Tackling both an eCommerce website and local business can be a difficult task, especially during the holiday shopping season. With the overabundance of big box online outlets, deep discounts, and free shipping, it’s hard to keep up with the big guys.
If you don’t have an eCommerce venue, don’t hit that “X” button just yet. We have some great material to help with your holiday sales, as well as an opportunity to get a taste of online retailing.
Special offers aren’t special if they’re the only way to buy
Exclusive offers are called exclusive for a reason- they’re great for driving traffic and keeping customers interested as long as they’re spread apart appropriately. According to Forrester Research, most consumers only buy when presented with a discount or special offer. We agree with their suggestion in Independent Retailer to optimize your presence while staying within your niche in order to prevent frequent discounting. Consumers become comfortable with regular discounts and expect them before purchase consideration. As an independent retailer, this model proves inefficient and should be avoided.
However, that does not mean you should eliminate discounting altogether. A great way to get used to selling products online is through SnapRetail’s Exclusive Offers. You can select offers, chosen by our veteran merchandising team, to provide to your customers online that they can pick up in-store, directly driving traffic.
Bridging the gap between customer and eCommerce site
Directing traffic to your online store is similar to directing traffic to your brick and mortar location. Email communication remains an effective means of access to your business’s exclusive offers, special discounts, and product features. Vice president and Principle Analyst at Forrester Research, Sucharita Mulpuru, explains that email is “a source of access and action for online deals.” You can easily reach your customers with both online and offline holiday offerings by creating an actionable email campaign. Email is the secret weapon to store sales.
Ship, Ship, Ship
In the words of Seth Godin, “Shipping becomes part of the art and shipping makes it work.” In the case of eCommerce retailing, shipping can make or break your business. The largest concern for online shoppers during the holidays is the timeliness and cost of shipping. If you participate in a SnapRetail Exclusive Offer, your customers’ purchases will automatically be shipped straight from the vendor to your store without any effort on your part. This method is great for gaining extra store traffic as well as the opportunity to upsell. Most importantly, your customer doesn’t have to pay shipping costs.
We don’t want to sound like a broken record
Admittedly, we suggest the same evaluation for every marketing strategy, tip, tactic, or campaign we blog about. You have to test in order to find out what works best for your business, especially if you provide a cross-channel shopping experience for your customers. Create different offers for different segments and communicate effectively through email and social media. Be sure to be consistent in all of your efforts with a clear brand image (logo, colors, tone of writing), a streamlined online shopping experience , and a great in-store experience. If you take our advice, how could your customers resist visiting you for their holiday shopping needs?