eft does Holiday eCommerce
eft staff have put together some of the best and worst eCommerce experiences of this year's holiday season.
eCommerce is booming...especially-so from eft’s UK vantage-point. £1968 per person is spent on eCommerce a year in the UK – that’s around $3000. In the US this figure is around £1171/$1783.
With the Holiday Season on the horizon, and things to buy, we asked the team to keep track of some of their best (and worst) experiences with eCommerce deliveries. While we often find ourselves working with the industry, we thought we’d put our consumer hats on and experience the innovation, technology and service-level we hear about on a daily basis!
The Amazon Prime Member
A nice value add I used this holiday season is Amazon’s No-Rush Delivery pay-back scheme. As an Amazon Prime member, I’m offered free one-day courier delivery on all eligible products. Sometimes I take it, sometimes I opt for regular delivery: I take it if I want or need the item fast, or because I’m ordering quickly on my phone and it defaults to this. I opt for slower delivery if I don’t want to send it signed for, want a greener option, or really know I don’t need it for a week or so.
This year, just in time for organised, early holiday shoppers like me, Amazon offered an extra incentive: a £1 credit for choosing their No-Rush Delivery option on Prime. You can use this ₤1 credit towards the rental or purchase of eligible movies or TV shows from Amazon Instant Video or the purchase of eligible Kindle Books or MP3 downloads. It’s a nice way of collecting some credit towards a free Kindle book or movie, with the added benefit of making me stop and think about whether I really need an item next day, which in the world of near-instant eCommerce is a welcome opportunity to reflect on the costs and benefits. It may be wise for Amazon to say something about the environmental impact, alongside its more visible incentives.
Every month, I get a delivery from a beauty company, providing me with samples of new products.
Every month, the courier proves incapable of delivering my package to my door.
Every month, the courier ‘leaves a card’ announcing that they’ve been unable to deliver my package.
Every month, this card is nowhere to be seen. I think I might have a ghost.
Every month, I email the company asking where my delivery might be this time. They usually don’t know.
Sometimes, when it eventually arrives, I come home and find my package in a tree or under a car or surrounded by hungry cats. I wish I had pictures.
The Not Delivery
Home is over 7500km away. At this time of year, this means Christmas shopping is a great opportunity to trial trans-continental eCommerce. Based on Black Friday indulgences, Europe’s established online retail network is phenomenal. You get text updates, you get email updates, they promise you one date, and things arrive in advance. If you aren’t available, you can text alternatives back, they will leave the package with a neighbour, in your bin outside, etc. Effective and functional.
Thinking the North American system would be at least equal to the task, I went ahead and ordered two books from a very well established book store for my Dad I knew he’d appreciate – one filled with dry humour, one a Christmas story we used to listen to.
Here’s a summary of the emails I received once the order was placed:
· December 15th, AM, order placed delivery 5-10 business days
· December 15th, (20 mins later) order scheduled to ship (so far so good)
· December 16th – 18th why hasn’t it shipped yet?
· December 18th, order dispatched (finally!)
· December 21st, order delayed 1-5 days (Ugh)
· December 23rd, order delayed – 30 days (are they going out to the woods to chop the tree down to print this thing on???)
· December 25th, Merry Christmas! Your order has been cancelled
· December 26th, Your _____ & ______ Customer Service Experience! (are you serious??)
· One of the books is still in the process of getting shipped, 17 business days into the process. No word on what happened with the other one – maybe in time for December 25th 2015?
The UBER saves Christmas:
In the lead up to Christmas, eft and friends were planning celebratory drinks at an event named Santacon. As the title suggests this brings together thousands of Santas and a veritable menagerie of Christmas inspired representatives for general sing-songs, skylarking and Yuletide cheer.
With participants gathering centrally from four corners of London, outfits were a must, but on short supply at all our closest outlets. Some furious phone calling located 10 Santa suits at a store across London with the 1 hour deadline until the store closed our final hurdle. With public transport out of the question, a large favour from UBER was our last hope.
Lo and behold, UBER dropped by the store to pick up the paid items with time to spare – delivering to the eft office – ensuring the festivities could be enjoyed without sticking out like a sore Santa.
The Best eCommerce email marketing subject lines of 2014
LAST CHANCE to get it on time + SALE!
Order by 2PM to Get Your Gifts Tomorrow (Plus, 25% Off Bags & Wallets)
Get it with next-day shipping + SALE!
Last Chance For Christmas Delivery
Free Shipping Upgrade for Christmas Delivery + 20% Off Last-minute Gifts — Hurry, Ends Soon!
Free Overnight Shipping. (It's on us.)
And then when it was actually too late:
Having a gift emergency? (Our e gift-cards…)
Waited too long? Send E-GIFT CARDS!
eCommerce is going to be a focus this year for eft with such substantial growth in the sector, business developments and technological advancements. Stay tuned to eft’s latest events, forums, webinars, surveys and reports as we tackle how the consumer’s experience is evolving in eCommerce, new business models challenging the norm, technology advancements and more.