We all know that modern technology has brought with it new and sometimes startling opportunities. For example, email allows us to contact people around the globe, search engines have given us access to infinite information and research, and with mobile phones we’re able to stay in touch with others 24/7.
Today, technology also impacts the way we do business.
Online shopping is booming, and with the holidays approaching, customers will be expecting even more from their online shopping experience. They will count on quality products and quick, easy transactions. That’s why it’s paramount for companies to optimize their online shopping potential now.
12 Ways Online Store Owners Can Maximize Holiday Shopping
12. Analyze the old
Learn from your last year’s sales report. Remember that online events are tracked and stored, so you can access last year’s data. Analyze the information and ask yourself: Did you meet your target goals at holiday time? If not, what stopped you from hitting your mark? Make adjustments so you can be sure to surpass last season’s numbers.
11. Capture the new
Encourage new shoppers to leave their contact info on your site so you can follow up with coupons, special offers, promotional codes, or personalized notes (especially ones with specific holiday greetings).
10. Upgrade if you have to
Can your site handle a sudden increase in traffic? Since you’re likely to attract double the number of visitors, make sure your website host is up to task. Now is the time to upgrade, not glitch! Ask us about how to optimize your website presence.
Lots of retailers have special hours during the holidays. If you have a brick-and-mortar store that will stay open later than usual, make sure these hours are posted on your site next to the current address and phone number. It’s also a good idea to provide any holiday-specific info on the home page, like deadlines for orders, how to track packages, and how to return/exchange items.
Does your site visually reflect the joy of the season? If not, consider changing the color scheme, switching out banners, adding appropriate video, or creating a flashy holiday-specific promo. Do whatever it takes to make a positive impression that will last.
7. Welcome shoppers
Having a welcome letter from the founder of the company is a great way to connect with clients both old and new. A brief, personal message goes a long way to making shoppers trust, respect and admire the retailer, which translates into sales and repeat sales.
What happens when you combine your customer contacts with another company that shares your target market? In the blink of an eye you have increased your potential revenue! The key here is to choose to partner with a company that shares your work ethic and professional values (in other words, who won’t misuse your clients’ data).
5. Embrace an experience
Creating a “shopping experience” can mean different things to different companies. Basically, the idea is to bring the retailer and customer together in a new and inspiring way. For example, pop-up shops are one-time-only events that attract eager shoppers. What’s more, these shoppers are likely to tell their friends about the experience and they’ll tell their friends, and so on…
4. Ship for free
Whatever the reason—maybe a customer doesn’t want to take the time to fill out the necessary mailing details—shipping fees can be a deal breaker. To avoid having abandoned shopping carts, consider offering free and fast shipping over the days leading up to the holidays. If that seems too risky, consider setting an attainable minimum purchase amount that will result in free shipping.
3. Simplify returns
Folks are exhausted after the holidays. The last thing they want to do is decode a retailer’s return/exchange policy. Do your customers a favor and state in very clear and concise language exactly how to return or exchange an item. Certainly, sending a prepaid, pre-addressed return envelope with their delivery never hurts!
2. Streamline communications
Harried shoppers on a deadline don’t have the time or desire to wait in a queue. If they have questions about holiday shipments, they want immediate answers. Therefore, have your customer service contact info accessible on your site, perhaps on each page. You may need to hire more workers just to answer calls and emails (especially ones in different time zones), or you could look into using chatbots.
1. Go green
Even though your product line may not be entirely eco-friendly, you can still show your support for sustainability by offering plastic-free packaging and promising to cut back on overall packaging waste. It’s these small but impactful choices that will earn you customer loyalty.
Time to step it up
Over the years, shoppers have become more discerning. In other words, it takes more than a simple ad campaign to pull in the big-ticket sales. That’s why online retailers have to step up their game and consider all the clever ways they can lure customers to their product and convince them to come back again and again. The holiday season is the time to pull out all the stops and surprise eager shoppers with various opportunities for an outstanding retail experience.