping lists and preparing their wallets for the festive season ahead. As we have already seen this year, consumers’ omnichannel needs will continue to drive retailers’ agendas especially when it comes to delivery.

Shifting-the-Holiday-Delivery-Report-MCMThe delivery experience can be the “make or break” point for retailers’ relationship with their consumer, especially during the holidays. The question retailers must ask themselves as they head into the holiday season is whether their customers will still be their customers after December? For example, our recent consumer survey indicates that 66% of shoppers say the delivery experience is a decisive factor when deciding to shop with a retailer and only 11% of shoppers say delivery experience is a strength of retailers today.

Delivery issues happen, whether the delivery issue arises due to Mother Nature not cooperating or a miscommunication between the retailer and the carrier. The consumer often does not see the root cause – they just see the retailer dropping the ball which inevitably damages the retailer’s reputation in their eyes. During the holidays, when expectations, volume and emotion around deliveries are at an all-time high the effect of these failures are multiplied.

Things happen, but there are steps retailers can take to ensure the last leg of their delivery experience, sails smoothly. In our recent sponsored report with Multichannel Merchant, “Improve Your Customer’s Holiday Delivery Experience By Shifting Into High Gear For The Final Mile,” we discuss steps retailers can take now to ensure holiday delivery is a success during this high demand season.

From broadening delivery options to communicating more effectively with carriers and customers, Convey and Multichannel Merchant lay out a few simple, best practices to make note of before hitting the green light on your holiday delivery strategy. Some tips include:

  • Giving holiday shoppers the shipping options they want by building a complex network of local, regional and national carriers capable of different modes of delivery.
  • How to improve the customer experience through proactive, real-time collaboration between shoppers and retailers. We’ve found in our delivery feedback that 48% of negative feedback occurs before a shipment is even delivered. Clearly there is a desire for customers to be able to communicate while packages are in-transit and an opportunity for retailers to turn negative experiences around.
  • Effectively managing white glove delivery services – today’s high value shoppers expect services such as white glove delivery, light assembly, room of choice, delivery appointment time request and the ability to reroute a package. The ability to offer these services to customers can have a big impact on customers’ choices when selecting a retailer, especially when purchasing a large item.

With these tips on defending your brand, is your retail organization prepared to succeed at delivery this holiday season and into 2017? How is your team planning to tackle the delivery experience through peak?