Inflationary pressure will drive more than 4 in 10 shoppers to kickstart holiday shopping earlier than ever this year. Now, you must evaluate whether you are ready to meet customers' high expectations this holiday season by improving your overall retail experience.
In today’s digital age, having a strong omnichannel strategy is paramount for survival and requires a shift in how retail websites function. To succeed, you’ll need to take advantage of omnichannel retail technology to deliver your mission to your customers in frequently used channels. Brands that adapt to omnichannel retailing will ultimately be rewarded with healthy, sustainable growth and brand loyalty.
The Omnichannel Retail Index 2022 (ORI) by OSF Digital takes the pulse of the state of digital commerce and omnichannel retail. ORI depicts how leading U.S. retailers and brands deliver on their omnichannel promise, highlighting industry trends and best practices to help you build your omnichannel roadmap and make more informed and smarter investment decisions. ORI examines how 115 retailers in 14 retail verticals (22 online-only) perform against 250+ criteria across web, mobile, and in-store.
Based on 2022 ORI insights, here are seven easy and fast ways to boost your holiday sales this year:
1. Attract new traffic with a blog: Blogging is a great way to attract new traffic and help optimize the content on your site for search engines. Each time you create and publish a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which will help you show up on search engine results pages to drive traffic. Blogging can give your site a dramatic boost in search traffic and sales and is one of the best ways to boost your website traffic, demonstrate your brand personality, and create a loyal following of repeat customers.
When looking for the best ecommerce blog platform, look for a solution that can easily connect your blog to your ecommerce site. (Integration is easier and less expensive than shifting your entire blogging platform to your ecommerce store.) Whether you are looking for a WordPress Blog Integrator or just a blogging tool to reach ecommerce customers, you’ll want to join content and commerce together to give your customers easy access to purchasing your products.
3. Track customer behavior for data-driven insights: In a world of technology, analytic software that helps you track online customer behavior lets you know your customers better and sell better. The type of data-driven marketing that helps you track, target, and forecast makes a huge impact, so spending on data analytics is expected to increase by 60% during the coming year.
Businesses can use behavior triggers to send automated emails and analytic software to learn more about customer engagement on marketing campaigns and how visitors use your website by providing real data about how customers browse pages, shop, and check out. Without it, you won’t know what your customers need to improve their overall experience. Look for a custom behavior tracking tool that is easy to install, use and maintain and one that can give you transactional triggers and detailed reports to customize customer journeys.
4. Offer gift cards. Empowering shoppers to give and redeem online gift card will help your online store increase revenue, acquire new customers, and obtain additional brand recognition. Online gift cards are also a great and safe way to offer your valued customers an alternative way to send gifts to friends, loved ones, colleagues, or business partners. You can look for features like a custom design, check balance, and use of multiple gift cards. Features could also include sending gift cards to a customer list or using gift cards for a wish list or gift registry.
5. Create an abandoned cart strategy: Ecommerce software abandonment cart recovery uses behavioral triggers to send automated emails to win back a shopper’s interest and close the sale. This smart email recovery strategy helps merchants stay connected to customers and reduces the number of unused items in shopping carts while gaining a steady revenue flow. You can bridge the gap between lost revenue and finalized purchases when you leverage your cart recovery software to collect consumer and add-to-cart data and send personalized emails with the items they abandoned—emails that increase transaction rates up to six times compared to a generic message.
6. Create a digital video library to lure more customers to your site: Videos can be a powerful and time-saving element to answer common customer questions and address any concerns once they land on your site pages. Video libraries allow you to share content directly from your library to various channels, including the ability to embed on your website and share on social media channels. (This eliminates the need to code and format your videos manually before uploading them individually to each platform.)
Videos help tell your brand's story, guide visitors to conversions, and act as a virtual salesperson. There are digital video library software solutions designed to assist you in managing your digital video library, including stock videos, so you aren’t starting from scratch. These solutions can help you keep your video assets organized and ensure your existing and potential customers are informed and entertained with fresh video content.
7. Offer back-in-stock notification emails: Out-of-stock items can cause your customers disappointment and create frustrating shopping experiences that lead to your competitors converting the sale. You lose sales and revenue and potentially damage the engagement you build with a customer. Don’t let running out of popular items end your customer’s journey with your brand.
Instead, investigate back-in-stock notification software that allows you to create sales opportunities despite stockouts and bring interested shoppers back to your site to buy. When you have an unavailable product, give your customers an option to subscribe to be notified when it is restocked. This process is a safe way for you to manage stockouts while keeping your customers in mind and allows you to keep loyalty strong, keep behavior data about purchases and accurately forecast.
Remember: Shoppers increasingly demand transparency around how brands are responding to climate change and giving back where possible; the Index reveals varying degrees of initiatives. Of those with a sustainability program, 62% promote sustainable products on their website, 68% have sustainable sourcing initiatives, and 53% are working to reduce their carbon footprint. Sustainability will be a key consideration for various consumer segments when purchasing. That said, convenience and cost will continue to rank highly.
We hope these fast and easy strategies and tips will help you reach new customer segments, increase customer lifetime value, and improve operational efficiency.
You dedicate time, resources, and budget toward delivering the best customer experience possible. But are you truly meeting customer expectations? How do you compare to your competition? See how you perform against the Omnichannel Retail Index to help prioritize your digital roadmap and make smarter investment decisions.
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