From the Editor – August 2008 eBiz Insider magazine. Download the complete issue as a PDF by clicking here.
I guess it’s safe to call this our “Holiday Issue.” Hey—it’s August and the kids will soon be going back to school and then Halloween, then Thanksgiving and in no time it’s the jolly fat man in the big red suit… well, you know what I mean. So I have to ask, are you ready?
Ready or not, now is the time to start putting your holiday plans in motion. We’ve got some great articles in this issue to help you along the way with everything from e-mail marketing, shipping perishable items, and the article that gets the most request for reprints every year – Preparing Your Warehouse for the Holiday Rush.
Forget what you’ve heard about the uncertain economy. For those of us in e-commerce it doesn’t matter. Shoppers will be shopping and hopefully your store is ready to turn them into buyers. For many of these buyers, this is their first experience with your store and your one chance to get it right so they’ll be back. Follow the tips and advice in this issue to make them long-term customers.
Many Happy Returns
I order lots of things online and one of my favorite places to shop is Zappos.com. I’ve been a longtime fan because of their customer service policies. For example, buy a pair of shoes and if they don’t fit, send them back – at their expense.
As the cost of fuel continues to rise and UPS and FedEx continue to charge Fuel Surcharges, I find it amazing that a company can offer such a customer-friendly return policy! Granted, the margin on a pair of shoes is greater than a bag of dog biscuits, it’s still an expensive service. It’s also the Zappos.com driving force for new customer acquisition and most importantly, customer retention.
Costs are increasing for everyone, but you should never let those increases take a toll on customer service. I’m sure you may be looking for ways to shave a couple of bucks here and there, but don’t do a cut at the expense of your customers. Remember, they’re all we’ve got.
Now I have to go and try on my new pair of, um, Crocs. Guess where I got ‘em…?