Like much else this year, e-commerce sales during the holiday season are bound to look a little different due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. We have yet to see the full impact COVID-19 will have on holiday shopping, yet many retailers have already begun offering Black Friday and cyber deals in late October to entice customers to shop all month long… or longer. Could 2020 be the last year of the coveted Black Friday-only deal (for better or for worse)?
With mounting competition for consumer attention and spend, it’s important to have your strategy in lock-step so you’re set up for strong sales, whether you’re doling out promotions or not. Check out our guide below with our top tips to make an impact with customers, even during COVID-19.
Highlight what makes you unique
Are you a small business? Did you help solve a specific challenge during COVID-19, like producing masks for essential workers or offering creative solutions for stores and restaurants to stay open? Many consumers are looking for ways to support local businesses or those who are making an impact during the pandemic as opposed to big box retailers who will more than likely stay afloat during the months ahead. Highlight what makes you unique this season on social media and in other channels to demonstrate how your business contributes to the community. Customers will be glad to pay it forward and share with their friends and family to support.
Personalize the customer experience
Grab—and keep—your customer’s attention by using a personalized approach. Incorporate personalization tokens in your email communications, reference a customer’s abandoned shopping cart items or past purchases, or offer a tailored experience on landing pages that speak to your buyer’s unique path or journey. Amplify your A/B testing efforts on key sales pages with call tracking data powered by CallTrackingMetrics integrations with Optimizely, Symplify, VWO, and AB Tasty. You can also target highly-qualified leads through call scoring and keyword spotting. Isolate customers who have spoken certain words on a call, such as “Black Friday,” to uncover which channels are driving quality traffic and to identify which leads you may want to target for follow-up messaging.
Get performance tracking in place
Get your pixels, UTM parameters, and conversion goals configured now to make sure you’re fully set up to track and measure performance from this year’s sale, especially since the metrics may vary from years past. Understanding your traffic, email engagement, bounce rates, and conversion rates is crucial for you to gauge how successful your promotion, pricing, and offer is for your audience. Invest in unique tracking numbers to know exactly which marketing channels are driving results during your campaigns and ensure that data translates across your organization with our Shopify, Google Ads, and Analytics integrations. CallTrackingMetrics real-time reporting shows the volume of customer contact, where calls are coming from by channel/campaign, your return on ad spend, and how all of this varies throughout your promotional period.
Utilize texting to drive engagement and incentivize purchases
Text messaging is a hugely valuable tool to engage with customers on your contact list or even after they may have abandoned your website. You can create a custom bulk texting campaign to get the word out to existing customers about a sale or promotion or invite them to re-engage with you or set up another appointment. To drive sales in the moment, create a trigger to send customers who visit your site but do not purchase or convert (based on tags or scores your team assigns) a text message, inviting them to revisit your site or offer.
Open up new lines of communication
Go beyond the phone call by offering live chat this season as an opportunity for customers to engage with you. Your agents can manage calls, texts, form submissions, and chats, all within CTM’s platform. Live chat is increasingly becoming a preferred communication method for customers and our chat solution is an easy and affordable way to test opening that new line of communication. (Psst! A little Black Friday offer of our own: CTM customers currently have access to unlimited free chat licenses for 30 days. Why not try it out now?)
Empower your sales and support teams to handle increased volume
Increased sales and site traffic means more support and sales contact. Help your team to handle the holidays with confidence, even while remote, by setting up custom teams and queues for managing inbound calls or chats. You can also revisit call recordings to help train team members on how to handle common questions or concerns. If you’ll have team members working from home, make sure they’re set up with the CallTrackingMetrics softphone so they can easily answer calls and provide support from anywhere. To help motivate your team to drive more sales, consider offering a team incentive for the agent who generates the most conversions over the phone. You can monitor this through scores as well as keywords mentioned on the phone and review call or chat metrics throughout the sales period.