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The critical factor for consumers when shopping online is…

BY CSA STAFF

When it comes to providing a satisfactory customer experience, online retailers have to deliver on their promises.

Sixty-six percent of e-commerce shoppers consider delivery a decisive factor when shopping online, according to a new study by enterprise delivery experience solution provider Convey. In addition, 70% of consumers report they are unlikely to return after a poor delivery experience.

According to the survey, the customer forms impressions about the brand throughout the purchase experience, and impressions are reinfoced or destroyed by the experience they receive through the delivery process.

And providing satisfactory delivery experience appears to be a significant competitive differentiator, as only 11% of respondents said delivery is a strength of retailers today. More than half (54%) of shoppers said that delivery concerns are at least somewhat likely to prevent them from making large-item purchases online.

This doesn’t stop consumers from having high expectations for online delivery. Forty-three percent of shoppers expect their delivery experience to be personalized based on their order and purchase history. Thirty-nine percent expect to receive a better experience if they’ve shopped with a retailer before. Despite the complexity that exists with delivering large items, shopper expectations remain equally high. In fact, 73% percent of shoppers said that they expect to receive the same level of experience regardless of shipment size.

Other notable findings include:

· 75% of shoppers believe proactive communication is important, with 38% expecting to be notified immediately in the event of an issue.

· In the case of delayed or damaged goods, 53% of shoppers would expect expedited shipping on a replacement product, 44% would expect a refund or discount on shipping costs, and 19% would expect a coupon for their next purchase.

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Report: Amazon to change some Marketplace fees

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon.com is reportedly going to make it easier for third-party sellers on its Marketplace platform to sell certain items.

According to Bloomberg, starting July 1 Amazon will cut the fee for shipping USB cables, smartphone screen protectors and other small, flat items that can fit in envelopes by 67%. The maneuver is seen as a salvo against operators of online marketplaces that provide Chinese sellers with inexpensive access to U.S, consumers, such as Alibaba and eBay.

The report is based on a leaked email Amazon sent to Marketplace sellers. Amazon declined comment.

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Retail loyalty is big business

BY Marianne Wilson

Customers who belong to a retailer’s loyalty program spend more — significantly more — than those who do not.

That’s according to a new study by Accenture Interactive, which found that members of retailers’ loyalty programs generate between 12% and 18% more revenue for retailers than those who do not belong. The report was based on a survey of U.S. retailers across specialty, big-box, department, drug and convenience stores.

Beyond the incremental increase in revenue, the research revealed finding that fewer than one in five retailers focuses on ROI as a key metric of the success of their loyalty program. Specifically, when asked to identify success metrics for their program, only 19% of the retailers surveyed cited ROI.

The key areas that retailers focus most on in terms of their loyalty programs are such program growth and revenue production metrics as membership growth rates (cited by 45% of respondents), share of transactions by members (42%) and number of transactions per year (36%). Member value metrics, such as retention rate (40%) and customer long-term value (37%) also ranked high.

But fewer retailers are focused on engagement metrics such as number of reward redemptions (cited by 32%), campaign response rates (27%) and customers engaged socially (16%).

“Given the maturity and sophistication of loyalty programs today, it’s surprising how little scrutiny retailers place on program ROI rather than just growing membership,” said Farrell Hudzik, managing director of Accenture Interactive’s global loyalty and rewards practice.

In other key findings:

• The biggest challenges retailers face regarding their loyalty programs relate to keeping up with the underlying technology (mobile and digital capabilities) or investing enough in technology (40%). Keeping up with competing loyalty programs (33%) and managing the liability and financial complexity of the program (33%) are also big challenges.

• More than two-thirds (71%) of retailers surveyed said that their program was “differentiated” or “significantly differentiated” from those of their competitors.

• Nearly all respondents (97%) said that their loyalty programs receive C-suite support. However, 43% said they received “strong” C-suite support, with 54% saying their programs receive “moderate” C-suite support.

“For a retailer to set itself apart with a compelling and accessible loyalty/rewards program, its marketing department must have the total commitment of the C-suite to ensure that it gets the resources necessary to develop leading-edge analytics, digital and other technological capabilities,” Hudzik said.

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