Will Retailers Focused on a Great Customer Experience Capitalize Best on the Holiday Season?

By Courtney Schreier, Marketing Manager, Americas

With Black Friday behind us and just a few short weeks until the holidays start in earnest, retailers are clamoring for consumer attention. This should surprise no one; it happens every year and is so predictable one could almost call it a fact of life. I started to look into this phenomenon more closely to find out what factors determine the winners in this retail realm of holiday merriment.

I found some answers in a video series in which the CEO of HSNi, Mindy Grossman, was interviewed for Bloomberg TV. According to Grossman, those who focus on the customer experience this year will be declared the winners.

Grossman recommends betting big on mobile this year. This is not terribly shocking. However, retailers need to ensure that their site is mobile friendly. Even retailers using responsive design need to check and make sure that it has been implemented properly to ensure a seamless omnichannel experience. A great way to do this is to design a mobile template first and then move on to create designs for other devices.

Keeping in mind that there are certain questions that are at the forefront of customers’ minds this time of year, retailers should ensure that the answers to these questions are super easy to find. A virtual agent can greatly benefit a website here. If there is an issue, make it very fast and easy to escalate a problem to a live person. However, many holiday shoppers aren’t just shopping for themselves, they are shopping for family and friends – they are looking for information on things like size charts, shipping and return policies, and coupon code redemption. A virtual agent can easily navigate a consumer to the proper pages for this type of information, saving valuable live resources for more complex concerns.

Finally, ensure that content isn’t falling through the cracks by reviewing content that has received low ratings from customers. Retailers may see sales drastically improving just through a simple action such as fixing certain answers (e.g. fixing the functionality of a store locator). V-Portal™, Creative Virtual’s knowledge management and business intelligence reporting platform can report on customer satisfaction rates in real-time.

Remember, the holidays can be stressful – ensure customers are able to have a great omnichannel experience from any device.