Social selling taps into modern consumers’ preference to shop when and where they want.
Consumers want optimized websites with fast and painless shopping processes.
Video and augmented reality are two powerful features to incorporate into your website.
Base your business’s decisions on the consumer data you collect to take your success one step further.
With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to be thinking about how to boost your seasonal sales. Is your e-commerce poised and ready for online selling? How are you mapping out your holiday marketing campaigns?
As you’re preparing for the holiday season, it’s important that you’re using all the tools at your disposal to increase your business’s success. Social selling and customer data are two tools you’ll want to add to your belt going into the your quarter four retail season.
1. Social Selling
We live in a mobile-first world, where customers want to shop wherever they are and on their time. That’s why online selling methods like social selling are so effective.
If you’re not familiar with social selling, it’s using social platforms to market specific products. For instance, maybe you post an item you have in stock on Facebook or Instagram. Users can comment on the post asking more questions about the product. You can also privately message them for a more personalized shopping experience as you help steer the interested customer toward the right product from your store. This can be particularly strategic during the holidays, when so many customers are trying to buy a gift for a picky friend or family member and could use some guidance.
On a related note, it’s so easy to share your products on multiple platforms, so you have a broader audience to reach with social selling. There’s a variety of software and apps that can list your products across a variety of channels like Etsy, Amazon, and eBay.
2. Consumer Preferences
Knowing what consumers want and expect from your business will give you an edge on the competition for the holidays.
A Smooth and Painless Shopping Experience
- They want a fast and “frictionless” shopping experience (this is sometimes referred to as the “Amazon Effect”).
- They want a mobile-optimized website that loads quickly, since they’re usually shopping from their smartphone rather than a desktop.
- They want a website that answers their questions about the company, products, shipping fees/timeline, and return policies.
- They want free shipping (so make sure to advertise this with an icon on your website if you offer it!).
Advanced Search Options and Filters
Customers prefer websites that have auto suggest and recommendation features. Visuals within the search are a plus. This feature can help the person narrow down what they’re looking for even if they’re not sure what you and your team calls a product.
Advanced filters are good for both you and the customer. It allows customers to narrow down exactly what they’re looking for. And it will also give you as the business leader valuable data.
Buy Now Pay Later
Consider implementing a “buy now pay later” (BNPL) payment option, especially if you’re targeting Generation Z customers. Some examples of this are Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna.
The Checkout Process
Make sure the checkout process is quick and intuitive. We recommend testing it out for yourself if you haven’t done so already, so you can experience what a customer does when they try to buy one of your products.
Three preferences customers have with checkout processes are curbside pickup, prompt shipping, and not having to create an account.
Trust and Availability
Make sure your website lists product reviews and has an online chat tool. These two features really enhance your customer’s sense of trust in your business. It also makes your business come across as an approachable one that’s available to them on their schedule.
One bonus of a chat feature is that it’s fairly simple to tie in commonly asked questions and consumer data to your website’s analytics and metrics. You can use the info you gather to inform your future marketing and content strategies. We recommend using chat tools that are connected to your customer’s cell phone so they can continue the conversation with your business long after they leave your website.
Websites that incorporate videos and augmented reality are another draw for customers. For instance, if your business sells clothing, you might have a video clip of a staff member wearing and showing off a product. You might also integrate a “virtual try-on” tool on your website, similar to some online eyeglass retailers who let you virtually test out a pair of frames you’re interested in.
3. Consumer Data
Understanding your customers’ preferences will help you gather useful information, which you can use to better meet their needs and tailor your future marketing efforts.
Dig Deep with Data
Advanced data is not an option for your business, it’s really a requirement for success. Klaviyo, CallRail, and Google Analytics are just some of the tools you can use to gather info on who called your business, who visited your website, and how they found your website (e.g. via Facebook, Google search, Instagram).
Data Setup Can Make All the Difference
Check that your Google Analytics account isn’t on the default settings. Instead, customize these settings to do what you need them to do. When properly set up, analytics can inform you of client search terms and filters, as well as which parts of your website get the most traffic.
You can also leverage attribution tracking to map your customer’s journey as they interact with your website and products. It lets you see which social channels are bringing in the most revenue for your business.
Here are just some of the things that you can track:
- what words people type into search
- frequently-used filters
- how far down the page a customer scrolls
- most popular product based on audience segmentation
- how many people add products to cart
- browse abandonment and abandon cart instances
Use Flows and Recommendations
Trigger emails and product recommendations are two excellent tools you can use to stay connected to the customer after they leave your website. For example, you can set up automated emails that get sent when a customer does browse abandonment or abandons the cart. You can also set up your website to recommend similar products based on what the customer was browsing for.
Base Decisions on the Data
Spend sufficient time looking at the consumer data you gather from every channel you use to market your products. Then take the following actions:
- Re-order products based on top views, top sales, and top social engagement.
- Adjust filters or product descriptions based on site searches and Google searches.
- Review video metrics to see which product listings might benefit from product demonstration videos.
Get Guidance for the Holiday Retail Season
Need help deciphering your customer’s data or a little more guidance when it comes to social selling? Technology Therapy® Group is here to help. Check out one of these on-demand training sessions to position you and your team for a holiday sales surge.
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