Make adjustments to your e-commerce approach this holiday season
Online wine sales around the holidays can make or break your whole year. Christmas and the New Year may be just around the corner, but there's still time to make small adjustments for high end-of-the-year sales. While you probably already have promotions and a holiday theme outlined in your campaign materials, some tiny details may have been overlooked during the planning process. A less-than-satisfactory experience can send customers to another winery website. The following tips can help you see the direct-to-consumer revenues you want:
1. Be completely transparent about pricing, availability, accepted forms of payment and shipping
Nothing will lead to an abandoned shopping cart faster than a misleading promotion. Customer retention is critical to long-term success, so you need to be honest in all marketing materials and website content to avoid lost business, according to Digital Operative. Don't leave any critical information out on product or check-out pages. Alternatively, make sure your frequently asked questions pages is up to date, and include a phone number in case customers have additional inquiries.
2. Utilize wine inventory software to keep an eye on order accuracy
Processing orders correctly plays a major part in consumer satisfaction. In fact, Big Commerce said many shoppers will ditch an online retailer after just one incorrect order. The number will increase after a second order with a mistake. Not only is inventory management critical for helping your clients have a great e-commerce experience, but it also can help you get more recommendations. If people are satisfied, they may write positive reviews, but if they have problems with their orders, they could spread negative commentary on social media. One of the best ways to ensure orders are correct is to establish multiple quality checks during the fulfillment process to prevent errors.
3. Enable social sharing on your website
This is one easy marketing boost that may be particularly well-suited to wine and work beyond the holidays. If customers can share products they purchased on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, there's a chance their followers may notice and be interested, CIO magazine said. Visual content can be an effective way to attract new customers.
4. Account for returns in advance
Ideally, you want to minimize post-holiday returns, but some exchanges and refunds will be inevitable. When returns are handled correctly, they can actually build customer satisfaction, according to Big Commerce. Be sure to clearly define return policies and make the procedure as easy as possible for customers. The more transparent you are about returns before shoppers make a purchase, the more trust you can build. Customers want to be reassured you'll assist them if something goes wrong. Discuss returns with e-commerce fulfillment partners in advance to be better prepared.
5. Make checkout as simple as possible
Why do people shop online? They crave convenience, and this is especially true during the holidays. Because many people have to purchase many gifts in a relatively short amount of time, attention spans are at an all-time premium, CIO said. Small adjustments to improve usability can prevent you from losing revenue during checkout.
6. Make sure to keep customer service channels open
Looking for the best way to enhance the user experience during the holidays? Have your customer service team prepared to handle more inquiries than they may be used to in a timely fashion. If potential clients have to wait too long for a response, they could end up going somewhere else. No matter what customer service channels your winery utilizes, be prepared to give speedy answers to questions so you don't hold shoppers up from completing other purchases on their lists.
One of the major problems with winery emails is the lack of checking or testing the email before it is sent to the entire list. In the last week alone, I've received emails with significant errors: One winery offered a discount on "6 or more bottles", but somehow no discount was offered when a case was selected.
Promo or coupon codes don't work because the code may require a space between XMAS and 2013, but the email shows it as a single word.
Another winery offered free ground shipping with a minimum purchase, but actually was offering free overnight priority shipping.
When a winery creates an email, it would be best to allow someone at the winery test it and try to order based on what the email says. Pretend to be a customer, and not someone who knows how the site actually operates. It's also a good idea if this tester was not part of the team that created the email or errors might not be found.
Have a great Christmas and best New Year ever!