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smart tribune

Customer self-service is the secret to surviving this year’s holiday shopping season

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By Smart Tribune

E-commerce retailers must offer exceptional customer service experiences to succeed in what’s likely to be the biggest online holiday shopping season ever.

There is no question that 2020 has been a year of unexpected twists and turns. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has turned everything we know about typical consumer habits on its head. But it has also proven just how powerful the e-commerce ecosystem is for keeping the economy humming in spite of all the headwinds that businesses have faced this year.

As we head into the holidays, with fears mounting around COVID-19’s anticipated “second wave,” it’s clear that the upcoming shopping season will be quite different from any in recent memory. In fact, Deloitte anticipates e-commerce holiday retail to grow between 25% to 35% from November 2020 through January 2021. This means one thing: online retailers must be prepared to anticipate a sharp increase in demand. Customer self-service is the best way to ensure that no shopping cart gets abandoned this holiday season.

For both online and brick-and-mortar retailers, the holiday shopping season is one of the most important times of the year. The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, for better or worse, has added even more pressure for retailers to succeed this year—especially knowing that brick-and-mortar retail sales this year, in the U.S. alone, are predicted to drop by 14%.

This has raised the stakes significantly for online retail to make up for these losses and has changed how both retailers and consumers are approaching the upcoming holiday shopping season. Based on the latest trends data from the National Retail Federation, 74% of retailers believe that consumers will spread out their holiday shopping across several months, making this a longer shopping season than we’ve seen in years past. A study conducted by Radial suggests that 39% of shoppers will begin their holiday shopping as early as October while only 30% will wait until the more traditional Black Friday-Cyber Monday shopping weekend… Continue reading