AdWeek predicts that the average consumer will spend about $248 online during November and December. Thanksgiving online sales alone will reach $1.35 billion. Cyber Monday is expected to hit $2.6 billion in sales, a 15% increase from last year. These numbers are staggering for businesses. As the holiday season begins, prepare for the rush of shoppers and familiarise yourself with what customers want this season. We put together some options that customers will expect out of their shopping experience.
Click and Collect
Shoppers, especially around the holiday season, want a quick and easy shopping experience. 76% of consumers state that the number one reason they shop online is the convenience. As they run back and forth between errands, shopping, and making plans for all their holiday celebrations, the last thing they want is to think about having to go into a crowded store and browse the shelves for gifts. Your shoppers want the convenience of ordering online, picking it up at the store, and continuing on their merry way to the next stop in their busy day. Click and Collect provides customers with a quick means of going to the store without waiting in line or having to pay shipping to their doorstep. If possible, give your customers the option to decide if they want to order online and pick up in your store. Click and Collect is just another feature to make shopping simpler.
For many consumers, free shipping on orders has become a norm. During this holiday season, offer free shipping either on all orders or set a minimum spending amount to receive free shipping. According to Deloitte’s holiday survey, 71% of customers expect free shipping, and 47% expect free returns as well. Customers are drawn to free shipping and expect in this day and age to receive some form of free shipping on their purchase.
Start Advertising Deals
It’s never too early to start advertising your seasonal deals. Thirty percent of customers plan on doing their holiday shopping before Black Friday. Every year, customers seem to start their shopping earlier and earlier to give themselves a head start on the crowd and deals. Draw them into your stores by offering them deals. Start offering them deals now to get them to buy through your business.
Ensure Your Site and Products Can Handle the Traffic
Keep products stocked and ready to meet the demand you’ll receive this holiday season. If customers are shopping on your site and you’re out of the product they want, they will have no hesitation going through another store that sells the same or similar products. Additionally, ensure your site can handle the hits you anticipate receiving on big shopping days, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. No site, no purchases.
Good Customer Service
Businesses should always strive for phenomenal customer service, no ifs, ands, or buts. However, the holiday season is often stressful for customers. As traffic increases on your site with holiday shoppers, you may receive more requests for help or have a higher demand of service requests. Answer requests and inquiries as they come in, and remember to keep your cool with stressed shoppers.
Ability to Shop On Their Mobile
Smartphones and tablets are estimated to account for $1.6 billion in sales during Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Make yourself available to those looking to buy immediately on their phone. Customers want to have a seamless experience in store, online, and on their mobile device. It’s nearly expected that all eCommerce sites are able to translate well on their mobile phone.
Despite the stress of the season, enjoy and take advantage of the opportunity to sell to holiday shoppers. There are plenty of ways to satisfy customers, so get started and try out something new.