CFI Group Says Freebies Like Shipping Drive Holiday Sales

ANN ARBOR — A new report from Ann Arbor’s customer experience analysts CFI Group and the King of Prussia, Pa.-based e-commerce company Radial Inc. finds that shoppers are willing to spend more online to get free shipping — but won’t stand for out-of-stock products or long waits for shipment.

The survey of 500 online shoppers turned up the following results:

* 76 percent will shop at a competitor’s website if a retailer runs out of product
* 65 percent are willing to purchase additional items to qualify for free shipping
* 95 percent will wait up to five days for standard shipping
* 47 percent will shop with competitors the next time if a retailer’s shipment arrives later than expected
* A mere 14 percent use in-store pickup as one of their typical delivery choices
* 36 percent prefer live chat for customer service during the holiday season.

To meet these varying customer needs, CFI officials say retailers must have the operational flexibility to offer a variety of fulfillment options. Inventory control, free shipping levels, standard shipping guarantees, in-store pickup options, and both phone reps and live chat must all be carefully orchestrated to deliver tailored experiences customers. And reps must be given the latitude to listen to and address specific fulfillment needs of each customer.

“It’s about flexibility,” said CFI Group CEO Sheri Petras. “If a retailer has all those fulfillment options available, the customer is going to be able to stay within that retail family, as opposed to shopping someplace else.”

To read more about the Retail Report by Radial and CFI Group visit:

As founding partner of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, CFI Group is the only company in the United States licensed to apply customized ACSI methodology in both the private and public sectors. Using patented technology and research experts, CFI Group uncovers the business drivers and financial impact of customer experience.

Radial is an e-commerce services provider created by the merger of eBay Enterprise, which was founded in 1995 as GSI, a sporting goods merchant that later moved online, and Innotrac, a fulfillment and retail technology provider founded in 1984.

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