As the sales period approaches, you need to make sure all your communication is clear and concise so that your customers know exactly what they are getting, where and when.
Understandably, eCommerce businesses want this time of year to run as smoothly as possible, so it’s essential that you get the most out of peak while it’s here so you can keep that momentum going throughout the rest of the year.
Grow your contact list during the peak season
During the peak season, customers are far more active both online and instore. At this time, it’s vital to build a strong client database and add these details to your CRM. Once the season is over, you will be able to organise and segment customers into groups and get prepared for the next big sale. Customer engagement platform dotdigital offers automation for campaigns which saves time and valuable resources.
Make the most of the increased traffic through your website by introducing links and invitations to encourage new subscribers. Incentivising customers with a discount code or promotion can help increase sign-ups.
Giving out promotional codes or discounts can also be enticing and encourage your customers to return in the off season. Offer incentives for next season or perhaps introduce a referral scheme to get new leads and details from existing customers.
Just make sure you comply with GDPR legislation and are only contacting those who have opted in.
Keep on top of social
Social media is a powerful tool to use at all times of year. Between busy sale periods, the last thing you want is your customers unfollowing or unsubscribing because the holiday season is over. An interactive approach, such as running competitions and creating polls and discussions appeals to customers’ curiosity, promoting engagement and shareability.
Publishing your content across multiple platforms during the peak and off-season is a way of making sure you have full exposure. Facebook, Instagram-live, and Snapchat stories act as more instant marketing tools which can help build excitement in the run up to a big sale or promotion. Tagging locations and posting localised content that users recognise and can relate to are more ways to drive participation. It’s even worth jumping on the bandwagon and celebrating smaller holidays e.g St Patrick’s Day if they can be linked to your products. These holidays will resonate with some of your clients more than others but being inclusive is always a bonus.
Creating posts in advance to promote the sales period help your store stay on top once the peak period ends. You can also use scheduling software which allow you to remain organised and avoid repeating content.
Gather customer reviews whilst it’s busy
Customers are more active with both leaving and reading reviews during peak season, which can be used to your advantage. Make it really easy for your customers to leave reviews, and collect positive ones for using on your social channels, websites, blogs and in your email marketing. After all, a customers’ buying habits can be heavily influenced by the reviews they read, and you want to be a reputable and dependable source.
Giving an opportunity to submit images and videos along with comments can increase trust, transparency and their confidence in your products. In the off-season, these reviews will contribute to stopping customers looking elsewhere.
During the peak selling periods, contacts can often get bombarded by campaigns from every angle – with all companies selling a wide range of products simultaneously e.g Black Friday or the January sales. Keeping your messaging clean, and on-brand is the best way to get your point across and improve your click-through rate. Adding clear and visible CTAs (Call to Action) in your email campaigns to encourage newsletter and mailing list sign-ups will help your contact lists grow, which will be invaluable during the quieter months.
Outside peak periods, it’s worth limiting your emails to fewer but higher quality communications, that keep your customers interested, without overwhelming them.
Do some market research to analyse what your competitors are up to over the peak period, and make sure you’re not missing out on any potential offers.
Having an up to date content calendar is a simple yet effective way to organise and coordinate your work. You should share this with members of your team to ensure everyone knows key dates and can plan ahead for the next event. Ideally, prior to busy periods, you should be planning content at least 3 months ahead of schedule.
After the rush of a peak sales period, the number of visitors to your store can drop off. This doesn’t mean you can’t still thrive in the off-season – building your brand awareness and keeping a strong presence on blogs and social are really important during this time. Follow our tips above and you will continue to grow your sales throughout the year and don’t succumb to the sales slump many businesses go through after peak.
If you would like more information on our digital marketing services or are looking to get ahead and make changes to your online store before the next peak season hits, get in touch with our eCommerce experts by calling 0121 369 5874 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.