Retailers test Facebook-style shopper profiles to battle Amazon

Jessica Ferro recently ordered $200 worth of makeup from Sephora’s online appand then waited a month for it to arrive. Despite conversations with multiple customer-service agents, the shipment had gone to her old address in Joliet, Illinois. She didn’t yell or document her experience on Yelp or Twitter. Ferro, 34, did what came naturally: She took her business elsewhereto Wander Beauty, an online makeup seller that has put a premium on customer service by enlisting chatbots she can talk with whenever and wherever she wants.

“You have to make customers as happy as you can because there are so many options out there,” Ferro says. “What’s going to stop them from going somewhere else?”

During the recent five-day shopping frenzy that runs every year from Thanksgiving through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so-called bounce rates, when a shopper abandons a web storesometimes even after loading up their cart with goodiesincreased each day, according to Monetate, which monitors commerce on desktops and mobile devices. All those bouncers offset some of the gains retailers made in attracting more consumers to their websites. On Thanksgiving, a big mobile shopping day, bounce rates increased 12 percent compared with 2017, according to Monetate.


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