10 Commandments for a Successful Holiday Shopping Season
December 1, 2015
The holiday shopping season is just around the corner. Retailers and brands are tied up in preparations for the busiest time of the year. As consumers face ever-growing shopping options, retailers must continuously improve shopping experience across every channel and device to thrive. So, how can you convince consumers to buy from you?
Let the consumer “feel” your product and connect with it
1. A picture is worth a thousand words – leave consumers speechless
Product images are the primary way consumers connect with your products. Large, crystal clear pictures, 360 degree views, videos and any other visuals will help consumers imagine what it would be like to own your product. According to UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™, 43% of mobile users prefer computer-based shopping, as they can’t get clear product images.
Use high-quality images that will inspire consumers.
Scientific research indicates that merely touching an object results in increased perceived ownership of that object. And since online shoppers cannot touch the actual product, detailed product descriptions are vital for decision making.
Consumers also want to have a quick and seamless shopping experience. No one wants to wonder what is included with the product or what it is made of. According to UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™, only 68% of the shoppers are satisfied with the product detail available on most retail sites. According to Shop.org, holiday shoppers rate “clear product descriptions” as a very important factor in their buying decisions and retailers need to ensure the most thorough descriptions are available. This includes mobile devices optimization.
3. Social information drives sales – encourage consumers to interact with your brand
Human beings are social creatures. We tend to seek guidance, especially when we are uncertain about something. This is why reviews and testimonials are so influential. Social media and product reviews are easy methods for sharing experiences and interacting with a brand.
According to Nielsen, word-of-mouth, such as recommendations from family and friends, and consumer opinions posted online, prompted the highest levels of action. Zendesk survey showed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions for 90% of the respondents, while 86% were influenced by negative online reviews.
Reviews increase product and site credibility and, according to Reevoo stats, produce a sales uplift of about 18%. Encourage your consumers to rate and review each product.
Make your products more desirable
4. Best sellers power – take advantage of the “social influence”
The Best Seller designation sends a signal to potential buyers that this product must be “most wanted”, giving it an aura of desirability and triggering a buy decision. Add a Best Sellers category or designation to your site. Make sure your marketing channels are updated as well.
5. Scarcity effect – motivate consumers to buy
Scarcity marketing leverages the fact that people are highly motivated by the thought that they might lose something. Scarcity marketing influences consumer decision making by creating a sense of urgency through an aggressive call for action that indicates there is a shortage in availability and a limited time to act. Limited time and quantity offers are typical tactics employed by marketers to increase appeal using scarcity.
Consumers love free shipping. Surveys suggest that free shipping puts shoppers in a better mood, which may lead them to spend more. Where free shipping is offered, customers tend to spend more per order, according to the National Retail Federation.
“Free shipping is not just another discount” says Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University. Prof. Ariely found that people are between four and five times as likely to spend $5 for an item if either the shipping or the item is free, as they are to pay $2.50 for the same product plus $2.50 for shipping.
UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ found that four out of five consumers feel that free shipping is an important factor when making a purchase online. In addition, 93% of shoppers take action to qualify for free shipping, and the leading action taken is adding items to their cart (58%).
7. Instant gratification – help consumers get products faster
Unlike a physical store, the online world offers you the undivided attention of your preferred retailer. You can look at products, select items, compare prices, ask questions and quickly checkout without wasting time on queues. But then, you need to wait for the items to arrive…
People will often pay higher prices for the satisfaction of receiving their merchandise the same day they order it. Offer faster shipping!
Mobile is the king
8. Consumers are everywhere – ensure the best possible mobile experience
Digital consumers shop by smartphones, tablets, computers, as well as pay visits to physical stores, so retailers must ensure best shopping experience everywhere. Mobile commerce (mcommerce) will account for the majority of ecommerce by 2018, according to new data from Forrester. In fact, by the end of 2014, Forrester expects tablet and smartphone sales to hit $114 billion, with media, apparel and consumer electronics topping the mcommerce list.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile viewing on a variety of devices — from smartphones to tablets — with easy-to-access product information and checkout.
Consistency is crucial
9. The omni-channel ecosystem – be consistent
Your potential customers are everywhere on the web, searching for the right product, looking for deals, comparing prices and more. Will they find the quality information you maintain on your website? Or will they instead find partial/inaccurate data that will make them move on?
Make sure your marketing channels get the most detailed and updated product information to ensure the best shopping experience and protect your brand.