The holiday season is a perfect time to get together with friends and families… and a double-edged sword for most e-commerce businesses. What challenges does it bring?
(a) Revitalized competitors. The competition to offer better products, services, and customer experiences begins.
(b) An avalanche of customers. There are more customers than ever before, so the order volume is unfailing.
(c) Unreliable customers. During holiday shopping sales, customers are becoming more demanding than ever, and businesses strive to meet their needs. However, customers often turn into speed-shopping cart-abandoners, so these efforts don’t always pay off.
Nevertheless, high traffic and increased sales volume can assist you. How so? You can turn holiday season sales into lifetime loyalty from your customers. To do so, you should:
- Create an outstanding shopping experience. (Offer your guest customers Magento 2 coupons to start building customer loyalty).
- Fulfill the shopper journey starting from a landing page up to email notifications upon completed orders and thank-you page.
- Wisely apply new business insights and leverage the customer data gained.
To ease your task and help you plan and run a winning holiday shopping sales in your Magento 2 e-shop, we turned to our sales experts.
Step 1. Build top-level shopping experience for holiday sales
Why does shopping experience matter? While some e-commerce companies still compete over prices and products, the consumer experience is becoming a top priority for strong businesses. But is it worth struggling for? That’s what the statistics says:
In other words, providing a high-level shopping experience during online holiday sales is a background for your success. Use 7 tips below to strengthen the customer experience strategy for e-commerce holiday sales in your Magento 2 store.A totally satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat satisfied, and 14 times as much revenue as a dissatisfied one.
Tip 1. Start Magento 2 preparations for holiday season early
We guess you don’t want to miss festive promotional opportunities in favor of your competitors who may have already made some preparation steps. While you are expecting to see increased sales, you are also likely to come across the energization of the ad competition. That’s why the most reasonable thing to do now is to prepare. Figuring out your strategy early will be beneficial.
Tip 2. Think globally
Each detail matters. To form a superior shopping experience during e-commerce holiday sales, you need a complex approach covering all possible aspects. Here is a checklist for preparing Magento 2 solution for holiday shopping sales:
- Perform SEO optimization of your website to create the presence on the Internet and attract customers during e-commerce holiday sales. Take into consideration that a successful optimization campaign takes months to deliver visible results;
- Map a communication strategy for holiday shopping sales season;
- Enhance your merchandising strategy, as in terms of importance, your store content equals the goods in a brick-and-mortar shop;
- Check if your Magento 2 is ready for holiday season sales. This means you should ensure quick webpage loading, intuitive navigation and secure checkout.
Remember: you’re only as effective as the tools you use.
Tip 3. Align your messaging for online holiday sales
Messaging needs to be aligned with your active campaigns. Communicate with customers early and often:
- Let people know you before the holiday shopping season breaks out. This includes composing your email list and sending “early bird” messages to generate traffic on your website. Such actions will increase brand awareness and provide you with visitors during the holiday season and even before its start.
- Follow customers on each step of their journey: provide information during the shipping process, offer tempting personalized deals based on previous purchases, recover abandoners, etc.
Retargeting and email are cash cows around the holidays.
Tip 4. Be simple and fast
40% of users will abandon a website if it loads for more than 3 seconds. So, to endure holiday season sales your website may need a speed up. Luckily, our Magento 2 Full Page Cache Warmer is there for you. The next breaking point is to provide customers with neat site navigation and optimized search functions. The faster they find the relevant products - the higher is the probability of their making a purchase. So you should put some efforts into making your store as purchase-provoking as possible. Most logical steps here include:
- enabling a wide range of sorting options (most viewed, top-rated, best sellers, etc.);
- replacing price tag with more flexible pricing options (call for price, contact us, etc.);
- introducing autocomplete search options to help customers flick through recent and popular searches and decide what exactly they want, and more
Check out our Magento 2 Navigation & Search extensions to learn the other possible options.
Tip 5. Prioritize personalization
Every other minute consumers are pestered with ads and numerous offers. It’s especially true for the holiday retail sales season. The main thing here is to make your brand stand out and draw attention to it. The first thing you should do is to learn who your customers are. Personalization is the key: recognize the unique, real-time needs of your customers. Make them feel connected with your brand and products. Sounds complicated? Don’t worry. With the right techniques and our Magento 2 customer data tools, it is possible.
Tip 6. Focus on mobile during Magento 2 holiday sales
Don’t neglect those tied to mobile commerce habits. According to eMarketer, mobile will be a channel for 68% of all e-commerce traffic this online holiday sales season. A strong reason to pay extra attention to mobile compatibility, isn’t it?
Tip 7. Evoke your customers’ emotions
Fill your store with holiday senses to inspire your consumers. This will enhance the emotional shopping experience and boost conversions. Moreover, customers will remember your brand and retain positive associations with it. And… a SPECIAL bonus: the main recipe for a successful holiday campaign. Holiday shopping season is the period when people are looking for deals. So, what is the main recipe for an outstanding holiday shopping sales campaign in Magento 2? Surely, special promotions, and here are some ideas (and tempting offers) to start with:
- Experiment with customized promotions and treat your customers like persons, not as a meaningless number. These modules will allow you to offer tailored discounts on the basis of a customer’s purchase history and information. You’ll be able to deliver over 20 types of discounts where “Buy more, get more”, “Free Shipping with a $50 purchase”, “Buy X, get Y” are only the top of the iceberg of options.
