Most customers tend to splurge only on a few special occasions. Holiday shopping is one such annual splurge they indulge in. Partly due to the practices of e-commerce and departmental store giants, customers have come to expect similar deals from other retailers and e-tailers too.
The entertainment industry has long portrayed the year-end holiday season to be all things fun and frolic. Even when things go wrong, chaos ensues in a comical sense. But, in reality, selling around the holidays can be quite stressful. As Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong!” Customers get crankier, supply chain delays occur frequently, even sales could take a huge hit. Strategy is the name of the game!
Here’s what you can do to get better customer engagement for the holiday season:
1. Anticipate, prepare, manage
Great managers are those who are prepared for every curveball that the seasonal spike throws at them. How do they do it? They’re not clairvoyant! They anticipate by putting themselves in their customers’ shoes, trying to understand their needs. This exercise also helps them stay mindful of the customer’s frustration when orders get delayed, or worse, lost in the sales tide. To put it simply, here’s what you can do.
- Establish a clear goal
- Stock up on seasonal product categories
- Prepare your shipping and logistics partners to ensure on-time delivery
- Delight customers
2. Bring your communication A-game
Have you noticed that great salespeople are great communicators? They’re prompt, informative, and most importantly, they help you make better choices. The single most important task for brands is to communicate with their customers. Because consumers prefer virtual shopping, digital advocacy has taken over this process. Announce your campaigns or promotions a week before the actual event. Give them time to prepare and evoke anticipation. Some campaign ideas include
- Gifting idea lists
- Referral programs
- Holiday cards / thank you notes
3. Seasonal promotions
Customers only need a reason to shop. And this season is all about giving them one! Behavioral experiments, personal experiences, anecdotal references… All point to the fact that human brains are driven by rewards. For customers, the idea of rewards overrides existing inhibitions and predetermined limits on expenses. Before you know it, your customers will be cleaning out your (virtual) shelves. Reward your customers to reward yourself!
Take a moment to reflect. Look at your active customers segments and at those products that bring in big profits. Look at your performance in the past season and even stake out your competition to understand seasonal trends. Spoil your loyal customers with some seasonal rebates, they’ll keep coming back for more!
4. Gifting and bundling options
Gifting has become more utility driven. And thankfully so. Because the average customer doesn’t have enough storage to put away gifts that have no real use. Non-gift gifts have seen an increase in popularity over the last few years. The bad news is, customers get a wide range of options to choose from. They can easily be inundated with the problem of choice. The good news is, when purchasing gifts, the average buyer puts very little thought into it. This is good, because this gives your brand an opportunity to swoop in and save your customers time and effort.
Pro tip: Create complimentary bundling options instead of a lazy “Buy One Get One”.
5. Add a festive touch to your packaging and unboxing experience
Offers and promotions aren’t the only tools that bring you the festive cheer. Small meaningful gestures can create big impacts too! Bring in that festive touch through your package design, or by adding a seasonal greeting or a thank you note.
Bonus points for adding ‘Gift Wrapping’ at checkout. Unwrapped gifts just don’t build up the surprise element as wrapped gifts do!
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