This holiday season is going to be different—especially for retailers. How prepared is your business to meet customer expectations in this new climate? What can you do to provide amazing customer experiences during the holidays? Tune in to this episode of the Women in Retail Leadership Days Webinar Series with Jennifer Dipasquale (President and Co-founder) and Kelly May (Group Product Manager at Podium) to learn best practices for retailers during the holidays and beyond.
1. Remove as much friction as possible.
The holidays are stressful. It’s the retailer’s job to ensure the experience is convenient and easy for every shopper. Any friction in the customer journey can force prospects to find their way to the competition.
To increase your holiday sales this year, reduce the stress of the holiday shopping experience. You can start by communicating with customers the way they want to communicate with you—texting. It’s convenient (customers keep their phones with them nearly all day) and it converts.
With texting, shoppers can easily reach out to you, ask questions about products or availability, and complete transactions on the go (especially when mobile payment links are delivered right in the text conversation). It reduces common pain points in the customer’s journey—phone calls to multiple store locations, trips back and forth to a storefront, and even bills paid via mail. Implement text messaging and you’ll remove friction in this year’s holiday shopping experience.
2. Focus on one-on-one customer communication.
Customers crave convenience and efficiency, especially during the holidays. But not at the cost of human connection. Consider implementing more interactions that build trust with customers one-on-one. Web chat platforms are an easy way to connect with holiday shoppers, answer questions, and if conversations continue on-the-go via text message or a follow up email, they can build trust between a brand and customer.
Anticipate the needs of your holiday shoppers before they can connect with you one-on-one with updated FAQs, holiday-specific payment options (layaway plans, credit card options, rewards programs), and communication options for more specific or personalized questions.
3. Engage customers throughout the entire journey.
More and more, the customer journey begins online, and it’s especially true during holiday shopping. But the journey doesn’t necessarily end with an online visit, purchase, or curbside pickup, which is why every customer interaction is important and an opportunity for engagement.
Treat every interaction from research, product selection, purchase, delivery schedule, actual delivery, and feedback/reviews as part of “a full lifecycle with your customer.” During the holidays, as you move web conversations to text, follow up with questions throughout the journey—offering promotions and information about product availability and shipping dates.
Keeping in touch with customers throughout the whole journey helps customers convert, and builds a long-term relationship that lasts well beyond the holiday season.
A final note: the customer experience is not the only area improving in retail and key to prepping your retail store for success. More women are taking on leadership roles and paving the way for a better, more equitable future across all industries. Statistically, businesses with women in leadership achieve better outcomes. This is the type of “new normal” that everyone deserves.
For additional tips on prepping your business for the holidays and following the example of women in leadership, watch the full video here.
For more information specific to brick-and-mortar business, read here.