3 Common Holiday E-commerce Challenges and Solutions
By Shagun Sharma
Nov 17, 20217 min read
Even during the pandemic crises, when the travel and hospitality industry had crashed, the retail industry continued to flourish.
From the third quarter of 2020 to that of 2021, total retail sales increased 13.1%. Also, these are expected to exceed $4.44 trillion in 2021, indicating quite a bright future for retail.
Concerning this, you cannot manage to overlook the sales opportunity that this time of the year brings. The holiday season has officially arrived and some major holiday shopping is about to happen; brace yourself for rocking this time of the year. It’s not new that holidays are a make or break period for e-commerce businesses. Alter your marketing strategy if you must and seize this opportunity to create a steady source of revenue for your business.
Customers are aware that hundreds of marketers will compete for their validation and business throughout the holiday season. This is why they will expect more from you during the holiday season. The key here is to deliver satisfactory customer service and experience. As easy as it sounds, it’s a tough nut to crack with the sudden possible spike in the number of your website visitors.
You cannot ignore the challenges that come with an increased traffic at any cost. So what are these challenges? And how can you effectively deal with these challenges? How should you manage your data such that you deliver tailored delightful customer experiences that encourage them to come back to your brand and help you stay ahead of the curve?
Let’s find out.
Holiday E-commerce Challenges and Solutions
Challenge 1 – Managing Unpredictable Customers’ Demands
Indeed, holidays are the best time of the year. But to make this period more pleasing, retailers need to pay keen attention to deliverables for meeting the growing demands of customers.
The foot traffic will commendably increase as the holiday inches closer; Thus, be prepared in dealing with the holiday rush and unpredictable demands, while also ensuring to offer better service to enrich your customers’ journeys.
But, how can retailers prepare for something like this?
Leverage an omnichannel POS system to make your e-commerce store a data-centric business. Marketers can instigate by observing and understanding the ongoing trends, customer journey, and the previous data from past holiday seasons. The gathered data will allow you to effectively and precisely predict the demand and inventory needs that helps generate maximum revenue and better returns.
In order to meet the growing demands, you need to be fortified with the right data that help you in drawing the inclusive picture of your business. Precluding all the guesswork made in the inventory will significantly help in reducing the probability of going out of stocks or having loads of overages.
Challenge 2 – Delivering Effective Omnichannel Experience
Like we discussed above, going omnichannel is a strategic solution to meeting the unanticipated demands of your customers. But when it comes to online retailers, delivering a lucrative omnichannel experience is a challenge in itself.
With the surge of digital media and other platforms, customers now expect to connect with your brand through different channels—website, social media, email, phone call, walk-in store, or application. Thus, it’s important for you to coalesce these touchpoints when reaching out to engaging your target audience.
Marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign.
Craft an omnichannel strategy that not only works but also excels. When you plan the strategy, you need to think about your customers, consider their needs, and use the right technology that could ensure an excellent customer experience. The following steps can help in this case:
- Identifying Key Channels: You need to check how your customers are reaching your brand and what channels they are using.
- Incorporating the Key Channels: You need to integrate these channels into your strategy and utilize the technology to communicate with customers through their preferred channels to deliver an effective customer experience.
- Maintaining the Content: You need to look into the history and use this interaction history to enlighten customer conversations.
Today, brands like Old Navy are using video marketing to drive awareness and sales among the young consumers.
Challenge 3 – Maintaining Customer Loyalty
The success of your business depends upon your customers’ loyalty which is determined by the experience you provide to them as a business. But regardless of the business niche, building customer loyalty has always been a major challenge for brands. One of the possible reasons is sellers’ and buyers’ unfamiliarity with one another, which often results in cold and impersonal interactions.
Despite being a challenge, customer loyalty remains imperative to each business. Because customer acquisition costs 5 times more than customer retention. Also, the success rate of selling to your existing loyal customers is 60-70% as compared to that of selling to newly acquired customers.
The good news? If you spend a good time and effort to nail this aspect of your business, you can thrive in the long run.
Since customer retention is more difficult than customer acquisition, be proactive in engaging your prospective customer at every stage—from browsing the product to making a purchase. Remember, providing excellent customer service is a way to have a happy customer, and happy customers always purchase great products.
Increasing your customer retention rates even by 5% can help you see a 25-95% increase in profits.
Another way to encourage customer loyalty is to engage with customers. Today, consumers look for different ways to communicate with brands, share their concerns, and tell what they need. Thus, it’s a wise decision to keep in touch with consumers through emails, messages, or social media. You need to find out ways that work best for your customers.
Keep your customers informed about any new launches, sales, promotions. Also, don’t forget to offer them loyalty points and special coupons. For example, Walmart stated in mid-October that it would be holding savings events throughout November. Amazon was one step ahead and started product promotions in October and November by giving limited-time offers.
Nothing has boosted the e-commerce sector as much as the year 2020 when the retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to US$ 4.28 trillion. While there have been many exhilarating and beneficial changes in the e-commerce sector, there are still some online retailers struggling with the challenges that this sector brings. The solutions listed above can assist you in accomplishing your goals of reaching your ideal clients and targeted sales.
So, are you ready to make your holiday season bright and shining? Get in touch with our e-commerce experts and we will help you implement strategies and solutions that will take your sales to a new high this holiday season and beyond.