It’s coming… The holiday shopping season is coming. Hide your kids, hide your dog, because the holiday floodgates are about to open and you don’t want to be left standing unprepared. Seasonal shoppers have got a list and they’re checking it twice. We’re not talking gift lists, we’re talking a list of demands. This season, more than ever, holiday shoppers are expecting some serious perks from businesses. So what’s on their list of demands? Take a look, and check yourself twice.
Social media deals
Like anyone, your customers want a good deal. This year, they want a good deal that’s exclusive to them, as loyal brand followers. Seems fair enough—you give them a nice discount, and they give you a new fan. A recent survey found that half of consumers are influenced by social media when making online purchases, as opposed to the 42 percent influenced by social media when making in-store purchases. Either way, odds are pretty good that an investment in your social media strategy will bring in more shoppers.
Flexible shipping and return policies
If you sell things online, you know a thing or two about shipping and return policies. What you may not know is that free shipping is the number one factor that encourages a sale. Free return-shipping comes in at a close second. In fact, 96 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it offers free shipping. Furthermore, 79 percent say they’d rather have free shipping than a discount. Moral of the story: Eating the cost of shipping could boost your sales.
No surprise here—most people shop online because it’s convenient. Why fight your way through a bustling crowd if you can get similar or even better deals from the comfort of your couch? Therefore, I have two pieces of advice: 1) if you have a physical store, provide doorbusters or in-store discounts, and 2) if you’re online, make sure your brick-and-mortar-store competitors aren’t outshining you. Can you say #CyberMonday?
Positive customer reviews
One of the most influential factors in deciding what and where to purchase is the opinion of fellow deal-seekers. Make it a priority to encourage positive reviews on your site, and if there are negative reviews, do your best (within reason) to remedy the situation for the reviewer. If they’re unsatisfied with the product, let them—and everyone who reads the review—know that you stand by your product and that if someone is unsatisfied, you’ll fix it.
All in all, the holiday shopping season doesn’t have to be chaotic. With adequate preparation, discounts, and engagement, you can make it the best sales quarter yet. Here’s to creating and supporting happy customers and high revenue!