How to Build Trust With eCommerce Buyers This Holiday Season
Everything about 2020 is unlike anything we have seen before. The pandemic has introduced a new normal that spans across every sphere of life.
Multiple businesses have taken a beating this year, some more severely than others. While some businesses have barely survived, there are a bunch of others that have registered record sales and profits. A lot of these businesses that are thriving are from the eCommerce industry.
It is easy to understand why online retailers are attracting buyers in huge numbers and registering record sales. With people confined to their homes, online shopping has become the sole resource for survival during the lockdown.
With the upcoming holiday season, more consumers are expected to opt for online shopping. However, in order to make the best out of the holiday season, eCommerce businesses need to take all the measures to ensure that consumers have a great buying experience.
In the past, consumers have reportedly abandoned the buying process because of various concerns. A recent survey conducted in the US has revealed the following concerns of consumers:
● The legitimacy of online stores
● Security of sensitive information
● Order fulfillment issues
● Indistinct return policy
● Security of personal data
● Malware in the system
With the proliferation of online stores, eCommerce businesses are looking at ways of gaining the buyer’s trust and maximizing sales this holiday season.
Here are some well-researched strategies that eCommerce players can use to drive sales this holiday season and at all other times:
1. Enhance customer experience
Shoppers are more likely to explore your online store, make purchases, and come back the next time when they have exceptional customer experience on the first go.
With multiple eCommerce websites competing for a similar consumer cohort, it has become extremely important to ensure that your customer’s experience is always better than he or she would anticipate.
To enhance customer experience, you need to focus on the following areas:
● Visual appeal
You need to create a website design that is attractive and intriguing to your customers. Design language plays a very important part in any communication strategy. You need to create enticing offers and place them correctly on your website.
If you are setting up a new landing page, you should go for a domain name that is keyword rich, relevant and complements the contents of your website. A .STORE domain extension will work best for this purpose and give you the opportunity to find a domain name that is catchy, memorable, and will attract your target audience.
For example, domain names such as www.megasale.store or www.holidaysale.store are intriguing and stand out from the clutter.
● Personalized experience
You need to enable algorithms to track your customer’s buying habits and patterns. This will help you provide a personalized experience by recommending similar products to your customers. This expedites the buying process and enhances the customer experience.
● Website infrastructure
You need to check your website’s infrastructure and conduct load testing. Make sure that your website can handle the holiday season traffic. A website crash will do untold damage to your brand’s reputation and jeopardize your sales.
● Page load time
The speed of your website is a vital factor for customer retention. You will experience higher bounce rates if your pages don’t load within seconds. It is helpful to optimize image sizes and reduce the number of apps and plugins to ensure a low page load time.
● Push notifications
You need to send strategic push notifications every time a cart is abandoned. You can back these notifications with extra discounts to encourage customers to come back and complete the purchase.
2. Enable fast and smooth checkouts
It is necessary to optimize the checkout page to ensure the instant completion of the purchase. Customers shouldn’t have time to rethink their buying decision after having reached the checkout page.
Here’s what you can do to ensure smooth and fast checkouts:
● Pick a reliable payment gateway
● Provide all the processes in one place
● Offer multiple payment options
● Offer guest checkout
3. Ensure seamless shipping
Shipping can be challenging for eCommerce businesses when dealing with a surge in orders. You need to ensure that your shipping strategy is tested for optimal performance for such days.
Shipping is an important stage in the buying journey of your customers. A great shipping experience can help build trust and ensure brand loyalty.
There are two shipping strategies employed by eCommerce companies:
In this strategy, the management of inventory and shipping for all orders is done in-house. This is a convenient way of ensuring complete control over the process.
However, there are limitations to this strategy. When the number of orders goes from a steady stream to a gush, as it is likely to happen in the holiday season, things can get out of hand pretty quickly.
Outsourcing your shipping process to a professional service provider will ensure that all orders are handled smoothly regardless of the size. Customers will enjoy the fast delivery of packages, with features such as shipment tracking and notifications at each stage.
These added features boost customer experience and ensure complete satisfaction. The time saved by outsourcing the process can be used to concentrate on other areas of business.
4. Clearly communicate the return policy
The holiday season often leads to impulsive purchases which may lead to bulk returns. It is important to be clear about your return policy and avoid any miscommunication. If you accept return requests, you need to have a seamless process in place. This strongly impacts your customer’s overall experience.
Here’s how you can ensure a seamless return experience:
● Keep the return policy fair and transparent
● Add a detailed note about the return process and policy to every product
● Keep the return policy flexible during the holiday season
● Provide instructions on how gift recipients can return shipments
5. Pre-plan marketing & promotional activities
The holiday season is the best time to unleash your genius marketing ideas and make use of your handsome budgets. The pandemic may keep you from using conventional marketing strategies which means you need to get super creative.
You need to find ways to appease your customers so that they buy from you and keep coming back for more.
Here are simple and effective ways to ensure customer delight this holiday season:
● Introduce a special reward or loyalty program right before the holiday season
● Offer free gift-wrapping and personalized messages
● Add fun freebies to purchases
● Organize contests and incentivize with huge discount coupons
● Ensure prompt resolution of queries through a robust support team
The holiday season is a special time for both businesses and consumers. With more consumers expected to make online purchases in 2020, it is crucial to know how to maximize your share of the revenue.
These tips can help you achieve your sales and revenue goals and also ensure a loyal consumer base beyond the season.
Alisha is a Senior Content Marketing & Communication Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .ONLINE and .TECH. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.