This year has been different than any other year we’ve had—and the upcoming holiday season will be no different. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are set to increase almost 20% compared to 2019, and, a recent survey conducted by Wells Fargo showed that 70% of consumers do not plan to return to physical retail stores in the foreseeable future.
With this increase in revenue on the table and major shift in shopping behavior, how do brands capitalize on this upcoming holiday season and not miss out on the potential growth? The answer is: by recreating those same great in-store experiences online.
Bringing your in-store experience online
Why do people love in-store shopping so much? A lot of it has to do with the customer service that comes with it. From the “Hi, how can I help you” when you immediately walk through the door, to the helpful recommendations when trying to look for a new handbag, there’s someone physically present along the entire journey of making a purchase. But with many people not planning to return to stores anytime soon, those in-person experiences are tough to come by in the online world. So, if you’re asking yourself how do I recreate those same helpful and personalized in-store experiences online, it’s important to start with a strong proactive conversations strategy and reach out to your customers at the right moment with the right message.
Proactively reach out through chat
As a customer, how many times have you added items to your online shopping cart and then maybe delayed pulling the trigger because you had last-minute questions? Grabbing the attention of your customers who spent too much time on your cart page with a “Do you have any questions about the items in your cart?” is an example of proactively engaging with your online customers through chat. With Gladly’s proactive chat feature, you can send specific messages to your customers based on the pages they are on to increase average order value (AOV) and conversions, or decrease the likelihood of them abandoning their cart altogether. These triggers strategically send personalized messages to your customer at the right moment, offering help or providing a recommendation, just as if they were engaging with an associate in your physical stores.
Extend your in-person helpers to online experts
As mentioned, one of the reasons why in-store shopping can be so much better is because of that human interaction with a store associate. By connecting customers with online experts who can help answer questions or give thoughtful recommendations, you’re creating an outreach experience that replicates the same level of personal service as an in-store associate would provide, ultimately increasing their likelihood of completing the purchase and lowers the probability of them making a return.
For example, you can send a personalized message based on the URL that a customer is on for a particular set of time–like if they were looking a snowboard for longer than five minutes, they likely have some questions or are unsure about making the plunge. Not only will the customer receive a friendly ‘hello, is there anything I can help you with’, they can even be routed to an agent who has expertise in that subject–like your avid snowboarder on the team who your customer is more likely to trust, listen to their recommendation and complete the purchase.
Turn ‘just browsing’ into driving revenue
If increasing AOV is more top of mind, you should, at bare minimum, trigger a targeted message to your customers who are browsing high-valued items on your website. This ensures you’re prioritizing the high-valued items that could really drive revenue growth.
For example, if you see a customer browsing a $5,000 couch, you can send them an automated message that proactively asks if they have any questions, provide available warranties or even ask if they need a fabric swatch. Also, based on the amount of the product that they’re browsing, you can even bring them up in the queue to make sure they are at the front of the line and get more expedited service.
Live chat has the highest consumer satisfaction rate (at 92%) and websites that support chat report an increase in revenue (by 19%), so having a solid proactive conversations strategy through chat will not only ensure you’re capturing as much sales as possible, but keep customers happy.
Proactively reach out through text
Purchases on mobile devices are expected to increase this year—reaching roughly $314 billion (44% of all e-commerce sales) and up $200 billion from just four years ago. With Gladly’s APIs, you can connect to your existing marketing systems to programmatically send a text message to your customers straight to their mobile phone letting them know of upcoming sales, provide discount codes to your VIPs or announce a newly released item. By proactively reaching out to your customers with relevant product updates and upcoming sales, you’ll increase AOV and revenue.
In addition, let’s say you’re a retailer that would like to send a quick “thank you” message (maybe even with a discount code for a future purchase!) to customers who recently bought something from you. After a customer makes a purchase, they would be sent an automated follow-up text message. If your customer responds to the text message for whatever reason, they would be routed to an agent for additional support in one, seamless interaction. Something as simple as this can really drive customer satisfaction and build repeat customers for life.
By proactively reaching out to your customers through text message, you’re engaging with them on their favorite channel, which will foster deeper relationships and ultimately drive revenue.
Proactively reach out through voice
A few months ago, we released a feature that allows you to proactively reach out to your customers (in bulk) through voice. Not only does this feature provide tons of efficiency gains from an agent perspective—(say goodbye to manually having to contact customers one-by-one!) it reduces the customer effort and increases satisfaction. By proactively reaching out to your customer first, you save them from having to reach out to you. Not to mention, by you making the move first, you’ll delight them along the way. From notifying them about upcoming deliveries to reminding them about an upcoming VIP sale, proactively engaging with them (even through voice) should be on your radar. An in customer satisfaction = increase in customer loyalty = revenue growth.
In summary, this upcoming holiday season will likely be record-breaking for retailers nationwide. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, and a massive shift in shopping behavior, one thing is certain: customers are planning to buy more than ever. By leveraging proactive conversations to bring those same, personal in-store experiences online, you’re sure to drive revenue growth this holiday season.