One of the best ways to ensure satisfied customers after the holidays is to let them know what to expect before they ever make a purchase. Since we know satisfied customers lead to repeat customers, this is especially important during the holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas which accounts for up to 40% of yearly sales for some retailers. Capitalizing on the momentum could lead to a boost in sales all year round. Below are three simple ideas to ensure your customer interactions lead to success during the holiday season and beyond.
#1. Clarify Your Exchange/Return Policies
Consider updating your exchange policy to reflect the season’s unique challenges. If people are receiving gifts from loved ones, it may make sense to extend the window for returns and exchanges. If your policies are buried, consider re-iterating them for visitors to your site.
When customers experience a convenient return process 92% are likely to shop at that store again. However, if the experience is inconvenient, 85% of shoppers do not consider shopping with that retailer again. It’s easy to lose what could have been a repeat customer, and hard to gain brand loyalty. Think about your returns as an opportunity to grow future business, rather than the loss of a sale!
Some specific areas to take a look at when evaluating your return policy :
- – Let customers know how long it will take for their return to be processed, and how to check on the progress of their return or exchange
- – Clarify who is responsible for shipping costs
- – Let customers know whether they can expect a cash refund or store credit
- – Include details on how to initiate a return or exchange on your packing statement
#2. Update Your Shipping Info
If you’ve been considering updating your shipping rates, do it now! Customers want to know that they’re going to receive their products in time for holiday gift-giving.
Shipping carriers have handy guides to last ship dates. You can find USPS’s guidelines here. Consider adding priority and express shipping options for last minute shoppers.Also check out other carriers for expedited shipping options.
Did you know that free shipping is the special that most encourages repeat shoppers? It is also key for getting customer recommendations. Take these statistics to heart, and consider offering promotions for free or reduced shipping rates to encourage holiday shoppers to complete their purchases. For Storenvy sellers, you can use Super Discounts to create free shipping promotions and feature them on your custom store. A little incentive can go a long way!
Things to include in your shipping policy:
- – Info about the last day for ordering to ensure delivery in time for specific holidays
- – Consider including tracking as default to all shipping classes
- – The handling/processing time is for each order
- – Whether all of your products are in stock, or if they’re made to order and how that effects shipping times
E-commerce is one place where over sharing is okay! The convenience of shopping from home is a huge motivation for online shoppers, but if the information they are looking for isn’t clearly available, they have loads of other options of places to spend their money. Make sure your policies are clear, concise, and easy to find. Fill out your FAQs, send shipping confirmation emails, even send follow ups after an item’s been received! Cater to them with your communications, and your brand stands out from the crowd.
If you follow all of these steps, you can ensure a satisfied customer from the moment they land on your store’s website to the time they receive their item. The reward? Amazing customer loyalty!