The pandemic is redefining the way consumers shop and retailers sell. Social distancing has become one of the industry’s greatest boundaries, so retailers are moving to eCommerce in droves. Shoppers are doing their best to avoid in-store experiences, so alternative delivery options are booming. This year’s Christmas and the holiday season will be different than any that have come before, and only those who adapt fast will collect the season’s heaving revenues. In this article, we will provide tips on how to run an eCommerce Christmas campaign that sustains profits and engages customers.
Nurturing the double-sided relationship
eCommerce is a two-way relationship that’s built on a foundation of mutual curiosity. The eCommerce Christmas campaign must improve buyers’ perception of how they are treated. Relationship and Email marketing rise to the challenge by, for example:
- Running loyalty programs.
- Allowing real-time buyer feedback through reviews, email monitoring and website moderation.
- Sustaining an active level of social media engagement via pages and social listening tools that discover brand mentions across all networks.
- Offering instant responses to complaints.
- Acknowledging birthdays and other significant days.
Today’s buyers want to feel valued. The days when customers were happy to engage with an impersonal support team are over. Eighty-two per cent of consumers expect an instantaneous reply on sales and marketing queries, but automation has made that pace possible.
#1: Social Media marketing
If your business doesn’t have a social media presence, establishing one should be at the top of your eCommerce Christmas campaign priorities. You can’t take care of your online buyers through smiling sales staff, so your online tools just became a thousand times more important. Seventy-three per cent of buyers intend to increase their online shopping after the COVID-19 crisis is over, so your online presence is an investment that can attract new potential customers.
#2: Loyalty and your business
You can’t win your buyers’ hearts through real-world conversation during a pandemic, so loyalty has become a scarce asset. Seventy-nine per cent of shoppers are more likely to keep supporting businesses that have loyalty programs, so they’re the perfect way to turbo-charge your eCommerce Christmas campaign. Not all programs are successful, though. Fifty-seven per cent of Americans have abandoned a loyalty program because their rewards took too long to earn. You’ll need to create a product with frequent paybacks.
No reward program can function without customer data, but today’s buyers are reluctant to give their email addresses away. The old-fashioned opt-in newsletter is perhaps the simplest way to sign your buyers on. Offering an exchange of rewards for contact information should be a microcosm of your greater loyalty program.
#3: Choosing the right rewards
Your choice of rewards can kill your eCommerce Christmas campaign before it gets out the gates. A Gartner survey found that 53% of buyers are willing to exchange their data for cash rewards. Forty-two per cent are satisfied with free products, and 34% will sign on for discounts or coupons. A meagre 27% were willing to do so in exchange for loyalty points, which are too slow to deliver. Effective rewards are accessible, tangible and significant, so choose wisely.
Making loyalty the core of your Christmas eCommerce campaign
Your loyalty program is useless without visibility, so it will need its own optimised digital campaign. You should market it through all channels, from your business website to your social media, but how do you reach those who aren’t in your purview yet? Cross-promotion is up to the task. One of the most iconic examples of this structure is the Android and Kit-Kat campaign, which gave away 50 million opportunities to win a tablet or gift card. Neither brand paid a penny beyond their rewards, and therein lies the beauty of this strategy. With imagination on your side, you’ll soon be migrating all that heaving data to the cloud.
#4: Software and loyalty
A successful loyalty program is demanding on your time, but loyalty program software is up to the task. It will manage your point redemptions and form a membership portal so that your buyers can track their rewards. More importantly, it will help you to track your customers, and that digs up more data to fuel your future marketing campaigns.
The new target market
Buyers have undergone drastic changes to their shopping habits and lifestyles since the pandemic struck. Their priorities have changed, and with them, the stores they prefer. They use different social media and have new delivery preferences. In other words, they’ve evolved into an entirely new target market. You’ll need to return to your marketing with fresh eyes and new data. This will only be the most wonderful time of the year if you adjust. If you can bring human values and feelings to the impersonal and inhuman online ecosystem, you’ll enjoy a bumper Christmas.