Customer Service lessons from Amazon’s Christmas delivery

At a time where next day delivery is no longer a consumer luxury, with some retailers even offering same-day delivery for online orders, the e-commerce world has managed to combine convenience with speed. Amazon’s delivery services this year stepped up their game, by delivering parcels up until Christmas Eve, increasing e-commerce standards during the festive period. From research, it appears that Amazon’s delivery services will keep on getting better, by introducing options such as Nominated Date Delivery and the Amazon key through the company’s acquisition of Blink.

There’s no doubt that online shopping was introduced to make consumers’ journeys as effortless as possible. With some parcels getting delivered days, or sometimes weeks after purchasing,  it’s reasonable to presume that shoppers may still prefer to go in-store for immediate purchases. However, improvements in delivery options have made it possible for customers to receive orders at their doorstep within hours of checking out, making it faster than the time it would take to drive to a busy shopping centre and back.

Amazon seems to be at the forefront of e-commerce trends, streamlining a customer’s experience during Christmas- one of the busiest sales periods of the year.

Daily marketing emails are usually encountered by annoyed consumers who are frustrated by inbox spam, however, Amazon braved a Christmas campaign with the subject line: ‘Today’s Christmas Deals.’ On this occasion, the company managed to make their marketing emails appear supportive for customers who hadn’t ordered Christmas presents until the last minute, or who had not decided what they were buying for friends and family.

According to Amazon’s official website, the cutoff date for free delivery before Christmas was December, 20th and the last day for Standard delivery before Christmas was December, 21st, up until midnight. Despite statistics showing that over 1 in 5 Britons complete their Christmas shopping by October, a mere 39% actually leave it until December. Having said that, there will always be people leave Christmas gifts until the week before, some even panicking on Christmas Eve.

61% of British people start their Christmas shopping before December

Amazon had these customers covered, with its generous same day evening delivery option for anyone who processed orders on Christmas Eve. Whilst customers eligible for this delivery option were restricted to placing their orders before noon, they were still able to purchase and receive their gifts, all the day before Christmas.

Compared to Christmas shoppers in other countries though, Britons are amongst the most prepared for not leaving present buying until the last minute, along with the US, Canada, and the Netherlands. Yet, Amazon’s holiday delivery arrangements have accommodated for the minority who were cramming. Amazon has most definitely raised the bar for what e-commerce solutions businesses should be offering, especially during the holiday season!

Although high street shops give consumers the ability to physically view and purchase their products instantly, online shopping delivery services such as Amazon’s have allowed the e-commerce world to distinguish itself from conventional in-store shopping. The main reason that these advances are so significant for shoppers, is the ease of adding items to their basket with the click of a fingertip, without enduring long queues and overcrowded shops. So when shoppers can have that benefit, along with same-day delivery, it comes by no surprise that online sales are on the rise.

Just over the past year, online sales rose by 15.3%, as seen by recent data from the Office of National Statistics.

Amazon seems to be unstoppable when raising the bar for customer service with online shopping, with the announcement of Nominated Delivery Days and the acquisition of security cameras Blink in light of it’s Amazon Key delivery launch. If same day delivery wasn’t efficient enough for shoppers, Amazon is en route to allow shoppers to choose a specific day that is convenient for them and to arrange for deliveries to be placed inside their homes.

As convenient as Amazon Prime is, some consumers are not always able to collect their deliveries the next day or make it to an Amazon locker in time for pick-up. By introducing Nominated Day Delivery, Amazon has given consumers the power to choose a day for all their parcels to be delivered from that week. For prime customers, this additional service comes at no extra cost, but for everyone else, there’s a standard £4.99 charge per delivery. What better way to please customers than allowing them to choose a day that is convenient for them to receive all their parcels in one go- it’s like Christmas all over again, on every Nominated Day!

Not at home when all your parcels arrived? Well, Amazon has that covered too! Their recent acquisition of Blink, a wireless home security company that sends users live, motion- activated alerts to their mobiles will enable consumers to allow delivery personnel inside their homes.

What makes Blink stand out from other security cameras in the market, is how the company has achieved to tap into a market that has been around for years, by adding a wireless and cordless technology to it. Blink’s surveillance cameras will presumably enable courier drivers to slip packages inside peoples’ homes, giving consumers the reassurance that their parcels are securely left in their house. This adds an added layer of convenience to the existing Amazon Lockers that are placed across all major cities and towns.

 “We are thrilled to announce our affordable outdoor camera so Blink customers and new users alike can protect their entire home,” Peter Besen, Blink CEO

The home monitoring cameras are described as ‘ultra-affordable’ and ‘wire-free,’ two significant points that make the product seem financially accessible to everyone and hassle-free. According to Business Insider, Amazon bought Blink for $90 million, an investment worthwhile when considering the benefits that the Camera’s inbuilt technology could bring to Amazon devices such as the Alexa- equipped Echo speakers. The Echo speakers currently require a plug-in source to operate, however by repurposing Blink’s technology, the company can seamlessly upgrade all its existing devices.

If there’s any company out there that can teach us a few things about how to please consumers during the Christmas period by providing excellent customer service, it’s Amazon. They’re constantly coming up with innovative ways of easing a customer’s online shopping journey, whilst effectively publicising their developments.