(5) Ways to Increase Customer Retention During the Holidays
Black Friday is super stressful you guys - I definitely can recall the anxiety you feel leading up to that weekend. But am I the only one who absolutely LOVED it? There is something about the hustle and the energy that day and those leading up to it that I miss. If someone were to ask me what I missed about physically working in retail the most...hands down the holidays. I love the rush, the energy. And I honestly don't mind the upset customers because they push you to change your tactics & find what works even better for all of them.
Online stores have to step their game up ten times more and work even harder to be noticed. Physical stores have the opportunity to be quite literally in your face with promotions, so even though the still have to promote, they'll find that it isn't as hard to convert sales.
With email list building & social media at an all time high, there are a few things you should be taking advantage of on the holiday weekends to help push you through the rest of the year (hello slow months - aka January!)
Although the holidays can be busy, take the time to still pay attention to detail when packaging your orders. Handwritten notes, holiday specific tissue paper, discount codes for their next purchase - it's all in the details and these small details will keep them coming back for more. Make sure your website has a "notes" section or a gift wrap option at checkout incase they're wanting the item to be a gift.
A simple customization to your theme via html/css can allow you to add this option to your store.
CAUTION: Please do not touch your HTML/CSS unless you are experienced. If you need assistance, I do provide affordable customizations! Messing with the wrong area in your HTML/CSS can completely wipe your site out.
See below image for reference.
2. A follow up email
The best way to keep them coming back after Christmas is to ensure their experience was worth-while DURING Christmas. Take the time to thank them atleast 2-3 days after receiving their items. I love the app "Happy Email" by Beeketing because it allows you to customize automatic emails that go out in a set timeframe AND it's free. Try adding a handwritten signature so that the email is specifically from the owner of the business. You can even ask for a review in those emails!
3. Easy to find tracking information
NO ONE likes to lose a package. I think even Santa himself may want to toss back a few cold ones after dealing with USPS for longer than ten minutes (haha!) In all reality, it's frustrating. Buying presents can be stressful enough and I tend to shop local stores online to avoid the long lines and crazy crowds. Making the tracking process more simplistic for your customers can ease a lot of tensions, issues, and headaches. Not to mention, it'll save YOU time from having to track packages when your customers can't find their tracking number. I really love that Shopify added the option to message customers via FB Messenger with updates (see below image.) Download the Facebook Messenger on your Shopify store under "Sales Channels" on the left side of your dashboard by clicking that little "+" sign next to it. Just log in, enable, and voila! Also, make sure customers can opt-in for accounts at checkout under your checkout settings (this will also allow you to continue to collect their email addresses at checkout!)
Also, add the option for customers to quickly login to their account and track their order by adding the link to your footer navigation! (A little screenshot from my client Shop Chic Galleria!) Simply go to Navigation and add a custom link to your footer navigation with "http://www.YOURSTORELINK.com/account/login. Make sure customer accounts are activated under your settings! If you're a client of mine and we don't have this, send me an email and we'll get it added ASAP.
4. Set a deadline.
Don't let customers think they have the option of ordering FOR Christmas the day before Christmas. I've seen it happen before: customer orders on December 23rd thinking they'll have it in time. Christmas arrives and no package = irate customer! Adding shipping policies to your header, slider images, product pages, and/or shipping info pages (not all, but atleast 1-2) can help decrease the possibilities of disappointed customers. I also highly suggest posting on social media & also adding at the footer of your newsletter to increase awareness!
5. Take advantage of reviews!
Sending out a follow up email that entices reviews is a no-brainer. Not only will reviews up your SEO game, having positive reviews under your products can help up your UPT & ADS, making potential customers almost feel comforted before buying. A simple "This top fit so perfect!" can go a long way when trying to convince someone they need a product. Try adding a 10% off coupon for those customers who leave a review - positive or negative.
And whatever you do, make sure your website is easily to navigate. We want the shopping experience to be as EASY as possible.
So, while you're out there with your coffee in hand and feeling totally exhausted this Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday, know I'm rooting for you!