The pandemic has made 2020 unpredictable for every industry. However, experts have been anticipating the immense growth of eCommerce. And it’s true, it has been a remarkable year for online shopping. Year-over-year online sales rose 20.6% in the U.S. during Cyber 5, and 60% during Black Friday weekend sales on Amazon.
Early bird gets the worm
Most customers might choose to shop early before items go out of stock since 70% of them chose to do so and avoid the crowd last year. To catch up right when they start, make sure you keep track of what people are searching for on your website, asking your customer service staff, or what your competitors are doing. Furthermore, you can even use your own discounts and promotions to encourage them to shop earlier.
This also means that you might need to prepare inventory early. There is still plenty of time between the busy summer sales and holiday season, so make sure your team can catch a breath as well as plan carefully for the coming hectic period. Inventory should be recounted, reorganized, and restocked. Moreover, you can discuss with suppliers and arrange means to take backorders if popular items go out-of-stock right in the middle of sales programs.
Knowing that it’s going to be lively, don’t let yourself be overwhelmed and start looking for strategies to improve productivity. An advantage of eCommerce is the huge number of tools you can find online. So if you encounter any bottleneck, you can always find tools like automation to help with it.
Unique customer experiences
During the peak season, it’s going to be extra difficult for merchants to compete on prices. Therefore, make sure you focus on creating exceptional customer experiences, retaining current customers, and then attracting new customers.
Convenience should be the top priority of both merchants and customers. It’s best practice to analyze consumer’s behavior from last seasonal sales and create a policy with various scenarios of customer requests. Customers surely will favor a site that allows them to shop when and however they want, be it pick up in-store, instant delivery, or easy exchanges and returns.
Mobile-first has been constantly recommended to online merchants since more and more people are shopping on mobile devices. However, it’s important to note that the cart abandonment rate is also high on mobile. Therefore, capture those leads with a form or coupon code before they leave your site.
While preparing for the next season, remember to ask your current customers to leave reviews for their last orders. Testimonials are powerful for increasing conversion rate and trust for any eCommerce business.
Essential marketing channels
Omnichannel marketing contributes greatly to creating a seamless customer experience, by providing consistent interactions across online and offline channels. This can be achieved with a suitable buyer’s journey, clear brand messages, and touchpoints, as well as personalization.
Experts have found that the pandemic empowered SMS marketing and social media. So merchants should be optimizing these channels to sell more this season. Top-notch social media content can help more shoppers to discover your brand and products.
Plan for other shopping channels
That said, it doesn’t mean that retailers should focus only on online channels. Customers can gather information on your website throughout their decision-making process and choose to pick up in-store instead of waiting for shipment. While some prefer to shop online for safety, others might be eager to go out. So, make sure that you can adapt fast in case consumer behavior changes again.
Be sure to check out the 2021 holiday calendar and other helpful eCommerce tips on our blog.
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