November 11, 2021
6 Ways To Make Holiday Shopping Seamless for Your Customers
This blog post was originally published by Deliverr, which is now Flexport. The content has been adjusted to fit the Flexport brand voice and tone, but all other information remains unchanged. With the merging of Deliverr’s services (DTC fulfillment, B2B distribution, and Last Mile delivery) into Flexport’s existing international freight and technology services, we’re now able to provide merchants with true end-to-end logistics solutions spanning from the factory floor to the customer’s door.
‘Tis the season for all things holiday — and that includes shopping.
Consumer holiday sales have consistently gone up by at least 4% each year for the last several years, and during the 2020 holiday season alone there was an 8.2% increase in sales. In 2021, reports show that 45% of consumers will spend more money during the holidays due to COVID-19 impacting their 2020 holiday celebrations. With that being said, eCommerce businesses need to be prepared for the holiday season.
During the holidays, consumers commonly report an increase in stress levels when holiday shopping; this may be due to long lines, increased prices, large crowds in stores, and more. This year, news agencies are reporting that consumers are starting to shop earlier due to the supply chain shortage and the fear of missing out on an important product, as well as to avoid the long lines that are inevitable during the holiday season. By running an eCommerce business, you have the opportunity to make your consumer’s holiday shopping easier for them.
An important thing to remember is that people are often compulsive shoppers, especially during the holiday season. You should also remember that consumers are more likely to return to a shop if they had a good experience.
So how can you help make your consumers’ shopping experiences a seamless one?
1. Optimize Your Website
Making sure your website is optimized will ensure that your consumers have the best shopping experience possible. During the holiday season, you will likely see an increase in the number of people trying to check out at the same time—you can set up your website optimization to handle more people converting at once.
You should also make sure that your photos are optimized. When you optimize your images, you can upload more to your website without affecting the speed of your website, which is another important factor that will improve your consumers’ holiday experiences.
2. Check Your Site Speed at Least Once a Week
Did you know that most online shoppers won’t even wait two seconds for a website to load before leaving to go to a competitor? As mentioned above, you will likely have more people than normal on your site during the holiday season, which will impact your website’s load times.
You’ve seen it before when a company launches a high-demand new product and their website crashes from an overload - you don’t want to be that company. You also don’t want to lose the attention of your consumer, so website speed is important.
3. Update Products, Product Images, and Inventory
Checking your inventory count is always important, but it is especially important during the holiday season. You should check your physical inventory against what is listed on your website to make sure they match before you launch your holiday sales promotions. This will make sure that your website doesn’t oversell your products - which can lead to an unhappy shopping experience for your consumers.
Pro Tip: If you haven’t already, you can optimize your inventory by activating your Fast Tags. These special badges will help your listings stand out in a crowded marketplace and appear on guaranteed delivery options. Learn more here.
Secondly, this will also allow you to catch any potential damages and even update your product images. Consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that has clear photos. Think about it like this, images might be the only thing your consumers see before getting the physical product or service - so you want them to be compelling and to truly describe the product.
Commonly requested photos include:
- Size comparison
- Object in use/on model
- Different angles
4. Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly
Last year, consumers spent nearly 50 million dollars holiday shopping on their smartphones. Whether you are uploading your holiday inventory or simply preparing for the holiday season, making sure your website is mobile-friendly is crucial.
While the number of holiday sales via smartphones is projected to be the highest it’s ever been in 2021, around 45% of consumers will abandon their mobile shopping carts. The easier it is for your consumers to navigate and shop your mobile site, the more likely they are to make the purchase.
5. Be Sure That Your Team Knows Their Stuff
Since you have more orders going out, there is a chance that you will have more customer concerns, questions, and complaints. Make sure that your team knows the products, is aware of common issues and how to fix them, and is familiar with the correct inventory count. The more they know, the more they will be able to help your customers promptly.
If your business offers discount codes you should also check and make sure that they are correct and up to date. Especially if you work with influencers, around the holidays people are more likely to use their discount codes - making sure that your team is up to date on the codes and how they work is beneficial.
6. Offer Interest-Free Payment Plans
During the holiday season, people spend money even when they don’t necessarily have money to spend. You can offer interest-free payment installs for larger orders for your consumers who might be working with a budget. 76% of consumers said they are more likely to purchase from a company that offers a straightforward payment plan. Plus, consumers are likely to spend more money when they know they can use a payment plan.
Companies like Klarna and Paypal offer interest-free payment software for eCommerce businesses.
The holiday season is upon us and, with a projected record number of holiday sales to be made online, the time to prepare is now. One last tip: keep track of customer complaints, comments, and concerns during this busy time. This will allow you to address these issues throughout the year and avoid them next holiday season! Happy selling!
The contents of this blog are made available for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal, business, or financial decisions. We do not guarantee, represent, or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the contents of this blog because they are based on Flexport’s current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions, about which there can be no assurance due to various anticipated and unanticipated events that may occur. This blog has been prepared to the best of Flexport’s knowledge and research; however, the information presented in this blog herein may not reflect the most current regulatory or industry developments. Neither Flexport nor its advisors or affiliates shall be liable for any losses that arise in any way due to the reliance on the contents contained in this blog.