Marketing5 Minute Read
How the 2021 Holiday Season Can Improve Your eCommerce Business Results for 2022
As eCommerce brands begin planning for the upcoming holiday season, the most crucial step to take when developing a strategy is to look back at last year’s wins and losses. If you don’t look honestly at the misses, failures, successes, and break-even points, you are missing a prime opportunity to set your business and teams up for success.
The US retail holiday season in 2021 posted the highest growth in 20+ years, an increase of 16.1%, thanks to e-commerce and shoppers’ return to brick-and-mortar stores. Despite concerns over supply chain shortages, Covid variants, and inflation, consumers spent over $1 trillion in total retail sales, with the heaviest online spending on Cyber Monday. This year’s forecast predicts an increase in spending of 3.3%.
The holidays are right around the corner. Now is the time to firm up your eCommerce strategy and prepare your teams for business. Did you know that most online shoppers start their search for goods on Amazon? Right behind that are search engines, Walmart, and now TikTok. Aside from advertising on those platforms, it helps to have a strategic plan on how your company will position your brand in a competitive marketplace.
Stand out from the Competition
Looking back at your results from last year, what did you do well? What areas need improvement? Do you need to manage inventory expectations? Have you surveyed your customers on what they are looking for or need? Find ways to make it easier to purchase your goods. You can stand out from the competition by offering free delivery or picking a specific day for your biggest sale. Can you bundle some products together for a “best value” offer? Take advantage of social for promotions or repost user-generated content when they rave about your brand.
Customer Experience From Start to End
These days, customers expect an omnichannel experience. They want to access goods and services in multiple ways, from websites to apps to social media. They expect a consistent experience across channels and seamless customer data transfers, so whomever they speak to is up to speed on their issues. Figure out how you can accommodate them. A key element in a purchaser’s decision is free returns. Offering free delivery and free returns is an easy way to increase your customer satisfaction ratings. You can elevate your customer experience by designing your return process to be effortless and at no cost, with expert agents to handle customer service inquiries. You may find that people will buy more.
And don’t overlook the power of compelling content. Find ways to solve customer pain points. Creating lists of top sellers like “Best Gifts for Kids” makes the shopper’s decision process easier and saves them time. You can also personalize this based on past purchases. Take advantage of your loyalty program insights to offer exclusive discounts and those inspirational gift lists. 81% of consumers in 2021 shopped specific brands because they were a member, and loyalty member discounts drove 61% of consumers to join so they could get the deal.
Scalable Technology and Data Insights
Are your systems ready to handle the traffic? Do you have enough product in stock? Does any of your tech need updating, so the buying journey goes more smoothly? Train your customer service and sales teams on promotional offers, ways to upsell, and problem resolution. Find out what your teams need and help them to be successful. Keep an eye on your data and insights as you move through the season and stay nimble so you can adjust quickly if needed. Take your customer experience one step further. Keep the momentum going and follow up after customer purchases with a personalized thank you or survey on product satisfaction.
The biggest takeaway here is to start early. That means developing your strategy, prepping your teams, and sharing your best holiday offers early. Consider your data and insights from the last season to help build your process this year. As online shopping continues to grow year over year, the possibilities for your best sales ever are bright.
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Strategic Technology Officer
Published on November 7, 2022
Published on November 7, 2022