Do a search for “Ecommerce holiday gifting best practices” and you will find a slew of helpful blogs outlining steps Ecommerce marketers can take to fine-tune their sites for the holidays. You will likely find great tidbits which will help define, or re-define your holiday site content and taxonomy, but when it comes to holidays and gifting, your website is not the only touchpoint you should concern yourself with.
A big part of any gift is the presentation. Too often, we focus on decorating our Ecommerce store forgetting that there are several other customer touchpoints that provide opportunities to surprise and delight our holiday shoppers. Think about the entire fulfillment process as an opportunity. Sure, go ahead and create versions of your sites for all the major holidays that highlight the fun and special times we associate with them, but don’t forget that your customers are interacting with you both actively and passively when they place an order, receive that order and possibly even return the products that they purchase from your company.
Take a holistic view of the shopper and their lifetime value. Find ways to increase customer stickiness during the holiday season and you might find a way to increase future purchases for the entire year!
The showroom, website or call center is not the last touchpoint between you and your customer. Don’t forget, the order still needs to through the pick, pack and ship process. Be cleaver, be unique, but most of all, be authentic and be your brand.
A gift that arrives in a generic box or bag doesn’t feel all that special. By packaging that same gift for the holidays with the addition of some holiday whimsy, your shoppers will remember and buy again. This is especially important when you offer multiple ship-to addresses and send the gift directly to the gift recipient.
How about tying inserts and other collateral shipped in the box to your social marketing strategy? Depending on your assortment, can you encourage the gift recipient to upload a photograph of them enjoying their gift? Enter a contest? Vote on best products? What marketing collateral can you include in the shipping box to engage, entertain and bring holiday cheer to the recipient? Inserts are also a great way to churn additional post-season sales and build loyalty among the shopping base. Don’t miss out.
Don’t Ignore Transactional Emails
How many emails are sent to your customers per transaction? Order confirmations, shipping confirmation, remarketing, return confirmation? Don’t ignore these. They are valuable touchpoints to reach your shopper. Utilize transactional email text and images to make additional gifting suggestions, related items, reviews, and promotional offers all in a fun, holiday spirit.
Here is my 9-point checklist for a successful holiday season:
- Make sure items are priced the same, regardless of channel
- Offer gift wrapping and gift cards, and offer it on your home page, not buried in the FAQ’s
- Reinforce the season with shipping and holiday-themed packing materials
- Engage with holiday-centric inserts
- Add a gift in the package. Surprise and delight your shopper
- Always think long term lifetime value over shorter term goals
- Stay true to your brand
- Make it fun
- Most of all…enjoy the season!
-Steven Lippman, Senior Sales Engineer, NetSuite