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Retail Industry Updates

Many Online Shoppers Won’t Exercise Patience on Black Friday

iStock/Pheelings Media

Retailers with e-commerce operations should consider the following as a news alert: Plenty of online shoppers are heading into this year’s Black Friday with high expectations for digital experiences and are only willing to experience a service interruption of five minutes or less to get the best deal, according to a study by xMatters, a San Ramon, Calif.-based digital services company.

The company’s “2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday E-commerce Trends Study” also found that more than half (52.2%) of e-commerce technology professionals said that ensuring a positive customer experience will be a critical operations challenge along with the manual work needed to resolve incidents (29.9%) during this high-usage time. Additionally, protecting customer data and maintaining service availability during peak shopping times are top concerns for e-commerce technology teams heading into Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events this year.

“The research provides additional insight into the new behaviors and increased reliance on digital services that shoppers have developed because of the pandemic,” said Troy McAlpin, CEO at xMatters. “With any big revenue opportunity like Black Friday or Cyber Monday comes the pressure for companies to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Proactive incident response and management practices grounded in automation, collaboration and constant learning will be key in delivering positive and always-on customer experiences.”

xMatters surveyed 300 American consumers and 300 technology professionals at e-commerce organizations of 1,000 employees or more for the survey. Here’s what the company found in regard to consumers’ patience according to their age groups:

• 43.2% of consumers are willing to experience an interruption (a website or app crashing, unresponsive website, application or digital service, etc.) of only five minutes or less to get the best deal or to purchase a specific product.

• Gen Z shoppers (ages 18-23) are more patient compared to millennials (ages 24-39), Gen X shoppers (ages 40-55) and baby boomers (age 55-73).

• Over half (53.8%) of millennials will only wait five minutes or less during an interruption in comparison to 40.9% of Gen Z shoppers.

• Almost a quarter (22.7%) of Gen Z shoppers will wait up to an hour to get the best deal compared to 10.6% of millennials. Only 5.3% of Gen X and 5% of baby boomer shoppers were willing to experience an interruption for an hour.

The survey also found that a majority of consumers (79%) said they have increased their online shopping as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly half (45.2%) reported that they plan to shop online only during Black Friday this year.