How to retain your 2013 Christmas Shoppers through 2014
Content Graciously Submitted By Mayank Setia of JustStorefront
For some businesses over 40% annual sales are done in the holiday season. By simple mathematics, a business converting 25% Holiday Shoppers into loyal customers actually expands their customer base to double in 7 years’ time. With rising customer acquisition costs, customer retention strategies get imperative.
Every Christmas, e-commerce websites come up with all sorts of plans, deals and discounts to attract more customers and provide an impetus to their sales. Once the Christmas season is over, they fail to garner similar responses for their products and services. Accordingly, it becomes imperative for e-commerce websites to utilize certain retention measures and devise newer ways to turn their holiday shoppers into year-round customers.
In this article, we intend to provide certain practical measures that could help e-commerce websites retain their Christmas shoppers through 2014.
Exceed Customer Expectation
Pricing your product or service is in fact the old way to exceed customer expectations; the most important is through your front-line employees — everyone who works with customers.
The key is to create an impeccable customer experience that at times may seem to be above and beyond the market norms. It can be anything like a delivery before the time promised, a surprise gift, a free service, a return call from the CEO.
During the overwhelming marketing approaches of the winter holidays, retailers often set higher customer expectations. It is better to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them and make a difference by meeting them in unexpected and helpful ways. Providing better service does not mean spending more money; all that is required is just a little creativity and attention to training of staff.
Be in Touch – In Style!
Holiday shoppers are unlikely to revisit a website that fails to stay connected with them. For this reason, be sure to develop a direct communication with your client. It becomes essential for any e-commerce website to inform their holiday shoppers about recent services, discounts, hot-selling products, and other news about the company. Sharing a couple of great articles through emails with first time customers helps them develop an affiliation with your store. Sharing a couple of great articles through emails with first time customers helps them develop an affiliation with your store.
Intent of a Christmas Shopper!
A Christmas shopper may in fact not be buying for himself/herself but may have bought a gift for someone. It would be futile to remind him of your products if say she had bought a gift for her 6 year old niece. In this case it is rather damaging to your relationship to be contacting repeatedly. You need to devise a plan to differentiate a customer interest and plan your contact strategy accordingly.
A Complaint is a Complement!
90% of dissatisfied customer just do not complain, they will just walk away. Some of them cannot be bothered, some do not know the right complaining mechanism or do not believe it will make a difference. Whilst they do not tell you, they will tell others surely. You cannot afford to annoy a Christmas shopper, whom you consider as your prospective year-round customer. An e-commerce website should take all necessary steps not to upset holiday shoppers to an extent that they have no other option than to blacklist the website. Among others, an online live chat is very vital for addressing customer queries. Online live chat helps improve customer retention and relations as well.
A smart Cross selling strategy
All e-commerce retailers know the importance of recommending related products when a customer buys a particular product, but only a few devise a smart strategy. The crossing selling of products may not always be a well-connected, complimenting or accessory to the original product.
A quick ‘Save for Later’ facility is most important with ‘You May Also Like’ products. When a holiday shopper purchases a product and finds the options suited to his fancies, he or she may bookmark that particular product for future.
Cross selling products of also makes customers stay longer on a site, explore other product categories, and buy something else. Cash in on every opportunity and use every technique to cross-sell, starting from related products, “who bought this also bought,” and most importantly fertile checkout processes. AspDotNetStorefront has various built-in cross-selling facilities, which are not used to the optimum level by most of its retailers.
Loyalty programs and rewards
Loyalty programs like offering money (discount coupons, etc.) off the next purchase, freebies, gift coupons, gift cards, early previews, free shipping, affiliate programs, referral schemes, actually work. Allow them to feel special by announcing that they are the select chosen few. Offering them incentives for referrals is also a great idea.
Here again you need to take full advantage of facilities provided by AspDotNetStorefront.
Those dealing in high-volume regular sales should monitor the frequency of purchase of their holiday shoppers. Plan a “welcome back” deal to retain holiday shoppers who never took time to come back to your website.
Promote sharing across social media platforms
An e-commerce website should have ample social media sharing tools to help customers share what they purchased and what they want to buy online. It is now obsolete to put social share links on the product page, you should rather consider putting a share link on the order submission page like the trick: “See What I Bought.” At this stage a customer is most likely to share his purchase. Once a customer shares his purchase, he gets more engaged with your website, and for a longer time.