Ever heard about the famous New Year resolutions? It’s that list that we start to draft after Christmas to make the upcoming year the one in which we will finally do some things we haven’t succeeded at doing before. It’s the “New year, new me” thing that everyone is excited about but drops around the second week of January. Seeing how 2020 went, we don’t blame you but it’s time to flip the table and make 2021 the best year yet.
To help retailers tackle the new year we have crafted a list of 5 New Years’ Resolutions (retail edition). We’re not saying that you should blow the roof off of the place and tackle all resolutions, quite the contrary. Go through them and see which ones are most relevant and easier to add and/or adapt to your business and leave the others for the near future.
1. Provide 5-star customer service
There will always be complaints but it’s up to you, and your team, to make the most out of them.
To start off, it’s important to have the right amount of people to tackle complaints on time, efficiently and in different channels, including phone, email, chatbots and, of course, social media. Make sure to not go rushing headfirst, if you have a small team it’s better to prioritise some channels than trying to be everywhere and failing to provide a good service. Always communicate with your customers, apologize for delayed answers and give them a small extra to compensate.
It’s especially important to provide amazing customer support when it comes to the post-purchase journey. Make sure that you update and engage with your customers through every step of the return process. When communication flows, customers feel comforted, reassured, and more likely to place a new order in the future.
2. Invest in social media marketing (especially if you target Millenials and Gen-Zs)
Social media is the place to be, especially if you sell to Millennials and Gen Zs. It is more than just another channel to tackle, in fact, it is one of the few mediums where your brand can engage with customers in all stages of the customer journey: awareness, consideration, purchase, loyalty/retention, and advocacy.
You can drive awareness with organic and paid social media posts, influencer marketing or brand promotions to create a positive first impression. 74% of consumers use social media to guide their purchase decisions and 60% of those engage with the brand pre-purchase. Using social media to influence consideration is another way to tackle the second step of the customer journey.
When it comes to the shopping decision, customers often look out for rewards and promotions. Paid remarketing campaigns, especially those based on website visits, are quite effective to drive customers to buy.
After a customer shops in your store, you’d like for them to return, right? Loyalty is the key to profitability. Use social media as a customer care channel and give it the same importance you give email, phone and in-person attention. It’s also important that quite a lot of messages received on social media chats could be easily automated, so you might want to check that out as well.
Last but not least, advocacy. Create content, games and special competitions for social media to prompt your customers to share your products and put a good word out on them. This will reduce your advertising costs and statistics show that worth of mouth is more effective than paid actions.
3. Go online and, most importantly, mobile
If 2020 has taught us anything is that there’s a lot of possibilities when it comes to digitalisation. Online shopping has been growing for the past few years, but e-commerce has grown 4 to 6 years in 2020 only. Crazy!
From here it will just continue to thrive, so it’s important to catch up and jump in the dotcom on desktop, and mobile. Mobile sessions surpass desktop when it comes to website visits, but desktop takes the lead when it’s time to purchase as most online shops still don’t have a smooth shopping experience for mobile.
Phones have become a part of ourselves, we take them everywhere we go and use them for many things like cooking, moving around, taking public transport or a taxi… it’s just a matter of time until e-commerce catches on and mobile overtakes desktop on the buying process as well.
Now is the time to take the lead and get your online store mobile responsive.
4. Be more sustainable
Sustainability has been one of the trending factors in the last few years. As everyone starts to realise and understand that there is no plan nor planet B, many people, and especially companies have started to behave more environmentally friendly.
Creating sustainable and environmentally friendly products is a huge step and sometimes not easy or immediate. If you plan on a more quick action plan you should start by reducing returns.
Look into return reasons and update the product description according to your customer’s comments and reviews.
Most return reasons are related to sizing, which is why it’s essential to have a thorough product description and characteristics.
With all information in place, customers feel more sure about their purchase and will most likely don’t have to return anything. On the other side, the retailer increases customer loyalty, boosts profitability and, of course, is more sustainable.
5. Embrace multichannel selling
E-commerce is booming and it’s very important to be on top of it, but don’t forget that in-store shopping is still a thing, even though we got to do it less this year.
With the boom of eCommerce, to increase sales in the upcoming year you could think about trying out new channels like the marketplaces Amazon, eBay or Etsy; e-commerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, with which your website is hot and supported by the platforms web servers; or like Magento and WooCommerce which provide software solutions for business to host, run and support their own website.
Another channel that might start to take off is Instagram. Its controversial new update relocated buttons to give shopping a boost and help out brands to sell via the app. While buying on the app is still not available, brands can display their products and easily drive users to their website to continue browsing and check-out.
We hope these resolutions/tips opened your eyes a little bit and help your company thrive this year. Happy 2021!