Even if many shoppers will be one-time purchasers with a specific retailer, big brands that have strategies in place to capture and retain the surge of customer activity that occurs during shopping events, can transform a great percent of this type of customers into lifelong customers.
Moreover, knowing how to take advantage of these annual opportunities can result in not only big engagement spikes during these periods, but also in an increase in year-round revenue. However, what makes customers shop again in the same store or with the same brand after the holiday shopping season? According to the Wirecard Holiday Shopping Report the top three main drivers are prices (64%), offers and products (46%), and the quality of the products (39%). Still, it’s not always the lowest price that wins out. Retailers that provide plenty of information (reviews, recommendations, advice, pictures, etc.), enable their prospective customer to make a decision feeling that they are buying with confidence.
Additional appreciated benefits are free shipping (32%), customer service (27%), and personalized discounts based on shopper’s preferences (22%). For stationary retailers, free shipping is very important– especially with large or bulky goods. For example, if you buy a pressure cooker in a busy city centre, you don’t want to have to carry it around all day with you. You want it to be shipped home free of charge, wherever you happen to live. Nevertheless, faster shipping has started to beat out free shipping. There are thousands of Amazon customers opting into Amazon Now’s prime delivery service that can deliver goods to target areas within an hour (or less). An infographic from Amazon revealed that in 2017 the marketplace shipped more than 5 billion products worldwide via it’s Amazon Prime service, with delivery times as fast as just eight or nine minutes.
Moreover, successful retailers enable an outstanding shopping experience based on omnichannel technology; with attractive prices, personalized offers and optimal customer service – not just in terms of advice, but also when it comes to complaints and exchange. Usually consumers’ lives are “omnichannel” as they don’t think in ‘offline’ or ‘online’ terms. Some of the reasons behind consumers combining channels are possibilities such as comparing prices (51%) or similar products in different stores (18%) and the option to try/see/test products before buying (9%), the Wirecard Holiday Shopping Report added.
Another aspect to take into account is accepting a variety of payment methods to minimize friction. Where retailers once accepted only credit cards and PayPal, customers now want to pay with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, mobile payment options like Samsung and Apple pay as well as traditional credit cards. Also, offering payment solutions popular in specific regions, such as Alipay in Asia, opens up a whole new group of customers to Western retailers.
By providing additional payment methods retailers can reduce the friction during the checkout process. They want to make the path to a conversion as simple as possible and to streamline the shopping and checkout process to close the transaction as quickly as possible. As a result, every step in the buying process is a point of friction and gives the shopper a chance to reconsider. Amazon’s 1-click is a good example of a rapid checkout. If customer information is stored after a registration – ideal for returning customers – a streamlined checkout of this nature can lift conversions during the holiday season where customers are rushed to get individual purchases completed.
Also, let’s not forget about the possibility of mobile payment to add value to a consumer’s shopping experience. Accepting mobile payment is an absolute must for merchants, with the trend showing no signs of slowing down.
Today’s consumer is increasingly tech savvy. Any technology that offers concrete and sustainable value, whether that be virtual reality headsets or augmented reality mirrors, does make products easier to understand. Plus, combining it with popular shopping events, it makes the buying experience memorable and fun.