The holiday season is upon us. Retailers are decking the aisles with tinsel and lights, posting the most competitive prices and prepping for the shortest holiday shopping season in years. 26% of shoppers are starting their shopping now, before the Thanksgiving holiday, and another 35% begin Black Friday. This means there is still time to maximize your holiday strategy to get the most out of this short season.
With all the noise coming at your customers through so many channels, it’s important to be where they are actively engaged.
If you want a truly unique opportunity for engagement, a successful last mile experience has as much as 5 minutes of consumer viewership. Engagement like this presents unique opportunities for upsell, cross-sales and ads. What could your marketing team do with that much of your customers time?
48% of shoppers have left a brand’s site because of an impersonal experience. Taking the time to personalize the shopping experience can earn you serious brand loyalty; Accenture found that 91% of consumers will return to shop with companies that take the time to send offers relevant to them.
Buying history or targeted ads are just a couple ways you can make sure you are showing your customers exactly what they’re looking for. Done the right way, a personalized ad can show your customers you care
Offer curbside and in store pickup:
Not all customers want to wait for shipping, or in a long checkout line for that matter. Offering the opportunity to buy online and pickup-in-store, or do curbside pickup, can increase sales and provide a much needed holiday convenience. How do you make this a stellar experience for both your customers and staff?
If customers are coming inside, be sure and clearly mark where they should go and put it at the front of the store. Send notifications when order is received and again when it is ready to be picked up. For an extra touch, use location tools like Glympse to have your customer share their location so you are prepared for them the moment they arrive. You can meet them curbside and address them by name (talk about a personalized experience!) or have their order ready at the counter the moment they walk up.
The industry bar is to get customers in and out of the store in 30 seconds. Using active alerts and location technology can help you meet or beat this gold standard.
Free and trackable shipping:
Your customers want their goods shipped to them for free and more than that, they want to know where their package is at all times. Consider giving free shipping on purchases over a certain price point to encourage consumers to spend a little more to get the coveted free shipping.
Provide tracking information with realistic expectations. With 2 day shipping the new standard, be sure and communicate accurately when they can expect their package and consider last mile tracking. Last mile tracking is becoming increasingly important to stay competitive. Last mile tracking provides full visibility to your end customers, giving them peace of mind during the hectic holiday season.
Returns might seem like a loss for your company, but a great returns experience means a great experience with your brand and an opportunity to win that customer for life. Of the 70% of shoppers who had an easy return experience with a brand, 96% said they would purchase from that company again.
To create an incredible experience that keeps your customers coming back, consider offering in-store returns for items purchased online, include a return label with each shipment or make it easy to find and print one online, and provide notifications throughout the returns process.
This hectic holiday season, focus on easing your customers’ stress and ensuring they leave your store or website feeling good about their experience. The result will be loyal customers who will come back throughout the year.