Holiday shoppers in 2022 are both ecommerce savvy and inflation wary. They seek both convenience and savings.
Here are seven things to consider when preparing for the upcoming online shopping rush.
Buy-now pay-later options will drive conversions. Better than layaway, pay-later methods allow shoppers to order and receive products and pay for them in installments — typically four months. Merchants pay a slightly higher fee than credit cards and receive funds immediately.
The National Retail Federation estimates the average U.S. family will spend about $1,000 on Christmas gifts this year. The option to pay for items over time, with no interest, makes the pay-later solution a no-brainer for many online stores.
Experiences dictate what sells best. Today’s shoppers are driven more by the overall experience than by the products alone. For example, there are many in-home food composters. But Lomi’s design, presentation, and ownership benefits appeal to greener lifestyles, despite a higher price.
Consider simple ways to give products and services a push. Ask customers to provide reviews and testimonials or share their stories via video. Observations of fellow customers help shoppers understand a potential gift.
Exclusivity and fear of missing out prevail. Think about your best customers. Offer them early access to products and deals. Give email subscribers and social followers advance time by providing special links to new landing pages. Use callouts on products that are trending or nearing sellout status.
Generous returns and exchanges help close deals. Instead of thwarting a customer’s ability to return a product, promote a lenient return policy to spur sales and average order values. Allowing for returns up to 30 days after December 25 is ideal.
The NRF pegged the average U.S. return rate of online sales at 18.1%. But about 80% of returns result from damaged goods, per the NRF. So, it makes sense to implement quality control checks at the product and shipment packaging levels.
Address cart abandonment. Nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned, according to Baymard Institute. Recovering some of those customers is crucial to the bottom line. Consider strategies such as:
- Triggered emails for logged-in shoppers,
- Retargeting scripts to show reminder ads across the web,
- Browser-based notifications,
- SMS notifications for opted-in consumers.
Eliminate obstacles to purchase, such as requiring shoppers to create an account and asking for too much information. And remember to display trust symbols during the checkout process.
Emphasize free shipping. Customers dislike paying shipping costs. Try offering no-cost shipping, even if it requires a minimum order subtotal. Many shoppers will place additional items in their carts to hit free shipping thresholds.
Provide multiple payment options. Payment methods that require little more than a tap to complete address fields and submit payment data make life easier, especially on mobile devices. Activate Apple Pay and similar hosted payment options if possible.