Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Gerard Adlum, Content Marketing Manager at eDesk by xSellco
It can be tempting to view the holiday season in isolation from the rest of the year. After all, it does have its own identity and feeling.
Many sellers take it as a given that the new customers they gain at Christmas will never return. They put so much time and energy into optimizing their store just for that one-off sale. That seems a shame.
As we all know, real profit is made on repeat customers.
So what can you do then to ensure that those Black Friday bargain hunters and the festive gift-buyers come back?
The two principles of holiday season retention
If you want to increase the chances of repeat purchases and reap the revenue that follows over an extended period two concepts should be your touchstones:
- How can I make the customer’s journey from discovery to delivery as comfortable and enjoyable as possible?
- How can I engage the customer with useful content to enhance my brand’s reputation?
Make your service the star of the show
Too often as online sellers, we put our efforts into things like cart abandonment emails, or retargeting ads and forget that the most effective sales strategy we have at our disposal is top-class customer experience. That’s not to say those things aren’t necessary, but it all comes back to nailing the basics. If you don’t have those, you won’t last long, and you definitely won’t have people returning to your store month after month.
One of the most effective ways of improving your customer’s experience is to invest in a live chat. It doesn’t have to be expensive either; In fact, it comes as standard with eDesk.
A recent survey carried out by Hubspot found that 82% of consumers want an immediate response (10 minutes or less) to their questions.
Live chat makes this possible. By meeting these expectations, or even exceeding them, you can establish your business in the minds of your customers as attentive and engaged. That’s something they won’t forget.
Communicate your brand value with a follow-up message
If you’re only concerned with making the initial sale then you probably don’t have much interest in reaching out to your customers with a thank you note post-purchase.
That’s a pity because there is a massive opportunity here to make a strong and lasting impression.
It doesn’t have to be long-winded or gushing by the way. The message might only contain a sincere thanks, along with some tips on how to get the most out of the product or advice on how to clean it, for example. Naturally, your message depends on the nature of the product they’ve bought.
What you’re doing here is saying the customer that you care about them and want them to have a positive experience.
If the purchase was made during Black Friday weekend, you could also include a friendly note detailing some of the other products available. Keep the sales pitch to a minimum, focus on being helpful rather than pushy.
Create a loyalty program
There’s a reason why Amazon puts so much effort into promoting its Prime service. Yes, that’s a subscription model with membership benefits, but fundamentally it’s about creating brand loyalty.
They have set the bar very high for e-commerce. However, just because you can’t match Amazon, that doesn’t mean your web store can’t effectively implement its own version.
According to Forrester, customers within a loyalty program spend an average $42 more over a three month period than those outside.
They work because people view them as another type of deal. The idea of exclusivity is highly attractive and works across all age groups and demographics. Ultimately, it’s an incentive to purchase from you.
Treat this holiday season as the perfect opportunity to either create a loyalty program or energize and make better use of your existing one.
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xSellco offers a suite of products which help sellers all over the world accelerate growth in every aspect of their business. From sales, to engagement, to support, to reputation, more than 3,000 customers globally are selling more with xSellco.