50 Best Tips of 2016
41. Thriving retailers are those that understand their shoppers’ true motivations. Rather than attempting to grab their attention with constant free shipping offers or a “last hour to buy” message, successful retailers are looking at their cross-channel customer data to ascertain who their most profitable customers truly are and what’s going to encourage them to buy now and buy repeatedly.
Sarah Engel, DymanicAction, “How Retailers Can End the Discounting Cycle,” July 27, Total Retail Report
42. Send your return materials right along with the purchased products. I know this is really counterintuitive. It seems as though you’re telling your customers that you expect them to dislike the items they’ve purchased. In reality, the message it sends is very different: it tells your customer that you value their satisfaction above all else, including your profit. And not only that, but that you want to satisfy them with as little work from them as possible. So rather than expect your customer to print the return label off your website or (worse) just go deal with the whole thing themselves at the post office, you can send them the return label right in the bag or box.
Cara Wood, Capterra, “6 Ways Your Returns Policy Can Boost E-Commerce Sales,” March 25, Total Retail Report
43. Avoid recycling product descriptions. One of the biggest SEO sins is duplicate content. Search engines look to provide searchers with the most relevant and unique information in response to their queries. However, with product pages, duplicate content can sneak up on you fast. Consider putting all of the variants for products on a single page. For example, if you have a dress that comes in red, black and blue, dedicate one product page to that dress style and provide content on the various size and color options there.
Robert Glazer, Acceleration Partners, “4 Tips for Using SEO to Boost E-Commerce Sales,” August 29, Total Retail Report
44. By continually providing up-to-date tracking information via emails, in-app messages, social media and/or text communications, companies can keep their customers informed of their order status to balance expectations — and excitement — for their purchases’ arrival.
Brandon Levey, Stitch Labs, “Must Have Strategies and Technologies for Omnichannel Retailers,” August 4, Total Retail Report
45. Loop social and in-store actions into online loyalty programs. Instead of merely getting points for creating an account or making a purchase, shoppers can be rewarded for writing reviews, connecting with brands on social media, uploading photos, checking into stores, etc. When all these actions are integrated into one central platform, consumers are more engaged and excited.”
Al Lalani, Social Annex, “Back and Better Than Ever?,” Winter, Total Retail
46. Create “Twitter-specific” offers. In addition to promoting existing specials via other marketing channels (e.g., email, banner ads, affiliates, paid search, etc.), create Twitter-specific specials that people can only learn about by following your brand on the social networking site.
Bernard Perrine, SocialCentiv, “5 Tips for Using Twitter to Drive Sales,” Jan. 5, Total Retail Report
Social Media Marketing
47. You can hack social media to get new sales without much cost. In this case, offer the consumer a BOGO, BOGOHO or just a flat discount when they tag you in a photo they’re sharing, share a photo of an item they loved and tag you in the post, or share a status about you with hashtags.
Alex Senn, Orkiv Retail Solutions, “10 Money-Producing Retail Marketing Hacks,” August 16, Total Retail Report
48. People are very vocal on Twitter. Brands can really learn a lot from engaging consumers on Twitter at every step of the purchase funnel, regardless of whether you’re trying to get awareness or think about your customer service strategy.”
Erin Dress, Twitter, “Twitter Exec on Attracting Millennial Moms Via Social Media,” July 13, Total Retail Report
49. Technology isn’t always the answer, but it certainly is when it comes to order and inventory management systems. Today, retailers can get an integrated, comprehensive view of their e-commerce business through a centralized platform. Gone are the days of fragmented technology systems; everything can now work together in harmony.
Eric Best, CommerceHub, “The New Supply Chain: From Demand to the Doorstep,” April 21, Total Retail Report
50. Ensure natural language processing and brand voice with your chatbot. People ask questions in different ways to get to the same answer, so your bot needs to be able to understand and communicate with the consumer regardless of the language style used. Make sure your chatbot knows synonyms so users don’t get stuck at a dead end. You also want your chatbot to mirror your brand voice.
Lindsay Sanchez, Kore, “5 Tips for Implementing a Successful Chatbot,” Sept. 1, Total Retail Report