6 Steps to Improving Your E-Commerce Holiday Sales
Is process friction impacting returns on your holiday marketing campaigns? Six simple steps can help address it quickly while working with your existing programs.
Cross-channel retailers are making good progress toward integrated messaging across multiple channels. As a result, their products, offers and campaigns are increasingly linked across media. In order to achieve the best returns from your existing marketing investments, fulfillment strategies must not be treated as a stand-alone effort. The purpose of a website is to facilitate transactions, provide a good customer experience and ultimately build loyalty.
Emphasis on engagement and relevance isn't enough, however. Finishing strong in the last mile helps increase sales and return on investment. While the opportunities for retailers, brands and products may differ based on their scope and control of the product or fulfillment channel, all businesses can take the following six steps to reduce the friction in the transaction process and improve the overall customer experience:
1. Missing simple details can cause friction in the process. A simple but very often overlooked detail is providing relevant product and availability information. Consumer touchpoints should provide information on where consumers can purchase an item, making it simple for them to take the next step. Consider a great product featured in a magazine with a short tagline: “Available at fine stores nationwide” or “Available at store X and other fine stores nationwide.”
What are the other fine stores? Where can the product be found? In a number of cases, the model number of the product shown isn't provided, and phone number and website information is missing. The obstacles of finding more information about the product can deter consumers.
2. Quick solutions without redoing existing creative and campaigns. Providing useful information to simplify the shopping experience for consumers can be done by providing model numbers, phone numbers and company URLs. Providing product-related information such as sizing charts, or retailers by name and location, is also helpful.
3. Tags in print media. Microsoft's Tag Reader is a new kind of barcode that connects print material via mobile phones to a company’s website. Add the tags to posters, product packages, ads, your website, billboards, clothing — the list is endless. When consumers use the free Tag Reader application on their mobile phone, it will automatically open a webpage.
4. Hover-over in digital media. This functionality will not take away from existing creative or create clutter, and at the same time provides site visitors with the capability of instantly finding additional information about products (e.g., ratings and reviews).
5. Text-over in video. Video can also benefit from a similar approach using a noninvasive text-over that provides additional information about a product or purchase location.
6. Landing pages and personal URLs. Take the customer experience one step further with tailored landing pages and personal URLs (pURLs) for advertised products. The pURL is shown on all consumer contact media. When the shopper logs in, they receive a list of stores in a certain radius which carries the product. This information can also be emailed or sent to their mobile phone.
Retailers spend a significant amount of money on the acquisition of new customers and increasing business from existing ones via integrated marketing. The fulfillment channel is the last hurdle. By incorporating a few simple activities, retailers can improve the shopping experience while reducing friction. This leads to an increase of tangible and nontangible benefits. Investments have been made in all channels to reach a target audience; finishing strong in the last mile will provide substantial returns on existing investments.