Searchspring: Leveraging Personalization to Boost Conversions...
By Brennan Heyde
Keep the sales momentum going when seasonal traffic slows down.
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As each bustling holiday ecommerce season eventually winds down, businesses often enter a more subdued sales environment, with lower traffic and customers who have less money to spend. January and February are widely known as the slowest months of the year for ecommerce traffic. However, this shift doesn’t mean that customer engagement and revenue need to drop off. A thoughtful post-holiday ecommerce strategy can ensure that the customer connection fostered during the holiday season carries forward into long term business and loyalty—here are several techniques to ignite your post-holiday ecommerce game plan.
One of the great benefits of a busy Black Friday and holiday season is the influx of new customer data you’ll be able to acquire and put to work. One of the simplest and most effective ways to do this is via email.
Post-holiday, a good focus is using email to engage customers who have recently made holiday purchases, especially new customers who have shared their email address for the first time. Devise a new email marketing campaign which specifically acknowledges and says thank you for recent orders, along with new offers for discounts, exclusive items, or other perks.
Another approach puts less emphasis on discount offers and instead uses the post-holiday period to share more content about brand, industry, and how to use products. This builds a value relationship with the brand which will pay off in seasons to come.
Loyalty programs are a fantastic way to encourage repeat purchases and boost customer retention. By offering points, coupons, or freebies for various interactions such as purchases, referrals, or reviews, customers see that there are tangible benefits to shop at your store. Read a guest post exploring top brands' loyalty programs here.
A tiered rewards system adds more inspiration to purchase, with customers unlocking more benefits as they accumulate points. Exclusive access to sales or personalized rewards that buyers can unlock and self-select create a feeling of exclusivity and even excitement, fostering a deeper connection with your brand.
Websites should be optimized for conversions year-round. However, the post-holiday period is especially valuable to retool content and site features for maximum conversions. If new traffic is more scarce in the weeks and months just after the holidays, sellers can make up the difference by coaxing more conversions from their existing audience.
In addition to following best practices for site speed, streamlined checkout, strong CTAs, and other common conversion techniques, it’s valuable to think about your entire online shopping experience as an invitation to conversion. Core processes like product discovery, ordering, checkout, and fulfillment can each become conversion drivers if you provide personalized, excellent service.
For shoppers who were first introduced to your business during the holiday season, the post-holiday period is an excellent time to cement an impression of your business as a powerhouse of efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Post-holiday ecommerce results can tell you which of your offerings are popular, well-priced, best meet the needs of your buyers. With this information, the new year is a great time to reassess the product line and introduce new items to fill “gaps” between your other products.
Launching new items is a great reason to reach out to shoppers who have recently visited your store during the holidays. Letting them know that you are always striving to bring new and better solutions identifies your business as a great source for products going forward.
Retargeting campaigns offer a second chance to engage customers who browsed your site but left without making a purchase. Search and display ad campaigns can be set to target previous site visitors whose browsing data was captured. During increased holiday traffic, you may find a much larger group of site visitors (and abandoned carts) which can be reactivated with retargeting.
Post-holiday is actually a great time to invest in retargeting campaigns for this reason. Craft personalized ads displaying the same products that users have browed previously, and offer exclusive discounts—these can be the nudge customers need to revisit and convert.
Exceptional customer service plays a huge role in building brand loyalty, and post-holiday, when there will undoubtedly be questions and returns for holiday purchases. Anticipate a higher than normal customer service load, and be ready with quick and effective responses to inquiries, proactive communication about orders and shipping, and a hassle-free return process. These features can turn a one-time buyer into a loyal customer.
Using strategies to maintain engagement like email campaigns, loyalty programs, and launching new products can keep the momentum going for post-holiday ecommerce. Using these techniques, business can do more than just compensate for lower traffic—post-holiday is the perfect time to offer a dialed in shopping experience which drives new business and cultivates a sense of brand loyalty that extends far beyond the holiday season.
Katy Ellquist, Miva’s Digital Marketing Strategist, is an accomplished writer, marketer, and social media analyst who has created sophisticated content campaigns for a broad range of professional clients. She brings to Miva a complex understanding of ecommerce trends and techniques, building upon extensive digital agency experience and a prior role as direct liaison to Miva’s top accounts. Katy is a regular contributor to the Miva blog, covering essential ecommerce topics like design & development strategy, site optimization, and omnichannel selling, with the goal of increasing the actionable knowledgebase of the entire Miva community.