The holiday season highlights the need for great customer experiences. As more people are shopping and interacting with brands, they demand great service and a convenient experience. Here are three stories from the week that show the importance of holiday shopping for brands and how customer experience matters now and all year long.
Thanksgiving Spending Reaches New Highs
Black Friday used to be isolated to the day after Thanksgiving, but it now spills into the days and weeks surrounding the holiday. This year, consumers spent $4.2 billion shopping online on Thanksgiving alone, a 14.5% jump from last year. Black Friday online shopping is expected to be around $7.4 billion, an increase of more than 22% from 2018. More than 165 million people shopped on Black Friday. Even with a longer shopping season and extended deals from most stores, customers still shop big around Thanksgiving.
Black Friday is still the biggest shopping day in the U.S., but a growing number of consumers are staying home to take advantage of the deals online. With big discounts and fast shipping, customers get the convenience they crave without the craziness. Although the holiday shopping season has expanded in recent years, these numbers show that consumers are still ready and willing to spend on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Retailers Battle For Fastest Shipping
This holiday season, a number of retailers are trying to compete for the fastest and most reliable shipping. Customers have grown to expect fast shipping, but delivering packages quickly comes with a cost. Amazon will spend $1.5 billion this quarter alone to build out its new promise of next-day delivery for Prime members. To compete, Target and Walmart are also investing heavily in their order fulfillment and delivery systems to guarantee next-day delivery on orders over $35. Investing so much in logistics could take a toll on companies, but the investment could pay off to win customers.
Modern customers expect fast delivery on their orders. The bar has definitely been raised over the past few years. As Amazon makes new promises, other retailers feel compelled to follow suit so they don’t lose customers. The trend is expensive to companies but shows the demands and expectations of customers to get their items quickly and how far companies will go to deliver a great experience from start to finish.
Allbirds Accuses Amazon Of Copying Shoe Design
Allbirds are incredibly popular not just because of their comfortable design, but because they are made of sustainable wool. When Amazon released a copy of the shoes for half the price, Allbirds wasn’t mad about getting knocked off—the bigger issue was the lack of sustainability. The Allbirds CEO called out Amazon for copying the shoes and asked Amazon to also “please steal our approach to sustainability”. Copying products isn’t new, but the approach to sustainability is.
Customers care about sustainability and making eco-friendly shopping decisions. A large factor in Allbirds’s success is its innovative and sustainable practices so that customers feel good about wearing the shoes. Amazon can copy a product and slash the price, but most customers will remain loyal the environmentally friendly original version. This example shows the power sustainability has in customer experience.
Holiday shopping puts customer experience under a microscope. These stories demonstrate just how far brands will go to deliver a great experience to customers.
Blake Morgan is the author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her newsletter here.