As you map out your holiday marketing campaigns and the promotions to go with them, discounts are probably the first incentives that come to mind. Discounts and coupons are terrific ways to reward customers and drive sales during the holiday season, but they can get a bit, well, repetitive. When everyone is offering 10 or 20% off a purchase, it loses its appeal and doesn’t separate you from the competition.
Another shortfall with offering discounts is that your new prices might confuse customers, particularly new ones. If you offer a discount for the holiday season and then take the discount away in January, your customers will have to pay higher prices. Some will understand, but some may not. These customers might have it in their minds that your product is worth less than what your new price is.
Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with offering discounts and coupons to beef up your sales. Customers love them, and a good discount can make all the difference in whether or not shoppers are clicking the “buy” button. All we’re saying is to keep your options open and not rely on discounts entirely.
Below are six fabulous holiday ecommerce offers that will distinguish you from other online stores and give your customers something to love!
1. Free Shipping
Free shipping is an many types of ecommerce payment options these days, so check out some of the most popular ones to determine if they would be a good fit for your ecommerce site. The days of accepting just credit cards are over.
3. Helpful Information and Education
A lot of your holiday traffic will be shopping for family and friends, and they won’t be interested in becoming a long-term customer of yours. This doesn’t mean that you close the sale and send them on their way. Rather, use this opportunity to educate your shoppers! They will appreciate the advice and might even be encouraged to shop with you in the future. Hey, things change!
Write blog posts to share information about your products. Create simple how-to videos and tutorials that explain how your service works. Put together comprehensive gift guides that help shoppers navigate the best gifts for their loved ones. Explain the differences in your products and how certain items work together. You might even want to offer gift bundles so that consumers know they are getting everything they need in a single click.
Information and education are vital for people who are in the process of making a purchase decision. By being armed and ready with the content shoppers are in need of, you can make a good impression and bigger sales!
4. Multichannel Experiences
The key with multichannel experiences is to offer as many avenues as possible so that buyers are able to reach you. In other words, it shouldn’t be difficult for people to connect with you and buy your product or service. If it is, they will back out of the sale and find another company that offers a more intuitive shopping experience.
As the holiday season approaches, make sure that your channels (social media, apps, blog posts, website) are set up properly. All contact information should be current and consistent, your blog posts should have social share buttons on them and your website should be updated and able to handle the additional traffic. Regardless of which channels buyers are coming from, they should all receive the same positive experience from your company.
Though it may not be as attractive to offer multichannel experiences, there are ways to make it more appealing for consumers. Let buyers know that you can be reached 24 hours a day. Make it possible for them to complete purchases whenever and wherever they want. Give shoppers the power to choose what is most convenient for them, and it will put you in a lane of your own.
5. Tasteful Choices
Many consumers believe that the smaller ecommerce stores don’t offer much selection, but you can prove them wrong! Start introducing your improved product selection via email newsletters, blog posts and social media. This will encourage people to check out your website and see what types of products you have to offer that competing stores may not.
The choices don’t end there. Be sure to offer shoppers plenty of options when it comes to shipping selections, payment options and ways to get in touch with customer service. For instance, provide a phone number, email address and live chat so that customers can connect with you in a way that is comfortable for them.
In the end, customers will always choose to shop with an ecommerce store that provides a good experience, even if that means paying a little more. Find ways to give customers what they want, and do this by offering choices where they can have a hand in the decision making process.
6. Customer Service
People complain about customer service all of the time. It’s frustrating when they choose a particular product or company and then feel undervalued. Appreciation goes a long way in forming long-lasting relationships with your customers, so make customer service a priority this holiday season.
Give customers reassurance that their product is backed by free returns or exchanges. Make the returns process easy and hassle free – always delivered with a smile and no questions asked. People take a gamble when they buy online – especially with clothes and shoes – and they need to know that they have options if the product doesn’t work out.
By being transparent about what you are willing to do for customers and how you handle issues like clothes that don’t fit and shoes that aren’t the right color, you can win over customers who aren’t getting that guarantee from another company.
Holiday ecommerce is going to be more competitive than ever before. You can’t afford to skim by on your holiday marketing campaigns. Be happy to offer discounts and promotions that encourage shoppers to buy with you, but don’t forget that there are many other things that you can deliver that are just as important. Shoppers love a good deal, but they also need to know that the company they are buying from is honest, transparent and has their best interests at heart.