Holiday Retail Readiness 2015 [Free Download]
In the blink of an eye, 2015 is coming to a close. For consumers, that means festive decorations, baked goods, wish lists, and of course, a few days of long-awaited time off with friends and family.
For retailers, however, the sounds of jingle bells may as well be a “cha-ching!” melody that (hopefully) plays on repeat all season long.
Hence the question: Are you holiday-ready?
We recently teamed up with eTail, Akamai, BloomReach, and WBR Digital to find out what strategies and technologies retailers are using to prep for the biggest season of the year. With feedback from more than 130 executives, we aren’t surprised to hear “the brands that are the most able to present their customers with an easy-to-use and unified retail experience will stand to gain a strategic edge.”
Click here to download the full report.
Below, get familiar with the top three trends noted in the report along with our tips to help you prepare for the 2015 holiday season. For those craving more information, we’re also hosting a free webinar on Thursday, December 10 at 11 a.m. EST, to discuss these findings in greater detail. Enjoy!
Top 3 retail trends and tips this holiday season
’Tis the season for mobile!
My iPhone is my lifeline, and I’m likely not the only one who feels this way. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 68% of adults in the U.S. own a smartphone, and 45% have a tablet. It’s hard to believe that the first mobile phone was sold 31 years ago — for $4,000 — and looked like this. Yikes!
As mobile usage continues to grow, retailers are adjusting their strategies accordingly. The 2015 Holiday Retail Readiness Report revealed that 51% of retail executives anticipate sales from mobile devices to increase by 20% or more this holiday season, and 79% are incorporating mobile strategies as a part of their holiday-shopping preparedness.
Tip #1: Streamline customer conversions through mobile. To accomplish this, identify the areas along the customer journey that can be better optimized for on-the-go shoppers. Checkout is a common problem area, whether it’s functionality and errors like mistyped credit card information or discount codes or last-minute questions. The solution: Provide live messaging for on-demand support, removing any impediments to completing the purchase.
Elves operate across multiple channels.
Leading retailers create a seamless experience across all digital platforms. Remember: Many consumers are “multi-screeners.” They may rely on several technologies to help them navigate their research before committing to a purchase. Accordingly, make sure your site is optimized for all channels. And, since organic traffic is one of the primary drivers of customer conversions, be sure to stay on top of your SEO game, too.
Tip #2: Make your brand visible through search and provide a seamless digital experience. Customers should be able to navigate your site with ease, so make sure you’re providing a seamless experience regardless of the digital platform the customer is using. If your brand faces limited reach, don’t be afraid to experiment with paid-search methods as well.
All I want for Christmas is messaging.
When presented with various support options, 54% of survey respondents said live chat offered the best customer experience, followed by mobile messaging at 20%. We aren’t surprised that both beat out the 1-800 number, especially since roughly half of all customer service calls go unresolved.
Then, when asked about the biggest holiday pain points, 42% said they struggled to manage the volume of inquiries they receive, and 22% need help prioritizing these incoming inquiries. If you’re in either of these groups, consider live messaging.
With intelligent digital engagement on your side, you can gauge a consumer’s willingness to buy based on historical on-site behavior. Plus, messaging makes it easier for customer care professionals to handle several conversations concurrently.
Tip #3: Create a consistent, personalized experience with live messaging. Be prepared and ramp up customer service during the holiday rush. After all, real-time support via mobile is a lot more efficient and convenient than dialing a 1-800 number. It’s just one of many reasons we launched a movement this year, to demand companies offer an alternative to waiting on hold. Join us in our mission at HoldNoMore.org.