The 12 Tips of December

It’s December – we made it to the end of 2020!! I’m sure some of you want to just throw in the towel and be done with 2020.  We’re here to help you finish this crazy year!

Our customers have shifted holiday shopping behavior thanks to quick and creative strategic moves by many of you…and the pandemic.

To continue improving your customers’ experiences throughout December and keep holiday gifting flowing, check out these 12 tips from our very own team:

  1. Crystal clear communication on delivery, BOPIS, BOPUC
    “Use all communication channels (homepage, email, social media, store signage, customer service, etc.) to tell your customers what to expect. Customers need more transparency this season. Make it super clear and easy, offer options, and communicate often.” – Kathy Kimple, Chief Retail Officer      
  1. Entice early ordering
    “Many stores are already operationally challenged this season due the pandemic. Be proactive, add incentives, and remind your customers to shop early. This could be as simple as recommending gift ideas or sending a FOMO-style email.” – Rich Siefert, Strategy SME
  1. Extend return window well into 2021
    “If you haven’t yet, give your customers the gift of flexibility this holiday season by extending the return window. This could give them the extra push to make a purchase. Message this clearly – often and everywhere.” – Jessie Jackson, Customer Experience SME
  1. Mobile first and frictionless
    “On top of your regular checkout best practices like offering guest checkout and one-click purchasing with autofill fields, have your mobile checkout optimized. To speed up mobile checkout, make sure to present the correct keyboard (i.e., numeric pad for zip code), offer third-party checkout options (e.g., PayPal, Apple Pay), and ensure everything can be done with a thumb.” – Alora Chistiakoff, Technology SME
  1. Nothing less than A+ customer service
    “Even if you don’t have a chatbot ready to help your customers 24/7, make sure you have various channels available to help your customers (up-to-date FAQ/help page, live chat, social media comments/DMs, phone, email, etc.). Make sure to offer clear and easy ways to find order status information.” – Joanna Alexander, User Experience SME
  1. E-gift cards…if you have it, flaunt it!!
    “Convenient virtual gifting, timely/instant delivery directly to recipient’s inbox, often with uplift…benefits are obvious. So, if you have digital gift cards, highlight them everywhere and anytime you can.”  – Victoria Markley, Innovation SME
  1. Offer payment plans
    “BNPL- another acronym that’s seeing a spike during the pandemic: ‘buy now, pay later’. Installment plans (think Klarna, QuadPay, Affirm, Sezzle) are being used more now since consumers are looking for flexibility and versatility, especially online. Make these options obvious.” – Jim Feeney, Technology SME
  1. Test site speed and make sure your hosting service can handle unexpected traffic spikes
    “One sure way to ruin an ecommerce holiday season is a slow or crashed site, overloaded server, and/or website errors. It’s not too late to test and adjust. You should already have had a check in with your hosting provider. Make sure to have a plan in place to monitor site speed daily, especially at peak times of day!” – Jeff Buttimer, Operations SME
  1. Be ready to react fast
    “Content produced on impulse or reactionary to what’s happening can get you extra exposure – people are home and using social channels more than ever. Be flexible with your content; schedule and -dare I say it- “pivot” when needed to be relevant.” – Jay Greenberg, Marketing SME
  1. Open communication with your shipping vendors
    “To achieve stress-free holiday shipping, for both yourself and your carriers, maintain an open dialogue. Don’t forget to let your carrier know when you plan to have higher-than-average volumes (i.e., “Free Shipping Day” promo), especially during peak.” – Arthur McManus, Chief Technology Officer
  1. Daily stand-ups across teams
    “Have a communication and reaction plan including standby resources to handle issues. Make sure to give teams a heads-up on all marketing campaigns that could overload the system so they can proactively keep an eye on it.” – Lauren Reimer, Marketing SME
  1. LAST BUT NOT LEAST…Delight customers so they keep coming back
    “Try to convert the one-time, holiday buyer into a repeat customer throughout the calendar year by offering a bonus gift, future-use coupon, or something else creative. A small token of appreciation can go a long way in building customer loyalty.” – Terri Pucin, Customer Experience SME

Bonus Tip – “Thank your team every day in small ways and big ways and remind them that 2021 is near!” – Bernardine Wu, CEO

Remember, FitForCommerce is here to help! Our elves can quickly help you identify and prioritize your diagnostic and tune-up plans.

For a complete look at the tech you need this holiday season, read our post on the 5 Technologies You Want for Christmas.

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