10 reasons why Operations Experience Management matters in the holiday season

10 reasons why Operations Experience Management matters in the holiday season
Published on: Oct 23, 2021
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Peak, the holiday season, the Golden Quarter, the winter holidays… whatever you want to call it, the next few months are the most wonderful time of the year for retailers. In 2021, US shoppers have plenty to spend, and they’re spending online.

We’ve rounded up some statistics that show just how big the e-commerce boom could be this holiday season. And our analysis shows that if retailers want a share of the glad tidings, they’ll need flawless customer service, delivery and returns. In other words: it’s all about Operations Experience Management.

20% of all holiday season shopping is now online…

American consumers start their holiday shopping in early November – and they keep clicking, tapping, and swiping all the way up to New Year. As the holidays race by, more of that spending goes online: an estimated 52% of Christmas Day revenue came from smartphones.

… and e-commerce’s share is growing fast.

That 20% figure sounds pretty healthy, but it’s barely started yet. Normally, the growth in e-commerce for the holiday season bumps around between 5 and 10%. In 2020? E-commerce holiday sales grew by over 20%.

Overall, e-commerce had 10 years’ worth of growth in just 3 months.

Yes, you read that right. Following a boost from the 2020 holiday season, e-commerce saw 10 years’ growth from January to March. What’s more, 75% of customers say they’ve tried out new brands in the past eighteen months. That signals a move away from traditional retailers, towards the crowded new world of e-commerce.

More customers are interested in online shopping and pickup services during peak.

In a survey of US consumers, 49% said they were “more interested” in online shopping this year. 33% were keen to try click and collect services, and 31% are interested in in-app purchases. Now it’s for retailers to offer those multichannel, flexible options that shoppers want.

60% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online this year.

Whether they choose delivery or curbside pickup, customers are making their actual purchasing decisions online. That 60% figure represents massive potential growth for the retailers who are ready to embrace it.

They have more to spend than ever…

During the pandemic, we all spent a little less and saved a little more. Americans are sitting on the biggest heap of savings in the world: an estimated $5.4 trillion. But economists expect that around a third of that money will be unleashed by shoppers in the next few months. Consumers agree: 34% say they’re planning to spend more this holiday season.

… but some retailers are set to miss out.

Despite a positive attitude from holiday shoppers, 33% of e-commerce companies chose to “opt out” of peak season campaigns last year. Will they find their nerve again this year? As consumers start shopping earlier, retailers will need to get on board fast.

70% of customers will abandon a brand that doesn’t communicate well.

Our research tells us that consumers love e-commerce because it’s quick, convenient, and flexible. But if communication breaks down, then all those benefits disappear. It’s vital for brands to perfect their operations experience and stay in touch with customers.

Speaking of which...

E-commerce sales peak just as customer service becomes unavailable.

Yep, that’s some bad timing. E-commerce sales tend to peak between 8pm and 9pm, while consumers are relaxing at home. But that’s just when customer service has signed off for the night. The effect is magnified in November, December, and January, when retailers are busier than ever.

The solution: anticipating customer queries, offering automated services, and strategic planning. Operations experience management can help you find the balance between customer satisfaction and your staff getting to sleep at night.

Revenue per website visit increased 10% last year. And it was all due to better conversion rates.

What improves conversion rates? It’s not just about a cute shop design or slick checkout process.

E-commerce customers care about fast shipping, easy returns, and clear communication. According to analysis from Adobe, retailers aren’t necessarily getting more website visitors: they’re just offering a better operations experience that persuades customers to click.

Now you’ve seen why it matters, find out how to improve your customer service and operations experience this holiday season. Read the latest advice from parcelLab.OX Fest is designed to blend the expertise and innovation of different industries with e-commerce trends, and challenge conventional thinking. Join us for a truly unique multi-industry event.

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