Guest post by Erika Jolly Brooks, Chief Marketing Officer at Springbot.
With a well-designed eCommerce marketing strategy in place, your business will likely notice a spike in conversions as well as new customers during the holiday season. Though it’s extremely important year-round to focus on return customers, it also critical to develop a plan to turn new shoppers into regular buyers throughout the year.
During the holiday shopping season, consumers will often make a first purchase from a site due to a particularly low price, enticing promotional perks or a unique product that is difficult to find online. It’s important to nurture first-time shoppers into VIP customers with engaging copy, user generated content and unexpected rewards to secure them as repeat customers — especially since 40 percent of eCommerce revenue is generated by eight percent of its customer base.
Begin Planning Before the Holidays Are Over
Though much of your time has likely been consumed by prepping for the holiday shopping season, don’t neglect your post-holiday strategy. Once the shopping madness wanes, you should devise a plan to ensure that the new customers you gain through the season will return to your site. Once your holiday marketing plan is in place, make time in your schedule to execute your campaigns to encourage another purchase.
Many SMBs make the mistake of waiting until the holidays are nearly over to think about this part of their strategy. To leverage this valuable demographic, it’s best to add your new customers into your communication flows right after they’ve made a purchase from your eCommerce site to start engaging with them and encouraging them to become loyal customers in the new year.
Prep for Increased Returns and Exchanges
One inevitable aspect of the post-holiday shopping season is an increase in returns and exchanges. Because so many people are receiving gifts during this season, it’s likely that many of them will not be completely satisfied with the items — products may not be the right size, the receiver may no longer like an item or they may have received a duplicate gift.
Preparing an easy method for customer returns and exchanges will not only make your life easier after the holidays, but it will provide customers with a positive user experience. This may convince them to exchange an item instead of returning it, which could encourage them to come back to your site for future purchases.
Implement Onsite Abandonment Tools
Every eCommerce store should be utilizing one of the many onsite abandonment plugins that are available for their store. Cart abandonment is a major issue across the entire industry, but Springbot’s plugins can help diminish your abandonment numbers and lead to higher conversions. When a customer adds an item to their cart but neglects to check out, these tools will send a reminder email message to prompt them down the path to purchase.
You can even personalize the message to be holiday-related and therefore more relevant to the consumers. Sometimes, a potential shopper will be undecided to convert, but oftentimes a simple reminder can bring the shopper back to the site to finalize the sale.
During the holidays, cart abandonment rates may rise because people will add items that they’re interested in but continue researching before making that purchase. In this case, you can reach out to people who were shopping your site and remind them about any outstanding items. Though it’s likely that they will no longer want to purchase the exact items in their cart if they were shopping for holiday gifts, this strategy is a good way to bring people back to the site and remind them about all of the products that you offer.
Send Promotions to Holiday Shoppers through Audience Expander
Springbot Exchange uses an essential feature called Audience Expander to attract new consumers to your site, but it also can reach out to users who have shown interest in your site in the past but may have not yet purchased anything from your store.
By analyzing your user data and comparing it to a large database of lookalike eCommerce shoppers, Audience Expander will send targeted email campaigns to new, like-minded customers interested in items sold through your business. You can set it to send campaigns specifically to people who made purchases during the holidays and offer these users exclusive deals or promotions for being loyal customers.
Luckily, there are plenty of online resources to help eCommerce sites maximize their selling strategies during the busiest selling season of the year. If you feel like your brand needs help optimizing your holiday content plan, be sure to reach out to our digital partner to find out how to thrive online and capture more revenue and market share during the holidays and beyond!
Springbot provides advanced eCommerce marketing technology for small to medium-sized retailers. We make the overwhelming task of running and tracking multi-channel marketing campaigns ridiculously simple, from email and social marketing, to online ads, Amazon Marketplace and more. The key is Springbot’s integration with BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce to deliver the power of data management, marketing automation and analytics. We then take that information and make data-driven marketing recommendations specifically tailored for your needs.
Erika Jolly Brookes is the CMO at Springbot where she leads all brand, product and marketing campaigns and communications. Before joining Springbot, Erika was the vice president of product strategy for Oracle and vice president of marketing and communications at Vitrue. Previously, she held other executive-level marketing positions at leading technology companies like MindSpring, Earthlink and Rackspace. In her limited free time, you’ll find Erika running through Atlanta with her yellow labrador Charlie or sharing marketing insights on Twitter: @ebrookes.