What will Christmas 2021 look like for businesses?
With it being only one month until the night before Christmas – or more formally known as Chritsmas Eve – we thought it would be fitting to take a look at what 2021’s ecommerce festivities are predicted to look like and how businesses can make spirits bright with personalisation this holiday season.
Reports are showing that for the majority of retailers Christmas will be merry and bright, with a small expected year-on year growth of 0.5% for non-food sales. In addition, total retail sales in the whole of Q4 will be up by 1.8% compared to Q4 2019. Non-food is expected to jump by 1.7%, driven by toys and games, health and beauty, and the homeware and furniture sector.
Christmas 2021 spending trends have said to be more reflective of 2019, with a combination of both online and offline spending. According to a recent survey 59% of consumers have said they will be mainly shopping online – this is slightly less than the 63% in 2020 – and 34% plan to shop in-store as well as online this year.
Last year, the holiday sales curve changed drastically, in comparison to previous years, due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic. Many shoppers were forced to shop online and sales were to be brought forward, with October 2020 recording the strongest year-on-year sales growth for six years.
Although this year’s holiday season is looking more promising than last years, the aftermath of COVID-19 and Brexit has meant that retailers face other challenges, such as; shortage of goods, lack of staff, pricing hikes, and delays in delivery. Off of the back of this online shoppers will notice fewer discounts, longer shipping times, and limited inventory.
So, the question we now ask is: how can online businesses ensure that they are fully prepared and equipped to cater to their customers’ needs? Ecommerce personalisation.
Want to optimise your digital customer experience?
Ecommerce personalisation; the gift that keeps on giving
What does your ecommerce Christmas wish list look like? Do you want to increase average order value, conversion rate, or online revenue? Or are you looking to enhance your digital customer experience? Whatever it is, personalisation can be the solution to helping you reach your ecommerce goals this Christmas.
Top tip: user experience is everything. And creating one that converts customers is an art in itself – one that many businesses fail to do effectively. However, demonstrating to customers that you really understand them and value them is what drives sales and promotes customer loyalty. More than two thirds (68%) of website visitors actively expect empathy from the retailers they buy from – but only 37% say that businesses deliver this.
A major 2021 consumer trend is the need to feel an in-store experience online – humanising the ecommerce shopper journey. Ecommerce personalisation enables businesses to connect better with their customers, by creating seamless experiences based on their individual needs and wants. It bridges the gap between online and the lack of human interaction.
To put this in perspective, research shows that customers are likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience where they have felt valued by the brand.
Businesses, now more than ever, need to consider new forms of engagement in order to compete with the likes of Amazon and their fellow online competitors this Christmas. Let’s take a look at five tactics that will make spirits bright.
5 tactics that will make spirits bright this Christmas season:
- Deck the halls with relevant content
Driving traffic is great, but are you converting those visitors into paying customers? If you have a high bounce rate, this could be a sign that your pages are relevant.
Think of your landing pages as your shop windows. If you were out Christmas shopping and you came across two physical stores, you are more likely to walk into the one that is decked out with Christmas decorations and has products that you love sat in the window, than you are at a regular store.
Optimise and decorate your pages with relevant content that will have your customers sleighed – mind the terrible pun.
The holiday season is a busy and chaotic time for everyone, finding the perfect gifts can be challenging and stressful. Making sure your site has clear messaging, an easy navigation, and relevant content is crucial for making that conversion happen.
Why not include an image carousel banner on the homepage welcoming back returning customers or saying warm welcome to new customers? The carousel could feature a specific range of products, gifts that you are trying to push, and an eye-catching discount code to make the CTAs pop. Once your visitor clicks on a certain product you will know what they are looking for and can begin building their customer profile, to ensure that you show them the right content at the right time.
- Gift your customers with product recommendations you know they will love
Christmas shoppers are looking for convenience. Isn’t it great when you go into a store and immediately find the perfect gift in a matter of seconds? That’s where AI-driven product recommenders come into play. They use real-time data to predict the kind of content that your customers are looking for based on their current and past behaviour.
Not only does this create happy customers, it means you can be rest assured that the recommendations being made on site are relevant and accurate. Who doesn’t want peace (of mind) and joy (from higher revenue) at Christmas?
Another great thing about recommendations is it opens up the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell, which are the bread and butter for increasing average order value and increasing product awareness.
Businesses can benefit from placing product recommenders in the five main areas of their site; homepage, search, product listing pages, product pages, and basket page. These are the pages that you will see the most conversion uplift.
Want to optimise your digital customer experience?
- Create urgency through pop-ups
Once you know that your customers are interested in your content and products, your site needs to work a little harder to ensure that you get that final sale. By now you will have an idea of what your customers are looking for from the data that you collected whilst they have been on your site. This is a perfect opportunity to push certain promotions at specific audiences.
For instance, if a customer falls into the bracket of ‘repeat customer who typically spends over £50 with each purchase’ you could create a pop-up campaign to appear on their screen with a free delivery code with every purchase over £50.
Or you could have an incentive pop-up appear with a limited time offer for customers browsing your Christmas gifts.
Another great technique for growing your customer base around Christmas time is including an email capture pop-up on your site that encourages customers to enter their information to receive exclusive offers straight to their inbox.
Never underestimate the power of FOMO (fear of missing out) – I think we all love a good offer and it becomes even more desirable if it is only for a limited time.
- Use live chat to build longerlating relationships with your customers
Live chat, if used well, improves user journeys, increases average order, and online revenue. In fact businesses that have real-time communication methods, such as; live chat and chatbots are nearly 3 times more likely to complete a purchase.
Live chat, that is specifically designed for ecommerce, is not only a great way to build relationships with customers, but it helps you to be able to recommend relevant products to increase sales. 41% of customers feel live chat is the best way to communicate with a business to build trust.
- Make data-driven decisions
First and foremost, all decisions should be data-driven. Utilise your ability to analyse your customers behaviour and make decisions based on the analysis.
Analysing last year’s data is a goldmine when it comes to understanding how each of your customers engaged with your brand over the Christmas period. If you haven’t already, upload all of your historical data into your personalisation engine and begin to segment your audience into multiple behavioral profiles, so that you can create more targeted marketing content.
If you are ever unsure what campaigns will be the best for your business then A/B test, this way you will be able to see which campaign drives the most sales, increases average order value, or converts more customers.
Next steps: get in touch with us!
PureClarity is an award-winning ecommerce personalisation solution that enables businesses to create unique experiences for each of their visitors.
We know that this time of the year is stressful, regardless of the economic challenges businesses are facing currently as well, that’s why our software and service is designed to maximise revenue, whilst taking care of your customers’ journeys. Giving you more time to focus on your efforts on other tasks.
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