Ways to Reduce Shopper Stress This Holiday Season

Let’s face it: the holiday season is a stressful time for everyone. In addition to all our regular responsibilities, we’re rushing around decorating, attending holiday parties, planning holiday events and, of course, purchasing gifts. Already this year, consumers have spent a record $65.15 billion, and we’re on track to pass the $100 billion mark.

Retailers plan for months on end to meet and exceed customer expectations during the holiday season. They hire additional staff, add extra inventory, and implement new processes. And now, they watch to see how events unfold – and respond as quickly as possible if a hiccup occurs.

The holiday shopping stress (for both retailers and consumers) is so prevalent that Retail Customer Experience recently published an article titled “6 ways to deliver stressless service in the holiday season.” Here are a few recommendations from author and customer loyalty expert, Chip Bell:

Focus on serving a customer

Chip emphasized the singular predicate for a reason. He recommends that retailers, “make customers feel your foreground is a laser-like focus on them and their unique needs.”

Be a service choreographer

“Disheveled displays, unorganized layout and cumbersome purchasing processes (whether online or in person) get generalized to the products they front. Preparation brings competence; it also reduces your potential for service fatigue.”

Create made-to-order service experiences

Chip says, “Great hosts are forever seeking ways to make the customer’s experience go effortless. But, more than that, they look for ways to make customers joyful. Research shows “random acts of kindnesses” actually reduces the stress of the perpetrator, not just its target.”

Another great way to reduce shopper stress this holiday? Offer same-day delivery. We reached out to Chip for his take on the value same-day delivery can bring to consumers and here’s what he had to say:

“Dropoff’s service, by definition, has the potential to reduce customer stress. By offering 24/7 availability, Dropoff supports customer delivery needs at any time.”

As much as we’d love to move all our purchases to 100% online, some things just have to be done in-person. That new dress you bought for the holiday party? It requires some alterations before it’s ready to wear. And maybe you’ve been burned enough by online shoe purchases that you *must* try them on at the store.

Or possibly, it’s just a matter of convenience. A customer visits a retail brick and mortar and makes a large purchase that they’d normally take home with them. What if they’re hopping on a train into the city? Or even if they have a car, they might be heading to work or to run more errands. With increased incidents of theft during the holiday season, they may not want to leave their purchases in the car.

Inventive retailers can offer same-day delivery to give customers one less thing to worry about. After in-store measurements, alterations can be delivered straight to the customer’s home or office. Or a purchase intended to be a gift for someone can be delivered straight to their door – one less step for the shopper to get gifts to their recipients. Sounds like a happy holiday to us.

How would you use same-day delivery to reduce shopper stress? Tell us in the comments.  

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