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Free Shipping & Other Customer-Centric Offerings Drive Holiday Sales

ANN ARBOR, Mich.  /PRNewswire/ — Retailers face a variety of fulfillment choices as they seek to maximize sales this holiday season:  Should they offer free shipping? Will shoppers be willing to wait more than a couple of days for delivery? Should they ramp up contact center staff, or focus on our website's live chat feature?

To help answer these questions, Radial teamed up with CFI Group to conduct a survey of 500 online shoppers to find out what they expect from retailers during the holiday shopping season. Some of the findings on customer needs include the following:

  • 76% will shop at a competitor's website if a retailer runs out of product.
  • 65% are willing to purchase additional items to qualify for free shipping.
  • 95% will wait up to five days for standard shipping.
  • 47% will shop with competitors the next time if a retailer's shipment arrives later than expected.
  • 14% use in-store pickup as one of their typical delivery choices.
  • 36% prefer live chat for customer service during the holiday season.

To meet these varying customer needs, retailers must have the operational flexibility to offer a variety of fulfillment options. Inventory control, free shipping levels, standard shipping guarantees, in-store pickup options, and both phone reps and live chat must all be carefully orchestrated to deliver tailored experiences customers. And reps must be given the latitude to listen to and address specific fulfillment needs of each customer.

“It's about flexibility,” says CFI Group CEO Sheri Petras. “If a retailer has all those fulfillment options available, the customer is going to be able to stay within that retail family, as opposed to shopping someplace else.”

To read more about the Retail Report by Radial and CFI Group visit: cfigroup.com/resource-item/retail-report-august-2017

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