What 2017 holiday performance indicates will be priority #1 for successful retailers this year.
It’s official — 2017 and the heaviest peak season yet are over! On Cyber Weekend, UPS alone delivered over 750 million packages. Along with a deep analysis of our customer data, we surveyed 1,500 consumers who did their holiday shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and we asked them what about their delivery would keep them coming back again in January. Learn what shoppers said they needed from holiday delivery and how to work toward more positive exception resolutions in 2018.
With volume going through the roof and shipping delays due to a stressed carrier network, retailers and shoppers alike understand that exceptions will happen. According to our shipping data, this feeling carried on throughout peak season as delays topped customer complaints, accounting for 21.3% of all customer feedback. Other top complaints included missing packages (3.5% of customers) and damaged shipments (4.8%).
Packages were typically delayed by 1-2 days during this peak season, and states most heavily affected by delays were Texas, Florida, and California. Delays affected customer , those who reported date-related factors (such as estimated date range or specific promise date) only 71% reported a positive experience.
It was clear that seamless delivery is key to brand loyalty. It’s no surprise that customers preferred low cost and fast shipping when it comes to delivery. Those who had no delivery issues were 3x more likely to report they would purchase from the retailer again. According to our data, only 63.7% of shoppers said they had no shipping issues.
Even more importantly, our survey shows that customers care when hiccups happen along the way as well, and they are counting on retailers to fix them before it is too late. Those who had an issue that was resolved were 42% more likely to report that they would return than those who had an issue that went unresolved. Retailers must earn their customers’ loyalty and trust through positive delivery experiences.
Here are a few tips for managing exceptions as we move into 2018:
- Know when shipping exceptions come up. When it comes to navigating exceptions, shipment visibility is key. According to our data, 6.3% of shoppers reported having negative shipping experiences, with 3.5% of delivery experiences spoiled by unaddressed shipping issues.
- Own all carrier and shipping failures. Shoppers in our survey showed awareness that shipping issues may come up — but they expect the retailers to proactively address them along the way. In our survey, customers said they are more likely to return when a retailer addresses an issue. Shoppers who had an issue that was addressed were 2x more likely to say that their delivery experience over the holidays was better than during the rest of the year.
- Collaborate with carriers to ensure a smooth delivery. With so many different variables in the final mile, it’s more important than ever to get the shipment back on track as soon as possible. Ensure that all relevant conversations and updates to each shipment are noted in real time so they can be conveyed to the customer easily and quickly.
- Package tracking and customer communication are a must. When it comes to retailers managing deliveries to success, it is not just about the “what” of fixing an issue it is also imperative to address the “how.” Give customers the opportunity to subscribe to updates through text or e-mail. According to The Modern Delivery Imperative, 93% of customers prefer to receive notifications when there is a delivery exception, and over 50% of shoppers prefer to receive notifications through e-mail.
Convey customers saw a 3% increase in on-time performance during 2017’s peak season compared to the rest of the year. Learn how they surmounted carrier delays, or click here to get started on your team’s 2018 resolutions.