It’s July, and for the first time in months we are thinking about another C-word. Christmas.
Christmas in July takes on a new meaning this year, as consumers are looking forward to the comfort of the holidays. According to data from Pinterest, holiday searches jumped 77% higher in April 2020 than April 2019.
This provides a huge opportunity for online retailers. In the last few months COVID-19 has changed the way retailers approach their businesses -- turning attention away from brick and mortar stores, instead focusing on online storefronts, and holiday shopping this year will be no different. It’s forced retailers to adapt to their customers’ needs, and figure out what it means to serve them in the best way.
“Why do your customers shop with you?” is a key question in determining what will drive brand loyalty, and one way to enhance brand loyalty during this uncertain time is to create a frictionless commerce experience.
Frictionless commerce is the process of creating seamless, convenient buying experiences that integrate naturally into a customer's everyday activities. As consumers are more and more shopping online, frictionless commerce is imperative to the buying experience.
How do retailers accomplish this? Below are four ways to create frictionless commerce for consumers.
Having robust preference centers
A goal for online retail marketers is to never let their customers opt-out of an email. Once you lose their email address, it greatly affects their customer lifetime value. A preference center is a way to create multiple options for a customer to stay engaged, and avoiding the dreaded unsubscribe. Below are examples of ways you can offer as preferences:
- Content - Do you want a sales alert or would you prefer an informative monthly email? Is there a specific topic you are interested in?
- Cadence - Are you interested in daily sales? Would you like a weekly
- Channel - How would you like to receive it?
Deploying win-back campaigns
Because of COVID-19, there has been a huge disruption of people’s normal habits. It’s important to remind consumers why they are loyal to your brand by ensuring you’re putting your best foot forward across the entire digital experience—from your website and social media, to your email and SMS, and customer support. For example, providing a frictionless return experience (especially one that does not require customers to go in the store) can make or break a sale. A premier customer experience via any medium is sure to help brands gain admiration and loyalty from consumers.
Another opportunity for brands is to win competitor’s customers. Figure out what the consumers wanted from the competitor and then deliver it to them, whether it be by repositioning product features or highlighting your discounts via paid social—or promoting your premium customer support in an area where your competitors may struggle.
Have abandoned cart journeys in place
When someone abandons their cart, it’s a huge opportunity for revenue because they have already shown interest in a product on your site. Retailers can use website analytics to identify them and an Abandoned Cart Tool to develop a journey, to get to the customer before they buy somewhere else—or opt not to buy at all. Abandoned cart journeys allow retailers to connect with interested customers while their intent to buy is at its highest.
Implementing predictive up sell and add-ons
Consumers who are well versed in online shopping are very familiar with the phrase, “You may also like.” Using predictive analytics, retailers can predict what a customer is going to buy. This gives marketers an opportunity to tailor an email or website widget with dynamic content that reflects either something a customer has demonstrated as an interest, or something similar to what they have purchased in the past.
Creating frictionless commerce is always a valuable tool for retailers, but now that there are more eyes online and clicks on your site it can be something that makes or breaks your business now and during the holiday season.
If you’re interested in learning more about how retailers are using digital marketing right now, watch our webinar, “From Bricks to Clicks: How Retailer Marketers are Leaning into Digital Engagement.”