During this busy time of year for the retail industry, large and small retailers alike need to ensure customers get the service they expect and receive their purchases in a safe and timely manner.
In order to limit the ways an order can go wrong there are a number of suggestions below that might be a good idea to share with customers on your website. As Christmas deadlines loom, you might need all the help you can get!
Perhaps the biggest bone of contention between customers and delivery services is when a customer takes time off work to wait for a parcel, only to miss it by a few minutes when running an errand. Suggest to your customers that they get the parcel sent to their work address, or even a friend or family member who is guaranteed to be at home all day.
Shared e-mail addresses
Although less common in the younger generations, shared e-mail addresses are still relatively common for older couples and families. Obviously, if a person receives a confirmation email to their shared inbox, the surprise of the gift will be ruined. Suggest to your customers that they use their work e-mail address, or even set up a secondary account solely for the purpose of buying seasonal gifts.
Retailers providing a gift-wrapping service are the saviour of many last-minute Christmas shoppers. However, some retailers choose to wrap their items in branded paper, or add additional branded tags and stickers. In order to help your customers keep their gift a surprise, wrap your gifts in non-branded paper, or at least provide the customer with this as an option.
Not everyone will be able to spend Christmas at home, so you may find some parcels being delivered to unusual locations. For example, if a customer is ordering an item to a hotel, be sure to confirm with them that the hotel has a record of their name, as a partner or friend may have booked the room under their own name instead. Or, perhaps someone wants to send a gift to a friend in hospital – ask your customers to check that the type of gift you sell would definitely be allowed in a shared ward – some people may be allergic to flowers, for instance.
Invoices and Statements
Similarly to the shared email address, many partners will share responsibility for managing finances. If your company name makes it obvious what you sell, e.g. “Martin’s Top Hats”, consider suggesting the customer uses an alternative payment message, such as PayPal, or money orders. Also, if your usual practice is to include an invoice inside the packaging of the gift, allow an option for no/separate payment details – knowing how much a gift cost can sometimes ruin the surprise.