For many retailers, 20%- 30% of their annual sales happen during the holiday shopping season. Both brick and mortar stores and online retailers are gearing up to capitalize on a shopping season that is predicted to outperform 2016's holiday shopping season by 3.6%- 4%.
As many retailers are finalizing plans for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, it's important to consider the exposure to new customers your brand will get and how to capitalize on that. Why? 73% of holiday shoppers will try a new brick and mortar store or online retailer during the holiday shopping season. This can be attributed to the fact that 1 out of 5 holiday purchases are an impulse. This creates an opportunity to convert a seasonal shopper into a loyal customer.
Win them over on their first interaction.
Using digital technology and the in-store experience, retail marketers can create and nurture a relationship with a new customers based on their impulse purchase. If you're a brick and mortar store, start with the customer experience. When things get hectic during the holiday shopping season, retailers can lose sight of the customer experience and focus on just getting through the craziness of the holiday season. Make sure all employees are focused on delivering great customer service no matter how hectic things are.
Average customer service doesn't cut it online or in-store. How is customer service important for online retailers? It starts with prompt delivery. Free shipping and return is an added bonus and can actually boost your bottom line- but that's a different article. Make sure our shipping and return policies are easy to use and easy to find as many shoppers will check that out prior to making a purchase. Doing so may make you stand out in the customer's mind when they need a similar item later on.
Continuing the excellent experience after the purchase is easy, especially for ecommerce retailers due to the amount of data a user must submit in order to complete a purchase. Chewy for example, follows up by asking for feedback, sending thank you notes, and even sending holiday cards.
Despite your best efforts, sometimes issues arise that your customer service team (both in-store and online) need to handle. Make sure your staff is well-educated on your brand and products as well as enabled to make the situation right. Nothing is worse than calling a customer service number only to be put on hold to wait for a supervisor to become available.
Use what you know about them to keep them interested in your brand.
Consumers are extremely likely to conduct online research prior to making a purchase both in-store and online. This may consist of reviewing sales, trying to find a retailer that has a product in stock, or simply searching for gift ideas.
If your website has pixels for various advertising platforms (Facebook, AdRoll, Twitter, etc.), you can quickly and easily retarget them. Doing so works well because you have insight into what brought them to your site in the first place. You can serve ads that cater to that interest, increasing the chance that they will become a loyal, repeat customer.
Create a personalized email strategy.
When done correctly, email marketing has an ROI of 38-1and is almost 40x better at acquiring new customers than social medial. The average person checks their email 76 times each day. This creates an opportunity for retailers to keep customers engaging with the brand, turning them into loyal customers.
The keys to making this happen is personalization and relevant content. Consider your buyer personas as well as any data you have on your seasonal shoppers. Send emails that include the recipient's name that come from a real person, not a do not reply address.
This tactic works. Hubspot found that emails with the recipients’ first names in the subject lines had higher clickthrough rates than emails that didn’t.
If your email platform allows you to send emails based on triggers or workflows, take advantage of that. Doing so enables you to further personalize email marketing based on pageviews, previous purchases, etc. Hubspot found that 62% of respondents said that the marketing emails they received were of no interest to them. Sending relevant content gives your brand an edge over competitors are who sending one size fits all email.
Give them a reason to come back.
One of the best ways to re-engage a happy first time customer is to give them a reason to come back. Email or snail mail a thank you note with a discount code for their next purchase. If a first-time customer had a good experience, they are likely to return to take advantage of a discount.
While many retailers place the majority of emphasis during the holiday shopping season on the sales and the numbers, it's important not to overlook what happens after the holiday shopping season.
The buyer's journey shifts slightly during the holiday shopping season. Normally consumers have certain places they prefer to shop for certain items and a standard research process to aid in that decision. During the holidays, concerns may shift to include getting the right gift, at the right price, quickly- leading them to try a new retailer.
Take advantage of this by creating a customized plan that will not only boost your holiday sales, but also make your seasonal shoppers loyal customers.