Getting the Holiday Customer Experience Right

Allison Champion
3 min read
August 31, 2021
Modified: September 20, 2022

As holiday shopping shifts online, the holiday customer service experience takes place on the screen and behind the scenes. Without the in-store experience to rely on, it’s even more important that ecommerce brands brands have the knowledge base to nail the digital customer journey, particularly during the high-volume holiday season. 

This means planning for an optimized fulfillment and delivery experience that gets a product to a consumer’s door seamlessly, in the increasingly accelerated time frame shoppers come to expect, with an unboxing experience that inspires delight. This experience during the holiday shopping season is essential for brands considering the customer loyalty that comes when expectations are not only met, but exceeded.

Sell where your customers are shopping

Holiday shoppers today demand the option to discover and shop for brands across multiple online, in-store, and social channels. With the proliferation of shopping channels – from DTC sites to marketplaces to social media and messaging apps – customer interaction and shopping habits have spread, and brands need a way to connect all their e-commerce channels without setting up multiple logistics networks. 

Omnichannel fulfillment allows brands to connect all their storefronts and shopping channels with an integrated e-commerce fulfillment system. Smart brands are thinking early about improving or investing more in services like omnichannel fulfillment, expedited delivery, and expanded pickup and last-mile delivery options. 

Optimize inventory allocation

Brands that adopt an omnichannel holiday ecommerce strategy also need multiple, distributed fulfillment locations in order to enable fast, affordable delivery. Network optimization does exactly this. 

The algorithm identifies the optimal fulfillment centers for every brand, and can be customized to emphasize the elements that matter most, from minimized transit times to reduced total shipping costs to identify the best fulfillment locations for a brand, which is especially important during the holiday rush.

Kitting and bundling

Kitting and bundling, or the processes behind grouping multiple items together and selling them as one unit – think gift sets, variety packs, or specialized subscription boxes – are excellent tools for merchandising, particularly around the holiday season or seasonal events.

Beyond empowering brands to do more with existing inventory by creating new SKUs out of existing product, perhaps the greatest advantage of kitting and bundling is that these services offer the ultimate unboxing experience for customers. As shopping shifts to e-commerce, the customer experience becomes synonymous with packaging and delivery, and smart brands will see an opportunity to provide a premium touchpoint to meet customer expectations and deliver additional customer care.

Proactive customer communication

Savvy consumers expect regular, proactive communication about their orders and when they’re expected to arrive, especially in the event of a delay or holdup.

A poorly executed fulfillment experience can turn a customer off before they’ve even opened the product. In fact, 85% of consumers report that they will not shop with a retailer again after an inferior delivery experience.

Fulfillment software, like Flowspace’s OmniFlow Visibility Suite, offers brand operators the visibility they need to provide a peak customer experience throughout the busy season and beyond. OmniFlow allows brands to track open orders across delivery stages, and empowers customer success teams to know what’s happening with order status before customers ever have to reach out and ask.

How Flowspace can help

The time to prepare for peak shipping season is now, so brands aren’t stuck when the surge hits. Flowspace can help brands set up omnichannel strategies, network optimization, kitting and bundling services and more to ensure peak preparation and peak customer success ahead of the holidays. Get in touch today.

 

Author Bio

Allison Champion leads marketing communication at Flowspace, where she works to develop content that addresses the unique challenges facing modern brands in omnichannel ecommerce. She has more than a decade of experience in content development and marketing.