The fourth quarter of the year is a busy one to say the least. According to research, 90% of the best selling days for eCommerce and online sales fall into the last four months of the year.
When it comes to peak season selling, there’s a million things to prepare beforehand. Sellers have long lists of boxes to check off to make sure everything is in line before the holidays. Customers are expected to start shopping earlier while also holding off for the sales they’re looking for. Hence, the holiday shopping season is going to be prolonged – extending the stress.
In fact, holiday sales are expected to rise by 4-6% in comparison to last year. This doesn’t mean, however, that consumers are willing to spend more on the same items. They might be spending more, but they’re expecting to get more in return as well. It will serve as a challenge this year for eCommerce stores and retailers to earn business over competitors while customers search for the lowest prices. But indeed, there are ways around this.
This year, your customer engagement and the overall experience you can offer will be two of the most important factors to focus on. As every industry becomes more competitive, sellers need to find ways to be successful even amongst the crowd.
Luckily, we’ve got some great suggestions in this peak season guide for boosting your sales this holiday season. Increase customer engagement and satisfaction for an all-around successful season.
The Three E’s of Holiday Sales
This year, we’ve got a new way of thinking about success. The three E’s of holiday sales stand as checkpoints for you to review your business’s performance and be able to identify weaknesses in order to strengthen them.
Engagement, experience, and excellence are the three fronts on which you need to stand out in order to see peak season sales be as high as possible. Covering all three of these will help make sure customer expectations are met.
First, we have engagement. Focusing on your customer engagement will be a key part of your overall success this holiday season.
Customer engagement refers to the ongoing relationship between a customer and a merchant. How often do they buy from said seller? How long has the relationship been? Are they happy enough to keep returning? The answers to all of these questions will tell you how engaged the customer is, and ultimately, how likely they are to remain an active customer.
Why do you need to focus on customer engagement this peak season? Because successful customers keep your brand at the top of their mind – meaning they’re more likely to choose you than a competitor. By focusing on engagement before the peak season starts, you’ll increase sales and retain more long-lasting customers who are sure to come back to you.
How to increase engagement
Increasing engagement might be easier said than done. However, there are some sure ways to promote customer engagement and brand loyalty that will pay off over the holiday season.
Social media engagement can be improved by being more active across the social media channels your business uses. Posting more, interacting with other accounts, and responding to messages from customers can help buyers feel more connected to you. This quickly increases engagement and can help you foster a relationship with your customers.
To increase engagement on social media, you might want to consider attempting some trial and error. Competitions and paid ads are two ways you can further engage with your target audience, but they won’t work with everyone. This is why trying them, and monitoring their performance, can help you decide if it’s a worthwhile route to continue taking. To run a competition, you can ask customers to share, like, or comment on your posts for a chance to win a free item. This not only gets your name out there, but it will offer your current customers the chance to win something by supporting you.
Regarding in-person engagement, the holidays are a great time to push your employees to create a welcoming environment. Speaking with customers who come into your store is a great way to build a relationship with them and create a memorable experience. This makes it much more likely they’ll come back in the future.
All of these can help you increase engagement among your customers. Without engagement, your customer retention levels are likely to decrease. Engagement is directly related to loyalty, and among the holiday season, loyalty is more important than ever. You want customers to pick you over competitors when their shopping needs are at their highest.
How to measure customer engagement
To know if your efforts to improve engagement have worked, you need to first know how to measure it. There are some metrics you can use to measure your engagement, and by comparing these over time, you can see if you’re on the right track.
Shopping time – how long are customers spending in your store or on your website? This is a good indicator to how well your store is engaging with them. More engaged customers will stay longer to browse, and ultimately end up buying more!
Feedback ratio – how many positive reviews/comments are you getting in comparison to the negative ones? If you’re providing the best experience you can, you’ll have a much higher amount of positive comments. Receiving positive feedback from your customer shows they are engaged with your services.
Customer lifetime value – how much are you profiting from customers during their entire duration as your customer? This metric calculates how much customers typically spend at your store, minus how much it took you to acquire them in the first place. Hence, the longer customers stay, the better their lifetime value becomes.
