Convenience is key! Especially for online consumers. As consumers and retailers brace for what is forecasted to be a challenging holiday season, it’s critical for e-commerce businesses to deliver online shopping experiences that are easy, convenient, and enjoyable and ship orders in a timely, reliable manner.
The holiday shopping season is already off to an early start, with many retailers – both online and in-store – offering pre-holiday sales and promotions. This, combined with widespread news coverage of global supply chain issues and potential holiday toy shortages, inventory issues, and extended ship windows, has consumers shopping for toys, gifts, decorations, cards, bags, and wrapping papers earlier than ever before. While some consumers are excited about the opportunity to shop in-store, after being unable to do so last year, most everyone will be shopping online in some capacity.
Here are some tips to help e-commerce retailers successfully navigate the 2021 season!
1. Deliver an enjoyable shopping experience
In our first post-pandemic holiday season, online retailers face competition from brick-and-mortar retailers’ festive decorations, holiday music, and nostalgic shopping experience. E-commerce stores can focus on creating a similarly exciting experience by adding festive colors and images to their websites and offering special offers to online customers.
2. Manage inventory
Rampant supply chain issues are causing goods shortages across the globe. And if we learned anything during the pandemic, these shortages lead to widespread panic buying! To help you better manage your inventory, consider setting buying limits on coveted items and closely monitor sales so you’re able to notify customers when inventory is running low, or items are sold out. If possible, offer suggestions for replacement items to guide customers towards other options they may want to buy instead.
3. Offer special deals and promotions
Eye-catching, broad-based promotions, combined with targeted offers further along the sales pipeline, are a good way to offer cost-conscious consumers a reason to stick with you over the festive shopping period. This is particularly relevant, as e-commerce has a reputation for being able to offer better bargains than other channels! Free shipping is also appealing to customers and may help reduce cart abandonment.
Digital marketing campaigns, both via email, paid ad placements (Google AdWords campaigns, online advertising campaigns, and/or sponsored and promoted posts on social media), and social media, are a great way to help promote your holiday offers and deals to both existing and prospective customers.
4. Offer easy delivery and returns
Leverage the convenience and ease of shopping online by offering deliveries whenever the consumer wants them and making returns easy. Consider offering gift receipts and packing slips with prepaid return labels.
5. Deliver stellar customer service
Communication is critical! E-commerce retailers should strive to maintain open lines of communication with their customers throughout the purchase cycle. Sending confirmation emails upon purchase, reminders following cart abandonment, shipping updates, and delivery confirmations are all great ways to communicate with customers. Requests for reviews and special offers on future purchases can also go a long way in building customer loyalty and solidifying your position as a preferred retailer.
We wish you a smooth, successful holiday shopping season!