Genesys_EComerce_RetailThe holiday shopping season is in full gear with Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday numbers coming in. But with all the hype – and controversy – of stores opening on Thanksgiving day in the U.S. to get the jump on sales, consumers chose to stay home and pick up deals online. It seems that online deals have now taken the spotlight and grown from simply Cyber Monday to Cyber Week!

Take a look at this year’s online shopping results, according to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, compared to 2013:

  • Black Friday online sales were up 8% and up 14.3% on Thanksgiving Day
  • Cyber Monday online sales grew 8.5% compared to 2013, with mobile sales were up 27.6%
  • From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, overall online sales increased 12.6%, with mobile sales up 27.2%

With Cyber Week wrapping up, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how ready companies actually were in order to handle this increase in online sales – both for desktop and mobile,  and across numerous touchpoints.

Today’s consumers engage through a variety of touchpoints, be it the company web site, mobile app, or retail location, as well as channels, including email, web chat, SMS and phone. Yet too many brands focus on each area in isolation, and fail to enable their customers to transition easily between them.

Online is Critical Component of Customer Journeys

According the latest to Forrester Research many of today’s cross-touchpoint customer journeys are broken.   See Forrester’s three rules for implementing cross-touchpoint experiences that can help you identify, design, implement, and optimize end-to-end customer journeys.

Rule No. 1: Don’t Try To Please Everyone

Identify two or three high-value customer journeys.

  • Express experiences in terms of action-oriented tasks
  • Pinpoint tasks that add tangible value
  • Focus on frequently occurring tasks

Rule No. 2: Optimize The Journey, Not The Touchpoint

Map the journeys from end to end to identify appropriate channel and  touchpoint interactions.

  • Use journey maps to develop complete experiences
  • Design touchpoints within context of overall experience
  • Optimize channels and touchpoints as part of journey

Rule No. 3: Manage The Transitions

Focus on ways of identifying customers as they cross touchpoint boundaries.

  • Put customers in control when transitioning between touchpoints
  • Use mobile to link customers physical and digital channel behaviors
  • Use email addresses for multi-touchpoint engagement

To learn more about how to keep your end-to-end customer journeys simple, but complete, see the complete Forrester report, Manage the Cross-Touchpoint Customer Journey. You can get it here!

Make the most of this holiday shopping season!