Unwrap the Gift of Customer Satisfaction this Holiday Season

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Is it me, or is 2014 speeding up? Summer and back to school sales just appeared in the rear view mirror, and the holidays are right around the corner to surprise us with their yuletide joy that we all know and love. Luckily, it’s the season of giving, making the holidays one of the busiest times in retail. We’ve put together the top takeaways from the American Marketing Association (AMA) webinar on popular retail trends and digital marketing tactics for the 2014 holiday season.

Past holiday seasons have provided great business for retailers, and this year will be no different. In a survey distributed by AMA, 34% of consumers said they plan to spend more than they did in 2013 this holiday season, with an expected 36% increase of online spending as well. So, lucky for you, there are plenty of opportunities across your channels to impress shoppers. Don’t get too relaxed, though. It is important to note that 88% of shoppers have webroomed in the last 6 months, so while there are opportunities, the threat of an abandoned cart still lingers. To avoid this, improve upon your omnipresence. Ship-to-store and in-store pickup are becoming more popular, as is mobile usage. Make sure your channels are working together to enhance the customer experience this holiday season.

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There are multiple categories that will be popular this season, one of which is consumer electronics. The AMA discovered that 65% of shoppers buy electronic holiday gifts online, making it one of the most important product categories for online retailers to carry. When people decide what electronic device they want, they stick with it. Only 11% of consumers abandon carts with electronics in them, compared to a 62.3% average for the rest of commerce.

Games and toys will be another popular category this holiday season. There are typically 2.4 game items in a shopping cart, meaning people can’t just buy one at a time. People view a lot of options when browsing games and toys, providing great opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell items in this category. While all of this is good news, there are still very good odds that your website will not be the only one a shopper will visit.

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Your website is definitely not a one-stop-shop. Over half of shoppers visit more than three websites while browsing products, so you have to make sure you stand out. Approximately 84% of shoppers cited price as the largest influencer in the purchasing process, so make sure that your price is right. Product detail was the second largest influence on purchase decisions for shoppers, so be sure to increase product visibility and optimize product descriptions.

People are also going to be paying very close attention to any sales that start as soon as October. Yes, that’s incredibly early and it’s a good thing for you. Introduce some Halloween specials, get ahead of the competition, and cash in on a great opportunity. And of course, don’t forget about Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. Cyber Monday was both the busiest in terms of traffic and highest converting day of the year for retailers, and 20% of shoppers intend to spend more around Black Friday this year. People will also be giving themselves more time to make decisions, so flash sales may be a good idea during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The holidays are a time of happiness, be sure to spread the cheer. Provide simplicity and ease for your shoppers, they are going to be looking for the best deals and the best sources to get all of the information they need before they make a purchase. Make sure you can exceed their expectations with an easy-to-use website, and a group of distribution channels that seamlessly work together. If you do these things, you too can have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Have any other tips on how you can take full advantage this holiday? Share them below in the comments section.

Photo Credit

Contributing Writer: Brian Smyth

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Arie Shpanya

Arie is the COO, Executive Chairman, and Co-Founder of Wiser, a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine for online retailers and brands. He has extensive experience in business development with a focus on eCommerce (eBay and Amazon), and is a guest blogger on Econsultancy, VentureBeat, and more.