Posts Tagged ‘Black Friday’

Holiday Shopping

Service Objects Supports Retailers Breaking 2019 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales Records

The 2019 holiday shopping season has kicked off with record-breaking sales numbers. According to Adobe Analytics, Black Friday sales were up 20% to $7.4 billion and Cyber Monday grew 17% over last year with $9.2 billion in sales.

With these sales numbers come a large number of orders that need to be delivered, setting up for the busiest shipping season on record. The Wall Street Journal reports:

  • The United States Postal Service will ship over 800 million packages this holiday season.
  • UPS expects roughly 5% growth compared to last year, resulting in an additional +4 million packages shipped.
  • FedEx is projecting record volumes of over 33 million packages to be shipped from orders placed through the Thanksgiving shopping weekend.

At Service Objects, we were ready! As part of our clients’ mission-critical retail ecosystems, our suite of domestic and international address and contact record validation services needed to perform fast and flawlessly. With distributed, nationwide servers and response times as low as 100ms, we performed.

With our broad spectrum of address validation products integrated into their e-commerce and shipping software, our B2C customers rely on us to ensure every delivery address is genuine, accurate and up-to-date.

Our tools are built with authoritative and proprietary address datasets and the best fuzzy address matching available. This allows us to quickly validate and correct addresses with the highest match rates, which reduces cart abandonment, ensures accurate, timely deliveries and happy customers.

Cyber Monday outpaces Black Friday to be the largest transactions/day processed in our history

Our data validation services saw record-breaking days compared to 2018. With increases in transaction volume of 280% on Black Friday and 240% on Cyber Monday, we hope the rest of the shopping season continues at this level and look forward to supporting our valued clients as they enjoy this record-breaking holiday season.

Be sure to try out Santa’s delivery secret – global address validation.

 

Holiday Shopping

Is Your Contact Data Ready for Holiday Shopping?

As I write this article, it is now just over a month before the holiday shopping period that runs from Black Friday and Cyber Monday through the end of the year – a period that, for many retail and e-commerce businesses, can represent nearly a third of their sales for the entire year.

This means that if you sell products to consumers, you have a lot on your plate right now. So I have a gentle reminder for you: if you haven’t already, you need to get your contact data accuracy squared away NOW. Let’s look at why this is important, and how to get there.

Why contact data accuracy matters

There are many reasons why having genuine, accurate and up-to-date contact data is a must – particularly as you head into the holiday retail season. Here are some of the most important ones:

Costs. You may not be shipping a 17-pound catalog to your customers or prospects, like one merchant has famously done in recent years. But whether you are mailing sales literature, contacting customers by phone, or hitting “send” on an email contact list, there are often substantial direct and human costs to using dirty or out-of-date contact data.

Compliance. Data privacy laws have changed rapidly in recent years, and penalties can be steep for non-compliance. Legislation such as the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the European Union’s strict new GDPR regulations, the CAN-SPAM Act for email marketing, and a host of new regulations coming online all underscore the importance of sending to accurate contacts who have opted in to receive your messages.

Customer reputation. Mis-deliver an order due to bad contact data anytime, and customers will be unhappy. But do this with someone’s holiday presents or Black Friday deals, and they will be furious – and much more likely to trash you to friends, relatives, and the entire world on social media. The holiday season is much more than a revenue opportunity: it is where brand reputations live or die.

Cash flow. This is perhaps the most important reason for accurate contact data as holiday spending looms: every inaccurate lead or customer record represents a lost revenue opportunity, at a time of the year when these contacts have their greatest potential value. Moreover, capturing accurate contact data at the time of ordering is critical to ensuring customer satisfaction, reducing future customer service issues and calculating accurate shipping costs.

Confidence. Finally, from a data quality standpoint, they don’t call it “Black Friday” for nothing. The holidays are the most error-prone time of year for data capture, as customers rush to purchase deals, and are often entering unfamiliar “Ship to:” addresses for gift purchases. Now, more than ever, it is critical to validate contact data at the time of data entry – and the time of use – to ensure clean contacts. (Ok – So maybe it is also called Black Friday because retailers enter into the black for the year.)

It isn’t too late

Thankfully there are automated solutions for issues like these – and you still have time to implement a data validation API, if you move quickly enough:

  • Our DOTS Address Validation and DOTS Name Validation products can help ensure that your holiday catalogs, brochures, or advertising mailings reach their targets. We validate and correct contacts from anywhere in the world, while flagging things like fraudulent or vulgar names or non-existent addresses.
  • Our DOTS Email Validation service helps ensure that email marketing messages reach their targets and avoid spam traps and CAN-SPAM violations. We don’t just check these addresses against lists: we correct common syntax and spelling errors, flag fraudulent or garbage email addresses, and discreetly test the email servers’ ability to actually receive email.

How long will it take to implement capabilities like these within your CRM or marketing automation platform? Often less than a day, with the right programming talent – here is a recent article, API Integration: How Much Time to Set Aside, that breaks down the time needed. And you have a secret weapon to help your implementation go smoothly: our friendly and knowledgeable technical team, who is always happy to help.

There is still time to implement validation services that will quickly pay for themselves. Need help to get going? Contact us and we’ll help you hop right on it – and make this your best holiday sales season yet.

Black Friday Neon Sign

Exceptional Customer Service Knows No Holiday

The four-day Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally the start of the holiday shopping season, with Black Friday sales bolstering bottom lines and consumer spirits. Retailers, online and off, are expected to see another year of record-breaking holiday sales.

Live support when our customers need it most

Thanksgiving has been a source of controversy in the retail industry in recent years, with more companies opening their doors for blockbuster sales on Thanksgiving Day itself – and some companies vowing to stay closed through the holiday.

Our stance? When our customers are open, we’re open. During the busiest and most mission-critical times of the selling season, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s crucial that the businesses that support retail transactions are available if questions arise.

Our commitment to customer service excellence

Supporting our customers through the busiest time of the year is just one way that Service Objects is committed to customer service excellence. Our customers benefit from our sub-second response rates, 99.999% server uptime and dedicated 24/7/365 technical support. The entire Service Objects team takes pride in our customers’ success.

Record sales, record transactions

Loeb, Visa, and eMarketer predict retail sales will continue to grow, with holiday sales rising between 3.5-4.8% in 2018.

According to Geoff Grow, Chief Executive Officer at Service Objects, industry trends and forecasts predict that Service Objects will exceed transactions processed over the 2017 holiday, making Black Friday a prime day for a record number of transactions. He says, “Our services will continue to ensure that merchants can validate, clean and enhance their customer contact data in real time, backed by the support of our industry-leading technical team and extensive data sources.”

Services for busy retailers

While 2018’s projected growth presents an exciting opportunity for retailers, it is not without risk: with record sales come record opportunities for data entry mistakes and fraudulent orders.

Service Objects offers 24 different contact data APIs that validate a person’s name, global address, phone and email address against hundreds of authoritative data sources. Our tools can also append missing contact information or provide location intelligence about your contacts. We even have a service that provides sales and use tax rates based on a contact’s location. No matter what data quality challenge your business is facing, we have a solution that meets your needs.

If you have a question about how our data validation services can help your business, reach out to our team. If you’re a current customer with a support question, you can open a support ticket here.