- Improve your Magento 2 loyalty program during the holiday retail sales season. Announce limited-in-time promotions and trigger the fear of missing out (FOMO). Use such words combinations as “three days only”, “limited amount”, “flash sale”.
- Create highly targeted promotions covering the needs of your segments with the help of Customer segmentation extensions for Magento 2. With this extension you’ll segment your customers by a range of parameters, starting with personal info (date of birth, marital status, etc.) to preferable shipping options. You’ll also be able to segment your guest customers and then tailor a strategy for motivating them to become your regulars.
- Discover the power of Free Gift for Magento 2. 90% of customers buy more frequently after receiving a free item.
- Build in a system of reward points to thank regular buyers and turn one-time buyers into returning customers. Along with rewarding customers for making purchases, you can stimulate other desirable actions, e.g. registration or subscription.
Don’t hesitate to bring to life any promotional idea that can become a hit of this holiday shopping season!
Step 2. Reshape holiday shopping in your Magento 2
Providing good products is no longer enough. Streamlining the customer experience from the moment they came to your Magento 2 website to the point of purchase is not enough either. Customers now demand a consolidated experience that doesn't end even at the checkout. It continues in order fulfillment and future communications. We offer you some tips to take into consideration for building a solid shopping process.
Tip 1. Focus on order management
Say, your potential customer has got interested in your products, built the trust to your brand through real customer reviews, and is now ready to make a purchase. What does he lack to be really happy? Here comes the next challenge: to make the customer happy, you should bring the item on time and under ideal conditions. Now you should create convenience by ensuring a timely delivery. To do so, you may :
- Offer a variety of shipping options: next-day, free shipping, pick up in store, buy online, etc. After all, 31% of millennials prefer to shop at a marketplace for their better delivery options.
- Manage inventory. Set minimum in-stock quantity thresholds for timely replenishment.
- Invest in RMA for Magento 2 to offer more return options to customers.
- Offer expedited and estimated delivery.
Tip 2. Let your Magento 2 communicate
Remove the communication barrier by launching Live Chat, product reviews, and FAQ sections on your website during holiday shopping sales. You can meet three needs in one deed:
- Capture customer feedback and valuable insights in real time;
- Expand customer awareness about your products and brand;
- Use it for great SEO purposes.
This will help you offer product bundles, upsells and cross-sells based on the gained customer information. Such accurate offers, especially during the holiday shopping season, will increase your average order value (AOV).
Tip 3. “Go Social” during holiday retail sales
Where do shoppers spend most of their time online? It’s evident - on social media. Utilize social media platforms effectively: integrate ‘call to action’ buttons to meet customers where they are. Consider the average age of your customers to target the needed social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Tip 4. Maintain a consistent holiday shopping experience
It doesn’t matter whether you sell products on your e-commerce site, social media, the brick-and-mortar store or any other marketplace. Remember: customers intend to receive the same service level and access the same products and information. Spread the look and feel of your brand to all your selling points. Sell more than your product – sell your brand.
Step 3. Analyze your customer
The exceptional customer experience is your ultimate goal, and the deep understanding of your customers is its solid basis. That’s why not only the customer data collection but rather a thorough approach to data analysis is of a great value. Check out our useful tips for managing data to create a seamless shopping experience.
Tip 1. Set key performance indicators
Take advantage of every opportunity to gain customer data. Point-of-sale systems, emails, social interactions - these are starting points to compose customer profiles. A slew of customer data analytics tools is available, but merely using them is not the point. You have to seize your consumer engagement data. Establish your own system of Key Performance Indicators - red-flag metrics that are a signal to you. Some KPIs may provide insight into customers’ interest in your brand offers, for example:
- email open;
- click-through rate;
- site visits.
Others will represent the ultimate goal of the engagement, such as:
- customer lifetime number of orders;
- order placement;
- average order value.
Tip 2. Listen more to hear your customer
You’ll hardly make a sale without profiling customers first. That is the power of the human factor. Start forming segments with psycho-demographics (age, sex, religion). Then add the buying behavior factor (frequency, price, average order value) and pay extra attention to external factors (location, time, environmental data, traffic, weather). Such profiling allows you to develop meaningful segmentations within your customer base. Accurate segments create better targeting, higher conversion rate, and improved profitability. Use A/B testing to determine if specific segments perform better than others.
Tip 3. Answer the “Why” questions
Most businesses try to answer questions about the benefits their customers want. Think from the outside - answer the “why” questions:
- Why do customers need your services?
- Why do they choose a competitor instead of you?
- Why do they behave as they do?
And so on. Understanding the “why” gives the ability to see things from a different angle.
Now, you know the essential ingredients for a winning holiday campaign. Let’s reiterate them:
- Building an outstanding shopping experience;
- Setting up a solid shopping process;
- Leveraging customer data.
All these steps are substantial, but that’s not everything it takes to reach your final goal - set up your brand for a winning holiday shopping season. Ready to reap more insights? We have plenty of bold ideas to share with you, so stay tuned.