KPIs and metrics are a great way to track your performance and find the route that’s going to bring you the most success. Following them can help you easily meet goals and improve customer engagement without the guesswork.
The second ‘E’ to focus on this peak season is experience. The experience you offer customers will impact your 2022 holiday sales and even beyond this. The customer experience is extremely important, so let’s see how we can improve it.
The customer experience refers to a customer’s perception of your entire store. It incorporates everything, from how they’re spoken to by support to how they browse through your website. Building a great customer experience will increase your sales and entice customers to come back in the future. Customer experience is also important for loyalty and overall satisfaction. Improving your experience will help you improve your holiday sales and stand out from competitors this year.
In 2022 in particular, customer experience is particularly important for sales. Customers are expecting the ability to shop in more places, both online and in store, want to see companies with greater worldly initiatives, and expect much more buying flexibility. In all, customers are asking for more than ever, and they’re willing to find the sellers who will meet their demands.
How to offer a better experience
To offer a better customer experience, sellers need to be willing to both listen and respond this season. Customers are not going to buy from just anyone, and improving your experience will be necessary.
First off, giving the best experience to your customers means being someone they can trust and rely on. Customers are not going to give money to a brand they can’t trust it with. They want to be assured that they’ll receive their part of the deal and that you’ll be reliable enough to provide them with what they need.
One of the largest parts of the experience you are in control of is the delivery. Once you’ve created a website or opened a store front, customers will know whether or not they want to buy your products. But what determines if they come back is how easy it is for them to get it, and how they were treated in the meantime. Offering fast, affordable, and reliable delivery completes the customer experience on a high note to bring them back to you in the future.
On another note, offering the best experience requires you to sell in a wide range of ways and meet customer needs, all while featuring a unique brand name. In reality, customers need a reason to pick one seller over another, and the experience you offer can be a part of this. For example, many buyers choose to work with sustainable brands or businesses who support fair trade across the world. These types of initiatives are what help you stand out and connect with customers who feel a personal attachment to the good your business brings to the world. This is all part of the experience you offer.
The final ‘E’ of our trio is excellence. You can think of excellence as the quality of what you offer, and also how you offer it.
The excellence part of the holiday sales equation comes to the bare bones of your business. Do you have what it takes to sell? It’s likely that you do, if you’re already selling, but fine tuning your product line can really make a difference to your brand as a whole.
Being an excellent brand relies on two main principles. Having a great product to sell and having a way to sell it. Now, this isn’t to say there’s nothing else going into a successful brand (as we all know that isn’t true). But without these two core features met, there’s no business to begin with.
Improving your business excellence
This holiday season, it will be crucial to have a good look back at where you came from. What are you selling, and how does it fit into what your brand says? Are your products in line with what you want your brand to represent? These are probably questions that you ask yourself every time you release a new product. What might need some further digging is how you sell.
When’s the last time you did a review of your website to see how it comes across to customers? Checking up on your website is crucial for many reasons. Not only does updating your website help improve your search engine ranking, but you might make some changes that approve the overall appearance or ease of use. For example, could you be using a better checkout option that might make it easier for customers to buy? Are your product photos too pixelated? Taking a fresh look can help you review all these points and many more.
Your product and means of selling all go into how likely your business is to stand out this holiday season. The engagement and experience might be important, but without these core principles, your business will have nothing to stand on.
Securing a Growth in Sales
When it comes time to really put in the effort for peak season, focusing on these three principles can help you break down your business into its main parts for further analysis.
Beyond just understanding exactly how your business is working, there are other things you should be doing in the background. For example, you should also be focusing on getting good reviews and offering the best services to your customers like fast delivery. All these other parts still need to be done, but they are only successful when used in conjunction with a business who stands on a solid base.
When it comes to meeting the three ‘E’s, FlashBox can help you increase customer engagement, surpass customer expectations, and most importantly, sell your products in the best way possible. FlashBox same-day delivery being a favourite to customers is no secret, and buyers are always grateful to have such fast, yet cost-effective, deliveries. Especially approaching the holiday season, same-day delivery is a necessity.
Talk to an expert today about changing up your deliveries for the better. Get set up to start delivering in just one day!
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