Holiday Shopping 2021: Convenience is On the Top of Everyone’s List | Adtaxi

Holiday Shopping 2021: Convenience is On the Top of Everyone’s List

Digital Marketing

Jennifer Flanagan

Nov 09 2021

Online shopping has experienced some drastic changes over the past couple of years, and shoppers will still be facing some obstacles in 2021. To be successful this holiday season, companies will need to deliver a convenient shopping experience throughout the season. The media is already warning shoppers to plan ahead and be ready for some struggles this season— so how can marketers respond in a positive, but realistic, way? While companies struggle to overcome supply chain delays or stock shortages, there are ways to communicate with customers for a jolly holiday season.

Communicate with more impact through video

Video has the ability to connect sight, sound, and emotion delivering a truly memorable ad experience. With a little holiday magic, you can leverage this platform to the fullest. Whatever message you want to share, more and more shoppers are viewing video content to research and purchase items. 

  • 84% of respondents said that a video has been the deciding factor in buying a product or service

  • 69% of respondents said that their preferred method of learning about a product is a short video

  • People now watch an average of over 2.5 hours of online video every day; that’s a huge increase from the 1.5 hours per day reported in 2018

  • People are twice as likely to share video content with friends or family, or even their entire social media following, than any type of written marketing material

Video communication can drive a significant emotional impact, helping you build trust and loyalty with customers. An overwhelming majority of people say that a video has been the deciding factor in buying a product or service. With viewing time increasing to over 2.4 hours of online video a day, this captivating platform delivers in strength and numbers.

If you’re worried about a perfectly polished branded video, don’t be. Consumers love authenticity. Quick demos of products in environments that feel real, unboxing of the latest products available, or just an honest review can have a huge influence over shoppers and their buying decisions. 

Create frictionless transactions

Once a shopper has hit “add to cart”, the checkout process should help them finish their purchase easily, not add roadblocks. Things like mobile and contactless payments have grown steadily, and shoppers expect that ease to extend to their online purchases as well. Here are a few ways that ecommerce companies can provide a quick and easy checkout experience that will help consumers complete their purchase. 

Consider how many steps your purchase process requires. The fewer steps a shopper has to take during a transaction, the better the experience will be for them. For example, don’t force customers to create an account before they can complete their purchase; instead, ask them if they want to create one after they’ve checked out. They’ll be less likely to abandon their cart out of frustration. 

Ecommerce companies also have a shocking number of payment options that they can provide to shoppers. Everything from traditional credit cards to PayPal, in addition to “buy now, pay later” choices like Affirm or Klarna. You can also offer payment options that tap into user data from their own devices (such as mobile payment) that allow users to quickly select a “saved” method of payment. Giving customers the ability to check out in a way that is simple for them will make the experience quicker and easier for more people. 

Making purchases simple and fast is a huge competitive advantage in ecommerce. As consumers experience touchless payments in brick and mortar stores, make sure your online business makes things just as easy, if not even easier, for shoppers.

Shoppers want the in-store experience at home

Even with online shopping growing in popularity, many people still like being able to see and touch something before they buy it. It’s up to ecommerce sites to find ways to elevate the online shopping experience to one that matches an in-store experience as closely as possible. 

One of the largest benefits of shopping in-store is the ability to get help quickly. While chatbots can be helpful, the higher level of service provided by real humans over chat is highly preferable to shoppers. Better yet, how close can your chat support be to an associate that someone would work with inside a store? Can they answer questions and provide recommendations? Are they well-versed in your products and policies? Fast, excellent support is a great way to help shoppers complete purchases confidently.

Another way to make online shopping more like an in-store experience is to provide high-quality photos and videos of products. Different angles, closeups, and videos of the item in action are all incredibly helpful to shoppers trying to understand a product that they aren’t in the room with. Ready to take this idea one step further? Sites like Ikea, Sephora, and Warby Parker all use augmented reality to help shoppers see a couch in their living room, makeup on their skin, and glasses on their face – your customers might benefit from the ability to evaluate the product in a slightly more realistic way.  

Be transparent about products, deals, and logistics

Retail marketers know that the 2021 shopping season is going to have some challenges. While companies often can’t influence supply chain and shipping services, they can communicate openly and honestly with customers to build loyalty and create a brand reputation that lasts. Here are some things you should make sure that your shoppers understand:

  • Normal shipping practices and timelines, as well as estimates for increased shipping time due to holiday logistics

  • Return policies and any warranty information

  • Sales and promotional discounts, along with exclusions and validity windows

Companies should also address unforeseen circumstances as quickly and honestly as possible. Brand transparency creates trust, and trust builds loyalty. Loyal customers won with this kind of transparency will stick around even when circumstances beyond a business’ control cause logistics issues. 

We know that this year will be another huge year for ecommerce even with the issues that are alr
eady cropping up, but that doesn’t mean that companies can’t still provide a great customer experience. 

Businesses should start communicating with their customers early and often. Let them know that you anticipate a longer-than-normal shopping cycle this year and how you plan to help them navigate that situation.

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