TECHNOLOGY

The retailer with the best customer satisfaction survey is …

BY Marianne Wilson

When it comes to customer satisfaction surveys, a convenience store giant — 7-Eleven — is at the top of the class.

That’s according to a study by Interaction Metrics which finds that retailers are wasting customers’ time — and their own — by conducting critically flawed satisfaction surveys.

The study, which examined the customer satisfaction surveys of 51 top U.S. retailers, found that the root of problem is twofold: Retailers collect inaccurate data, and they fail to show active customer listening.

Based on an objective evaluation of 15 elements, the surveys overall scored an average 43 out of 100 points, an F grade.

Other findings include:

• With 23 questions on average, the surveys were excessively long.

• 32% of all questions lead customers to give answers that companies want to hear.

• 7-Eleven had the best survey — it was 13 questions, none of which were leading or used biased wording.

• Family Dollar had the worst customer survey—it had 69 questions, 29 of which were leading.

• Nordstrom, the retailer most known for customer service, stated its survey would take two minutes — but with 25 questions, it took four-five minutes.

"To get real value from their customer satisfaction surveys, retailers need to strengthen their survey science — and take a creative approach to showing customers they care,” said Martha Brooke, chief analyst and founder of Interaction Metrics.

The retailers selected for the 2016 Customer Listening Study were the National Retail Federation's top retailers, omitting supermarkets and membership stores.

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S.Albrecht says:
Nov-30-2016 01:50 pm

Would be nice if we could see the rankings from all retailers that were scored...

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TECHNOLOGY

Cyber Monday brings in record haul

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Cyber Monday has made history — again.

With shoppers spending $3.45 billion online on Cyber Monday, Nov. 28, a 12.1% jump year-over-year, sales not only surpassed predictions, but made this the largest Cyber Monday shopping event to date, according to Adobe Digital Insights, which aggregated data from 23 billion visits to retail websites.

Mobile spending on Cyber Monday started off strong early in the day, then slowed in the evening hours. However, it still generated $1.07 billion, a 34% YoY increase. Interestingly, this was $130 million less than Black Friday.

Specifically, mobile accounted for 47% of visits to retail web sites (38% through smartphones, and 9% via tablets: 9%) and 31% of sales (22% from smartphones, and 9% through tablets). The slight decrease is indicative that consumers were shopping from their desktops and laptops in the late evening, according to Adobe.

Conversions were well above holiday averages, with smart phones at 2.8%, tablets at 5.1% and desktops at 6.3% (compared to holiday averages of 1.3, 2.9 and 3.2%, respectively). The average order value (AOV) on iOS smartphones ($141) was slightly higher compared to Android smartphones ($128), Adobe said.

The holiday shopping season so far (November 1-28, 2016) has driven a total of $39.97 billion in online revenue, a 7.6% increase YoY. Given the strong performance of online shopping sales over Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday, Adobe affirms its projection that the holiday shopping season will drive $91.6 billion in online sales.

“Cyber Monday was one for the history books this year, bringing in $3.45 billion and making it the biggest online shopping day ever,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Insights.

“Consumers converted carts into purchases at record high levels before the season, and likely the year's lowest price deals ended,” she added. “It’s an incredible milestone, but it’s also incredible that Black Friday inched so close to Cyber Monday this year, generating only $110 million less in online sales. We’ll be watching this closely next year as Black Friday could be the one to top the records.”

The top-selling electronics on Cyber Monday were the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox, Samsung 4K TVs, Apple iPhone and Amazon Fire. Lego sets, Nerf, Shopkins, Barbie and Pie Face Game were the top-selling toys. Shoppers found their kids’ most coveted Christmas wishes via search ads (38.5% of sales) and direct sales (25.3% of sales) —both of which drove the majority of sales on Cyber Monday. Shopper Helper sites like CNET and RetailMeNot drove 16% of sales and email drove 18.1% of sales, Adobe said.

As expected, many shoppers were attracted by retailers’ sales. The highest price drops were seen for televisions (which had an average discount of 21.4%), tablets (21.1%), toys (14.6 %), pet care (11.8 %) and computers (11.1%). Also, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, the percent of purchased products that featured the same price across multiple retailers increased to 32% this year from 26% in 2015. This illustrates that online retailers are matching each other's prices, and consumers are taking advantage of it, the firm said.

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TECHNOLOGY

Black Friday: Top Five Takeaways

BY By Marianne Wilson

The Fung Global Retail & Technology team visited 35 stores throughout the Greater New York City area and Las Vegas on Black Friday for a first-hand view on traffic and sales. Here are their top five takeaways from their store visits:

Cyber Monday Starts Early for Walmart: Walmart kicked off its Cyber Monday deals at 12:01am EST on Friday for the first time ever, as it aims to grab customers ahead of its competitors. Last year, the company posted its Cyber Monday deals on the Sunday evening following Thanksgiving.

In-store deals began at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day, the same time as last year. Walmart nearly tripled its online assortment to more than 23 million products compared to 8 million last year, with the growth partially driven by the increase in third-party sellers. Walmart’s online sales growth accelerated to 20.6% in the third quarter from 11.8% in the second quarter.

Retailers Repeat Same Deals as Last Year: Several retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy and Target, repeated Black Friday deals from last year. Examples include J.C. Penney’s duplicated discount of 25% off for Nike products and Macy’s $39.99 luxurious cashmere deal.

Some retailers also chose to offer lower prices this year. J.C. Penney’s $7.99 deal for Made for Life v-neck brushed fleeced pullovers was reduced to $5 this year. Some retailers, however, are choosing to offer more expensive prices this year—Target, for example, reduced the discount on family apparel to 30% off this year from 40% off last year.

Tech Influence Felt Across Categories: Tech items were popular even at stores that typically do not have a broad electronics offering, specifically, tech watches at department stores by Apple and Michael Kors. Several retailers featured virtual-reality (VR) headsets as doorbusters.

Amazon was Aggressive on Apparel: The ecommerce company offered 20%-30% off select apparel, jewelry and watches. Nearly the entire month of November was one major Black Friday sale for Amazon. At the beginning of November, the e-commerce giant began to roll out its daily deals and Pre-Black Friday sales, with special offers leading up to the ultimate sales of 2016. Amazon also offered consumers a free pair of diamond studs with any qualifying purchase of $200.

Many Promotions Identical In-Stores and Online: Many retailers offered the same promotions online as they did in-store, including J. Crew, Urban Outfitters and Express.

Several retailers such as Lululemon, Marshalls and TJ Maxx did not offer significant discounts for Black Friday, and instead focused on gifting for the holiday.

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