As online shopping continues to be the quickest and smartest way to purchase goods, the role your eCommerce platform plays in the holiday season is becoming more prominent than ever.
Just this year, according to Shopify, consumer searches for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals began to spike 6-weeks before the shopping holiday. And on Black Friday itself, our own eCommerce clients received an average of 30% more feedback items, compared to a normal (online) shopping day. What’s more, a recent report by Walker Sands shows that 41% of consumers completed all or the majority of their holiday shopping online in 2016.
Customer expectation is higher than ever
These numbers not only mean consumers are embracing online and omnichannel shopping at increasing rates, they also suggest that customer expectation is higher than ever.
Decibel Insight summarizes, “Thanks to brands like Amazon, Uber, and other applications we all know and love, be it in-store, on web, mobile, or native apps, modern consumers expect a fast, flawless experience – and have no problem going elsewhere to find one.”
Customers are expecting retailers to go above and beyond this holiday season, with seamless customer journeys that make for a stress-free present haul.
Luckily, there’s a whole bunch of data you can tap into so you can make optimization decisions that will not only increase revenue but enhance customer loyalty too. And since we have access to a lot of this data we decided – in the spirit of Christmas – to share our expertise.
So, here’s our top tips for how eCommerce platforms can make the most of smart data this holiday season:
Remember the big dates
Let’s start simple. There’s a couple of days where you know traffic will be at record numbers on your site or app, e.g. Black Friday. However, over the years a number of new significant retail days have emerged throughout the holiday season.
Keep these in mind and you won’t get caught out:
- Monday, December 11: Green Monday
- Friday, December 15: Free Shipping Day
- Tuesday, December 26: Boxing Day and the start of Cyber Week 2
- Thursday, January 4: National Returns Day
It’s also worth looking back at your web analytics for previous years and taking note of any recurring spikes and patterns. Use this data to prepare for the coming year.
Outsmart competitors with a superior user experience
Implementing a Voice of Customer (VoC) solution enables you to collect qualitative data in the form of user feedback across your digital channels. Amongst its many benefits – including improving conversion rates and testing and validating design decisions – this feedback can provide you with the invaluable insight you need to make the right optimization decisions.
Opening the channel of communication with your eComm customers this holiday season can help you to identify any bugs and issues as well as remove unnecessary friction and barriers to conversions. All of which will streamline a shopper’s journey to the checkout.
Once you’ve optimized the customer journey, use real-time insights to outsmart your competitors. By integrating Usabilla with a session recording platform such as Clicktale, Tealeaf, or Decibel Insight, you can easily pair feedback items with session recordings to get an in-depth and full understanding of the user journey.
By knowing exactly what your customer is doing, you can optimize customer engagement in real-time for higher conversion and customer retention.
Personalize promotions and deals
When it comes to sharing your holiday promotions, an email marketing campaign is no longer enough.
Just think of all the holiday spam taking up your precious inbox space as you read this. Not to mention all those shipping, delivery, and returns notifications? How can you be certain your email marketing efforts would stand out?
Instead, target consumers with promotional codes or freebies in the space of your website or app. These can be in the form of a subtle slide out campaign powered by a Voice of Customer solution like our own.
Alternatively, take things one step further with targeted ads delivered in real-time. As Forbes explains, “The ability to deliver digital ads in real time completely changes the ad game. Add in the ability to deliver only to specific audience with highly targeted messaging is a holiday gift to retailers all on its own.”
Using a tag or data management platform (DMP) has become integral to providing a foundation for any company’s data collection needs, as well as helping them to drive better customer experiences. Integrate this data with the qualitative insights provided by user feedback and you can deliver an outstanding customer experience.
By combining both your DMP and data layer with qualitative Usabilla data you can react to mood score in real-time (e.g. by offering a promotional slide-out to dissatisfied customers), create personalized product pages, and use live data to follow up with users instantly.
This means you can target new and returning visitors with different deals. Where a new visitor could be enticed by something like free shipping, a returning user may prefer a discount off their next purchase.
Get the right information to the right customers at the right time and your customer experience will be sure to stand out.
Get smart on mobile
According to Forbes, mobile will continue to be the marketing hero of the holiday buying season this year:
“Consumers are now using their smartphones to do preliminary research on products and pricing, as well as making purchases. Retailers that use mobile payment methods such as PayPal, Apple Pay and Amazon Pay increase their appeal to consumers who can research, browse, pay and schedule delivery all from a smartphone.”
With this in mind, retailers can’t overlook mobile shopping apps. According to the Walker Sands study, 65% of consumers have shopping apps on their phones and just as many (66%) have made a purchase through a mobile app.
With a sophisticated VoC app solution, you can target a specific user journey, behavior, or status based on completely custom events. This means you can trigger non-intrusive surveys based on the actions a user does, or does not, take.
Running in-app surveys like this enables you to deep dive into conversion barriers such as shopping cart abandonment, but also allows you to go the extra mile with customer experience.
For example, using the user data your app provides you could reach out to users when a specific event occurs, such as “Your package was delivered today, how do your new shoes fit?”
There’s no denying that we’re living in the age of the customer, and the holiday season is the prime time to make sure your customer experience is living up to expectation.
You need a solid strategy in place that will see you from Gray November and safely out of the other end of the January sales. And having a VoC solution in place will certainly give you a headstart.
The post Optimize your eCommerce Site with Smart Data this Holiday Season appeared first on Usabilla Blog.