It’s reaching midway into December and online retail is witnessing an explosive sales cycle. Black Friday 2016 alone accounted for $3.34 Billion in single day sales across the US and Cyber Monday witnessed $3.4 Billion in single day sales. Experts have opined that the last quarter of every year is fit to be called the equivalent of child birth for retailers especially online retailers, because most of them arguably witness more than 30% of their annual sales happen in just under a month during the holiday season. It is also the time when they acquire tons of first time buyers with attractive holiday promotions. But many often ecommerce players fail to capitalize on these new leads generated during the holiday season and subsequently a good majority of first time buyers never return again to shop from them.
We believe this is because marketers at such online retailers fail to create an effective sales framework where the intention of the holiday campaign is to create loyal customers rather than bring in a slew of one time shoppers. Considering the huge advantage of technology inspired automated marketing channels available today, it is nearly a fatal mistake to target both new buyers and existing buyers with the same set of campaigns in the form of email, print, social media and other marketing channels. Engaging first time buyers is crucial to convert their first time impression into marks of loyalty. Here are some tips for marketing folks at ecommerce companies to drive repeat sales from first time buyers after the holiday season:
A great user experience
So your email and social media campaigns have borne fruit and leads start to pour into your online store. The biggest factor that determines how well leads are converted into actual buyers is the ease with which they can navigate on your website and how fast they can finish the checkout process to buy an item they loved. Keeping this experience hassle free involves a great User Interface on both computer screens and mobile screens, seamless information access, secure and easy checkout processes with popular payment facilities and above all, a scalable technology architecture that is able to handle huge spikes in traffic.
New customers arrive from different sources and as far as online retailers are concerned, it is quite easy to track the source of each sale through analytics. It is essential to collect vital customer info causing minimal or no inconvenience to first time buyers. Through registration process and geo tagging, it is easier to determine geographical location and thereby understand demographics of shoppers.
So now that you have decided to collect data in as many ways as possible, the next question is what do you do with this data? It’s simple -This data should be utilized for further connecting with those buyers after they have made their first purchase on your website. It’s similar to the cross selling and up selling practices that retailers follow but here the suggestions should be as precise and focused on the customer as possible. With analytics, you can determine their shopping patterns, their most searched items, their preferential price ranges for products, etc. This will help you guide them to new purchases with better offers thereby improving their brand loyalty on your site.
Once first time buyer lists are available, marketers should prepare a separate set of campaigns to inform them about how great your website the rest of the year. Educate them about how long term shoppers have rated you as the best and direct them to sign up for exclusive benefits such as cashbacks, premium membership packages and much more.
Online retailers should thrive to be as customer-centric as possible. On that note, it is essential to know how shopper’s especially first time shoppers felt about their experience. A simple survey or a dialog box asking shoppers to rate their buying experience right after the transaction step is over would be the basic feedback survey that you could use. And don’t just ask users to take the survey without giving back something in return. Say offer an X% discount for their next purchase if they complete your survey and you have the double benefit of getting closer to customer hearts and guaranteeing a second sale with the discount coupon.
So there you go folks, our 5 step guide to help marketer’s convert 1st time buyers into loyal shoppers. However it is important to keep in mind that your biggest asset is your existing list of loyal buyers and you should never drop your focus on them. Their word of mouth and social media signals promoting your brand is the biggest drawer of new shoppers to your website. Feel free to connect with us to learn more about how your digital strategies can be aligned to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.
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