Tag Archive for online shopping

LL Bean Pushes Shipping To The Limit: All Hands on Deck


Online shopping was a favorite this holiday season – reports are indicating that online shopping broke records this year. If you did any online shopping yourself, you may have felt the effects of it – more items were out of stock on many retailer sites, and some customers reported (minor) issues with items being ordered and then later notified that the item was on back order or out of stock.


Many retailers pushed the envelope with shipping dates, pushing the “must order by XX to receive by Christmas Eve” deadline farther back than it ever has been.


Personally, I was pleased with some of the online shipping options and deliveries I received during the holiday shopping season. Two retailers, Toys R Us and Amazon, promised delivery on some of my items on Christmas Eve. However, they arrived days earlier than anticipated, which was excellent. I was not surprised by Amazon’s early shipment, though Toys R Us surprised me for some reason.


LL Bean was another retailer that made the news as far as catering to the truly procrastinating customers. This year, in addition to wanting to help as many customers as possible, LL Bean pushed the last “order by” date and had an “all hands on deck” mentality. 500 administrative staffers, including Chris McCormick, CEO of the company, worked in the shipping department during the height of the holiday shopping season. From packaging items to handling customer service calls, everyone pitched in to make sure their customers’ shopping experience was a successful one.


According to an article on this topic, LL Bean went above and beyond. In addition to ensuring that all shoppers, no matter how much they procrastinated, would get their purchases before the holiday, they went into anticipation mode: in anticipation of the storm that impacted a good portion of the country right before Christmas, the company upgraded hundreds of orders to next day air at no cost in order to get items delivered before the storm.


Competition is as fierce as ever, so it’s no surprise that retailers are pulling out all the stops to encourage customers to purchase from them. LL Bean was no exception, and I think that the “all hands on deck” mentality sent a positive message to both customers and employees – you’re important to us.



How Do Consumers Shop Online?


Online and mobile shopping are expanding at a quick pace; both venues are allowing consumers to shop anytime from virtually anywhere. It’s important to understand what consumers are looking for when they venture online to shop.


The E-tailing group presented a study of 1,300 consumers at the Internet Retailer 2012 Conference. This study looked at online behaviors of consumers and asked what factors drive their purchasing decisions.


From the study, the top five considerations made when making online purchasing decisions include:


● Price, 80%

● Ability to purchase online for home delivery, 62%

● Ability to get the product within a day or two, 54%

● Ability to purchase locally at a store, 45%

● Advice/reviews from peers on web sites, 38%


The study goes on to state that there has been a 43% increased their online shopping in the last year. Trends are also showing in making online purchases from tablets, smartphones, and even Facebook.


This trend will only continue to increase as the internet, mobile apps, and the enhancement of smartphones develops. Ensuring that your online purchasing options are as strong as possible will help businesses stay competitive.


What are some considerations you can make to enhance consumers’ online shopping experience?


1. Ensure that products are easy to find, and pictures are of good quality. Offering various viewpoints of products online will help customers make decisions quicker.


2. Incorporate a product review feature into websites so consumers can easily find reviews and make informed decisions. Also incorporate social sites, such as Facebook, to allow users to see what their friends buy.


3. If you are using social sites to engage with consumers, make it easy to visit your website. Many businesses are incorporating shopping pages on their Facebook accounts, for example, so consumers can browse without leaving the social networking site.


4. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. Make it easy for consumers to shop wherever they are. Consider the use of mobile apps to enhance business from mobile customers.