Survey reveals risks of approaching peak seasons

JDA's 2015 consumer survey reveals 50% of shoppers will not return for Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals following an unsatisfactory experience.

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According to a new JDA survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, 50% indicated they will be unforgiving of retailer errors in home delivery experiences.

The survey also found that for one in three consumers convenience is a major factor when placing an online order. JDA collected responses from 1,036 US-based consumers, 18-years and older, via a third-party provider to capture the perspectives of consumers; 53% were female and median income was recorded between $50,000 and $74,999.

“The biggest challenge for retailers today is finding the balance between keeping customers and maintaining profitability in an increasingly omni-channel world,” said Wayne Usie, senior vice president of retail at JDA. “It’s no longer sustainable for businesses to sacrifice profit margins in an effort to deliver customer satisfaction and meet demands. Instead, businesses need to take on a more holistic view of their logistics and fulfillment strategy to make informed decisions that will not only provide a consistent omni-channel experience to customers, but more importantly, turn a profit.”

Striking that balance is proving difficult for many retailers, as shoppers throughout the JDA survey expressed unfavorable past experiences. Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) seems particularly challenging. Nearly one in four shoppers have opted for such services, but nearly 40% of them reported issues with this the store staff’s ability to locate their order.

Consumers identified late delivery as the most common issue related to a poor online home delivery experience in the last 12 months (45%). Among this group, 48% would be unlikely to shop with the offending retailer during a peak time, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Most shoppers are outright unwilling to pay for convenience. For 62% of online shoppers, their biggest frustration was having to pay for return postage and packaging. In fact, more than 50% of all shoppers consider the ease of returning items to retailers “very important” while only about 10% view it as “not important.” It’s also significant to note that “Door-Buster Deals” are still a major factor for 50% of consumers when deciding where to shop for Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday.

“These survey findings speak to the importance of having an omni-channel retail strategy in place, not only during peak shopping seasons such as Black Friday, but also throughout the year,” Usie said. “It is critical for retailers to intelligently configure their supply chains and how they use their staff, stores and inventory to fulfill consumers’ orders quickly, while also remaining profitable.”

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