Simplr Consumer Survey Reveals Outsized Role of Customer Service in Online Holiday Shopping Plans

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The global pandemic is continuing to reshape the retail sector, fueling $189B* in anticipated online holiday sales and forcing brands to wage a virtual battle for customer loyalty. Retailers that enter 2021 with a tailwind will be those that elevate their customer service, according to a survey of 750 consumers conducted in October 2020 by Simplr, in which 90 percent of consumers who shop online said exceptional customer service is important when choosing where to shop. That loyalty translates into revenue, as six in 10 consumers said they will give a retailer more business if it provides exceptional customer service.

Simplr logo (PRNewsfoto/Simplr)

Almost half (47 percent) of consumers surveyed have not made a purchase due to poor customer service

Retailers cannot risk an online letdown, given that consumers surveyed estimate a 60 percent increase in their online holiday shopping from last year. 

“If CX leaders think they’re ready for the digital stampede, they should know that more than half of consumers we surveyed don’t share that optimism,” said Daniel Rodriguez, CMO of Simplr, a human-first, machine-enabled customer experience platform. 

Fifty-five percent of consumers do not believe, or are unsure, that their favorite online retailers can handle the volume of customer service inquiries this holiday season. Perhaps to combat that concern, 82 percent expect to shop online at stores they know and trust.

The NOW Customer wants fast, around the clock, responses to their inquiries 

Six in 10 consumers said their customer service expectations are set by the standards of the best retailers. When asked what elements are key to exceptional customer service, consumers said:

  • Fast response time: 60 percent
  • 24/7 customer service: 41 percent
  • Connecting via live chat or email: 37 percent
  • Online chat with a person 24/7: 33 percent
  • Complex questions handled professionally, with empathy and respect: 30 percent 

“The expectation from consumers of immediate responses delivered anytime, across multiple channels, in an efficient yet empathic manner defines what Simpr calls the NOW Customer,” said Rodriguez. 

The unseen role of reviews when the NOW Customer is neglected

One-third of consumers surveyed said they have experienced being ignored or “left hanging” by a retailer when they have had a request or inquiry. That neglect does not go unnoticed by consumers, as half said they are “extremely or very likely” to tell a friend and/or post on social media channels about the negative experience; that rises to 55 percent among frequent shoppers and 63 percent among those aged 21-34. 

Many retailers are kept in the dark about consumers’ negative experiences with their brand, as 45 percent of consumers said they do not want to leave negative reviews. While brands might see a lack of negative reviews as an indicator of customer service success, consumers’ reasons for not leaving a negative review may ultimately damage a brand. When asked why they do not leave negative reviews, surveyed consumers said:

  • I just want to move on from that retailer: 54 percent
  • I can’t
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Google is shutting down Poly, its 3D model sharing service

Google is showing again that you rely on its products at your peril. The search giant announced that it’s shutting down Poly, its 3D object library and platform that arrived in 2017 aimed primarily and VR and AR creators. The service will end on June 30, 2021, so you’ll need to go here to download any models before then. All uploads will cease on April 30, 2021.



Google shutting down Poly 3D model site


Google shutting down Poly 3D model site

Poly was designed to help developers create low-poly VR objects, while hosting a library of assets that could be used in VR games and experiences. It offered an easier way to create assets than tools like Google’s Tilt Brush or advanced 3D creation apps from Autodesk, Blender and others.

The move isn’t exactly a shocker, as Google recently stopped selling its Daydream VR headsets and shut down its Spotlight Stories VR studio along with the Daydream Play Movies and TV app. It wound down its Jump VR platform in 2019, as well.

As Upload VR points out, Sketchfab is still a good option for VR creators, and in the wake of Poly closing, the company tweeted that it “just became profitable, so we are here to stay” — in contrast of Google’s ephemeral products. The company also noted that “everything you share becomes VR/AR ready.” Other sites with 3D content that can be used in VR/AR apps include TurboSquid and CGTrader, among many others.

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Didi launches service in Mexico for women to select only female passengers

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing is seen as employees stand outside the drivers center in Toluca, Mexico, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Chinese ride-sharing company Didi began rolling out a service in Mexico this week to let female drivers select only other women as their passengers, a move aimed at encouraging their safety as the country confronts worsening gender violence.

Called “Didi Mujer,” or Didi Woman, the program is being piloted in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana, and Didi hopes if more women join the platform, passengers eventually will be able to exclusively choose female drivers.

Didi’s rival, Uber Technologies Inc, earlier this month also launched an option for female drivers in Mexico to select only women passengers, in line with a similar Uber program in Saudi Arabia.

According to both companies, women make up small parts of their Mexico fleet of drivers: 4% at Uber and 4.3% at Didi.

“We know that women in Mexico face real, daily challenges around personal safety and a lack of good economic opportunities,” Juan Andres Panama, head of Didi Mexico, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We’re hoping to help with both.”

Didi Mujer is the first Didi-branded initiative geared at getting more women behind the wheel. The company’s Brazil subsidiary, 99, also runs a similar program.

The efforts to draw more women onto the apps come as protests in Mexico have again flared up over gender violence. These include the recent killings of 12-year-old Sofia in Zacatecas, whose last name has not been published, and 20-year-old Bianca Alejandrina Lorenzana in Quintana Roo, known by her nickname Alexis.

Femicides in Mexico have more than doubled between 2014 and 2019, according to official data compiled by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico’s government has registered 777 cases this year.

Reporting by Noe Torres in Mexico City; Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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