Black Friday won’t bring back people you’ve alienated

According to a survey in the US, if you’ve alienated a customer they’ll be unlikely to give you a second chance on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The bad experiences go throughout the supply chain from poor delivery options to late delivery so you need to keep your system in good working order even at spate times such as Black Friday or January Sales.

The survey was conducted by JDA Software of US customers, so may differ some from European and UK customers due to differing maturity of the e-commerce market and shopping habits generally. However, it found that 50% of those surveyed said that one bad shopping experience with an e-tailer would put them off next time, no matter the incentive to have a second go with them.

One in three US customers found that convenience is a major factor in the preferred shopping experience. A quick, streamlined system such as Amazon’s One Click service could mean the difference between click away and stay to purchase. Another thing that US shoppers liked was a one day delivery option.

Poor shopping experiences, to include a system that crashes from overload, poor supply chain management and late delivery, could put off a customer even with strong incentives to shop with you again on Black Friday no matter the time of year they shopped with you. This even goes for the click and collect customer – a snotty employee at your shop that gives the customer a negative experience when they do collect could put the shopper off ever buying again. This indicates that US shoppers are less likely to forgive and forget than one may hope.

Such factors will give an indication as to how an e-tailer will fare on the two big shopping days coming up, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Those who have given consistently poor customer experiences throughout the year shouldn’t hope that their lost customers will come back. Those with a slick, efficient and friendly process will see a busy discounting day.