The Saga of WISMO: WISMO Trounces Black Friday Shipments

Black Friday Approaches

At the headquarters of Sally’s Shoe Superstore, Sally, the CEO, stands in front of her employees and cheers: “Black Friday is in two days — who’s ready? This is our opportunity to shine. I’m excited to see our online shopping experience for the holidays — I know our new online experience will help us make our Q4 revenue. Now, go home and feast!”

In the back of the crowd, Diana, the Director of Digital Commerce, feels the jitters. She spent the last few weeks making sure that the site was ready for optimal conversion, and her team developed an exclusive sale for VIP customers — they would be getting access to Black Friday door busters twelve hours before regular shoppers. She still wonders, “Will that be enough to get the team over the finish line?”

Diana races back to her desk to make sure that everything is in place for the big day. Suddenly, she sees a spiky green creature behind her desk giving her a sneer. She looks again, but he’s gone. Probably just exhaustion setting in. She heads home for the holiday and forgets about the incident.

The Nightmare Begins

On Friday morning — Black Friday — Diana wakes up and checks her campaign analytics from the night before. Just one peek can’t hurt.

She sees that traffic is high, but conversions are low — her sale does not get as many VIP shoppers over the line as she wanted. To make up for it, she will either have to spend a big chunk of her remaining budget acquiring new customers or try to get more VIP shoppers to return and buy more on Cyber Monday.

Knowing the stakes at hand, Diana walks in on Monday morning. She’s ready to take on one of the company’s busiest days of the year, but she’s greeted to hundreds of spiky creatures crawling all over her desk. They’re on top of her computer, jump on her sweater as she walks closer, and dive head-first into her coffee as she nears. She takes her computer away from her desk, but they follow her around all morning. Some even make signs that say “Amazon is better!!” and jump up and down with them in front of her.

Suddenly, Diana gets an email from her CEO:


To: Diana@sallyshoes.com, steve@sallyshoes.com, carrie@sallyshoes.com
From: Sally.Henderson@Sallysshoes.com
Subject Line: ?

My neighbor ordered from the site on Black Friday. Her Estimated Delivery Date has changed 3 times, and now it says that she’s supposed to get it on Dec. 27!

Didn’t we say the promise date was going to be Dec. 4th in our campaign? This is a present for her daughter!

She’s a close friend and a Super Platinum VIP! Fix this.


As Diana reads through the email, her CMO takes her aside and asks, “How is it possible that our NPS scores for online orders dropped 3% during the last week of November? We’ve been getting a lot of negative feedback from customers who bought packages in our Black Friday sale and are seeing totally unacceptable delivery timeframes. A lot of them have said that they’re never coming back. What’s going on?”

Caught off guard, Diana wracks her brain for answers. A WISMO jumps onto her sweater and begins cackling at her, poking her jaw with its sign. Her head swirls from fear, guilt, and frustration. She thinks, “Is this even my fault?”

She walks as fast as she can from the growing pile of WISMOs on her desk, determined to find the cause of all this madness. 

Hinder WISMO’s Ability to Affect Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales

Unfortunately, during Diana’s day back in the office, she’s hit with two nightmare scenarios: her customers are giving her negative feedback on the delivery experience, causing NPS to tank, and a high-priority VIP shopper has a delayed delivery. Both events are seemingly out of her control, and the WISMOs crawling all over her are easy to pinpoint as the culprits. However, eCommerce Marketers, like Diana, are empowered to help solve these scenarios, and their ability to do so contributes to some of their own goals: generating online revenue, increasing NPS, and improving CAC.

While Diana is laser-focused on optimizing conversion rates leading up to Black Friday, every touchpoint in the customer journey, from discovery to advocacy, has an impact on the overall brand. Getting the product in the hands of customer enables a memorable experience that garners trust and will keep customers coming back. In fact, 98% of consumers believe that their brand loyalty hinges on shipping experience.

Many retailers have called attention to the post-sale experience in unboxing, packaging, and personalization. These variables are easier to control in the last mile, but customers still tend to remember their frustration in getting the package to their door. In fact, 84% will not return after a failed delivery experience. Customers do not want to worry where their orders are, and they certainly don’t want to be left with a shipment issue on their doorsteps, whether its a damaged shipment, or worse, their entire package is stolen off their porch.

The Delivery Experience: An Opportunity to Earn and Build Trust

Delivery demands only amplify as December 25th draws closer — as do WISMO calls, due to higher delivery volume. As brands get into the final stretch before peak season and determine which promotions and site experiences will help to lure in shoppers, it’s imperative to remember that seamless delivery also ranks highly on shoppers’ wish lists.

Customers do not want to worry where their orders are, and they certainly don’t want to be left with a shipment issue on their doorsteps.

In order for brands to gain long-lasting loyalty in any delivery situation, shoppers must feel empowered with the knowledge and confidence that their retailers will be on their side if a delivery goes awry. In the last mile, visibility features in the forms of tracking pages, alerts, and clear promise dates are just the first step for consumers to have peace of mind until a delivery gets to their door.

However, while tracking pages and alerts can help to reduce WISMO, they do nothing to satisfy customers whose deliveries are going off of the rails. Brands who utilize visibility to their advantage can also use the data to detect and resolve issues before they impact the customer, minimizing negative impact — stopping WISMO in its tracks.

Thwart WISMO from Ever Impacting a VIP experience

Diana’s second scenario from her CEO develops as a VIP shopper experiences a Black Friday shipping nightmare: The delivery is going to miss the company’s promise date, and as a result, the VIP shopper’s Christmas will be ruined. While the customer is able to watch the nightmare unfold, her best avenue for feedback is complaining to the CEO. However, not everyone has that option.

WISMO is only a symptom of pain for any customer — following the pain to the root of dissatisfaction should be a priority for all teams.

Since Sally’s Shoe Superstore has a formal loyalty program, Diana can easily find CRM data for her top 10% of customers and use her connected data to make sure their shipments go smoothly, especially at such a critical time of year. Brands such as Uncommon Goods will even go as far as canceling orders that have the potential to be damaged or delayed and re-shipping the item. That way, they are guaranteed to hit their promise dates every time.

It is imperative for delivery to be top of mind for all, especially during a critical time of year when negative feedback and WISMO calls can pile high. By remembering that WISMO is only a symptom of pain for any customer, following the pain to the root of dissatisfaction should be a priority for all teams who aim to improve the customer experience, build loyalty beyond peak season, and contribute to the bottom line.

Is WISMO damaging your NPS scores or customer loyalty?