Hard to believe it’s that time of year again. Whether you’re sitting agency side or work for a retailer it seems to always creep up on us. It’s the time of year that tends to generate the most noise – whether it’s a complex integration project coming to a head, the launch of a slick new adaptive site or the development of a flashy Christmas campaign, there’s a lot going on.
What tends to be overlooked are the little things; the things that we should be doing anyway, but probably aren’t, that become more relevant as consumers begin to expect that little bit more.
Let’s assume all your ducks are in line; you’ve got a great looking site, your ad campaigns are sorted and you’ve developed a solid social strategy in the lead up to Christmas. What we’re trying to do is put ourselves in the best possible position to maximise revenue while spending so much time, energy and ultimately dollars to drive site traffic. Here’s some considerations and discussions we’re having with people today that can be implemented tomorrow:
Fulfilment front and center – a blatantly obvious consideration this time of year is fulfilment. You’d find it hard to overdo any communication you make around your fulfilment processes. Ask yourself the following questions and make the answers as clear-as-day on your site.
- Is it in stock?
- What are my options? (eg. regular, express, same-day)
- How much will it cost?
- When will it get here?
Some good references are Kogan and Surfstitch. As part of this process you should make sure you display any relevant cut off times. If I’m ordering Friday will I get it Monday or Tuesday? If I order before 1:00pm and choose express will I get it tomorrow or the following day? If i order on December 18th will it arrive before Christmas? As part of this process ensure you talk to your providers. Remember activity increases across the board so expect delays.
Buy now, pay later – 2016 has certainly seen massive growth and interest in buy now, pay later solutions. We’re seeing some retailers increase basket sizes from 1.6 to 4 items and over 50% of their transactions move from traditional methods to these options. Offering consumers the option to split payments with solutions like Afterpay and zipPay is a great way to both increase the likelihood of conversion as well as increase average spend.
Customer service is key – If you don’t have a ticketing system now is the time to introduce something, anything! Every email or call unanswered is either a lost sale or a lost repeat customer. Place contact links/numbers front and center and if you have capacity for live chat certainly consider it. A huge afterthought is the communication (or lack thereof) around the transaction. Take the opportunity to review your transactional emails and optimise content to give the customer as much confidence as possible about their purchase.
Be prepared – My last consideration is to be prepared and expect the worst. Test all your promotions, ensure you have disaster recovery plans in place, minimise any code changes and if possible run some load tests. You really can’t over communicate with providers this time of year. The last thing you want is to have a well thought-out campaign kick off only to fall over due to a lack of communication and testing.
Most importantly get excited, be creative and enjoy the ride! With consumer confidence up 4.7% on 2015 we’re sure to have a massive few months ahead of us.