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Holiday Survey Shows Good Customer Service Equals Repeat Business

Tis the seasonIt’s November 1st! So let’s kick off this holiday shopping season with a jolly infographic from PriceGrabber.

For their Winter Holiday Shopping Survey, PriceGrabber asked 2,887 US online shopping consumers about their plans for the next few weeks. The most significant piece of data to come out of the survey is this:

69% of consumers plan to shop at the same retailers as they did last year.

When asked why, 70% said they would remain loyal to certain retailers because of good customer service.

This is significant because customer service is the one area where a smaller retailer has a chance of beating the big boys. Small retailers can’t slash prices to match Walmart. They certainly can’t price competitively and still offer free shipping. And they can’t beat the selection at Amazon. But they can go above and beyond to make sure their customers find great gifts without a lot of effort.

eBay’s New Curated Collections Could Lead to Big Sales for Sellers

In their never-ending quest to become more than just an auction site, eBay has launched a new feature that is both familiar and unique. It’s called Collections – curated boards of related (or not so much) items culled from a variety of eBay sellers. Unlike eBays traditional listings, the photos are big, bold and. . . (we’re all thinking it, so why not say it) Pinterest-like.

ebay collections

At a glance, Collections are trendy and cool looking. eBay stacked the deck by employing 200 “celebrity” trendsetters to curate the first batch of boards. Sadly, I must not be hip enough because I only recognized two names in the long list eBay included in the press release; Pharrell Williams and Solange Knowles. Alexandra Cousteau is also on the list. I wondered if she was related to the famed man of the sea, so I searched her name on Google and found this at the top of the page:

This Holiday Season, the Internet is the Number One Place to Shop

For the first time in the history of the Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey, the internet came out on top as the place to shop for the holidays.

In prior years, discount / value department stores reigned supreme, but this year they fell 7% to the number two spot.

delloitte holiday 2013

 

Note that shoppers will hit an average of 4.5 different venues before settling in for a long winter’s nap with a total buying power of $421. Last year, the average shopper only spent $386 on holiday gifts.  One word of caution here. This survey was conducted in mid-September so it’s possible – maybe even likely – that the recent government shut down could eat into this rise in spending.

Luxury Buyers Judge a Package by its Cover [Infographic]

Think about the last thing you bought online. What did it look like when it arrived at your door? Was it in a box built to fit the item exactly? Was it a piece of clothing stuffed into a flexi-envelope? And what did it look like when you opened it? Was there a note? Was it damaged? Most importantly, did the presentation make you want to buy from this company again?

Wrap & Send surveyed shoppers who make more than $75,000 a year and found that package presentation was extremely important.

luxury packaging

Even allowing for the fact that the survey was conducted by a company who sells expertise wrapping and shipping – I believe this is a factor online sellers should be thinking about.

eBay Solidifies eCommerce Position with a Local Mobile Push

ebay nowWhen eBay launched as a marketplace for one-offs and collectibles, people thought it would fizzle as fast as a dud firework. Eighteen years later, they site has grown to be a major force in the eCommerce world. Still, stocks fell 6% today after the company predicted a sluggish holiday season due in part to that nasty old government shutdown.

Fear not – eBay shall bounce back (and soon I hope because my eBay sales are suffering!) Check out these numbers from yesterday’s conference call:

  • 137 million active accounts globally
  • In Q3, eBay’s core Gross Merchandise Volume grew 12% over the prior year.
  • 2.4 million new users acquired through mobile in Q3.
  • Fixed-priced listings accounted for 71% of GMV globally and more than half of all U.S. transactions shipped free in Q3. (There’s that free shipping thing! Customers love it.)

Americans Shop for the Holidays All Year Long, Europeans Prefer to Wait Until December

christmas greetingsGod Jul! Feliz Navidad! Buone Feste Natalizie!

Doesn’t matter which language you use, it all means the same thing – holiday cha-ching!

Retail-Me-Not took a quick trip around the world to discover the holiday shopping habits of folks in different countries and I found the results quite fascinating.  So, let’s dive into the numbers together.

40% of Americans said they were going to start shopping for December in October. But 22% of bargain hunters said they start shopping on January 1, collecting up gifts all year long in order to spread out the financial burden.

Over in Sweden and the Netherlands, almost half of those surveyed closed their eyes to early shopping, saying they plan on waiting until December to begin their hunt. If you think that’s pushing it, 18% of people in Italy said they’ll be waiting until AFTER the holidays to go shopping. That’s one way to get bargain basement prices on everything!

Most eCommerce Emails Go Out in the Morning, But When Are People Shopping?

time-is-going-1415573-mMost email marketing messages are scheduled to go out first thing in the morning. I know this is so because I wake up to a bunch of them every day. And do you know what I do with most of them? I delete them because I can’t stand having a cluttered email box when I’m working.

Now, if you send me a marketing email late in the day it has a better chance of sticking around, getting read and more importantly, clicked. Why? Because that’s when I’m browsing the web and doing my online shopping.

According to Retention Science, 65% of consumers shop online in the afternoon and at night. They discovered this after analyzing 100 million online transactions, 20 million user profiles and 100 email campaigns. That’s a lot of data.