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.