How prepared are you for Cyber Monday? Last year sales on the day itself topped $3bn, setting a new record for the biggest ever day for online sales, with the total for the five day period surrounding the event reaching a colossal $11bn. That’s millions of frantic and frenetic shoppers taking to their devices to sweat off the Thanksgiving dinner with a heavy dose of bargain hunting. And, this year, they’re drawn to companies who embrace personalization.
Consumers prepare for the sales season by worrying about whether they’re going to be able to get their hands on the hottest products at fire sale prices. With the luxury of online, they can prepare to shop without having to spend a lifetime training to become a yogi so that they can sculpt their body underneath the rising shop grates as stores open on Black Friday. They might bake some cookies the day before to make sure that they keep their energy levels up as they scroll, but consumer preparation is easy. Sit down, log on, wallet out.
Hands up if Cyber Monday is a huge panic
As the event continues to develop into a day of global significance, the preparations that e-commerce companies have to undertake increase in dimension and complexity. Aside from making sure that websites have enough bandwidth to stay alive during the day, and some serious behind-the-scenes work to make sure that the deals offered are truly competitive, there are huge investments made in securing additional manpower to make sure that all sales and service processes go as smoothly as possible.
But even with an increased number of advisors manning the phones and responding to chat dialogues, it’s inevitable that the millions of customers descending on contact centers from online will cause some lag, will create frustration, and will leave many with a negative impression of the company. Considering that Cyber Monday is a day when businesses see a huge increase in the number of new consumers interested in their products, this is a problem that needs addressing.
Recognize a problem? Don’t ignore it
The measure of success on Cyber Monday is all too often purely focused on money. That’s the whole reason the event exists, after all. But underneath the stockpiles of money, and the sighs of relief from everyone involved, is a basic truth that the processes which many companies rely on to keep the wheels spinning on the big day could work better.
Money is currently being spent on plugging holes in the ship to make sure that it doesn’t sink. The crush of online shoppers can only be held off for so long by ancillary staff. And with the volume of consumers growing every year, companies need to find another way. They need to find a way to make online work better for their business, and for customers who are hungry for personalization.
Encourage visitors to stay online
On any day when you expect web traffic, the visitors who are able to complete their journey online should be encouraged to do so. And the visitors who have service issues should first be sent to the FAQ before being prompted to call in. The online experience should work so that people don’t want to have to go offline.
Companies need to think about using Artificial Intelligence to personalize the way that they offer their contact channels. At the moment, most website visitors aren’t considered to be, or treated as, individuals. When companies think about web traffic, they think about numbers. Groups of people. Conversions. What they should be doing is thinking about individuals, and tailoring online experiences to make sure that their unique needs are being addressed.
Contact channel personalization for a happier life
Most companies don’t personalize their contact channel offering. Most adopt a blanket approach to contact channels, showing all channels to all visitors without discerning why they’re online. If they used Artificial Intelligence technology that identifies why each individual web visitor is online, in real-time, before determining exactly which contact channel they need to be served (if any) to help them to complete their journey, then they will immediately reduce call center load, increase online sales and save a lot of stress.
The growth of online shopping continues to skyrocket. The Wall Street Journal point to shoppers making 51% of their purchases online, with the revenue generated online is set to grow by $320bn in 2018. A focus on improving personalization and accelerating the digitalization of sales and service shouldn’t just be concentrated on a big event day like Cyber Monday; it should be a number one priority for all companies.
Read more about Now Interact’s Personalized Contact Channels solution here.