This post will focus on Q2 2010 with some look backs to Q2 2009 for a year over year (YOY) comparison. Data is based on a group of retailers who participated in our North American Network in both time periods, or roughly 1,100 retailers, and over 2,284,000 online Point-of-Sale survey responses in Q2 2010.
Point-of-Sale (POS) metrics:
Order Fulfillment (FF) metrics:
Insights, Tips & Trends:
- As we read customer comments from online retailers with store locations, we are seeing more customers requesting free shipping to their local store.
- We see a statistically significant increase (+9.2%) in the percent of contacts to Customer Support via Live Chat, as well as a statistically significant decrease in contacts via email (-2.1%). Email, however, still remains the most used contact method (46.5%), followed by phone (44%) and then Live Chat (5.9%).
- When a known issue with delivery is not present and consumers are reporting late deliveries on the order fulfillment survey, we often find that there is a mismatch between the consumers’ perceived receipt date (as asked on the POS survey) and the retailers’ actual planned send or receipt date, based on the retailers’ internal operations and the shipper. This can often be solved by improving communications and more correctly setting consumer expectations for order receipt date.
- The metrics surrounding Customer Support always top the list with high correlations to (meaning very influential over) Likelihood to Buy Again and Likelihood to Recommend.
- If you are strong in this area and the percentage of customers that need to contact Customer Support is at or below average (18.2% for Q2 2010), then market this strength. If you are not strong in Customer Support performance, then we suggest that you put some work into improvements.
- We know that many retailers focus most of their resources on Point of Sale attributes. While these influence conversion, note that none of the leading influencers (highly correlated) of likelihood to buy again is a POS attribute. Be very mindful of what happens after collecting payment.
How do you make this information work for you? Where should you focus your energies?
- Pay attention to your scores, but in the context of an appropriate benchmark and with the nuance of customer comments. Bizrate Insights has free reports for this data.
- We always start at correlations when focusing on the foundation pieces of an ecommerce business. Correlations tell you how influential each attribute is against another. Look at what the correlations are and how they change over time. This information is also provided for free in the BizAdvisor Report.
- The key mantra? Listen to your customers! Market what they perceive as your strengths and fix what they perceive as your weaknesses. Perception is reality.