Quick Tips: 5 ways to ready your retail business for peak season
(Originally published at www.triggdigital.com)
One thing’s for certain: 2020 has been a strange year so far. The coronavirus pandemic has hit all of us, in large and small ways. It’s also had huge implications for industries, and the lasting impact remains unclear.
What is clear is that businesses must shape their strategies to capitalise on consumer spend and achieve success in new ways.
It’s hard to believe that we’re already in October, heading into what is traditionally the ‘golden quarter’ for retail, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas trading. While consumer confidence might not be what it has been, Retail Week reported that “Total retail sales increased 5.6% year on year, compared with a 0.6% decline in September 2019, according to the BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor. This was above the six- and 12-month average declines of 1.1% and 1% respectively.”
How can you maximise the potential for your brand during the next quarter? While you don’t want to be making any large-scale changes, there are some small tweaks you can make to optimise performance and turn every touchpoint into a transaction.
1.Collaborate with your team
At Trigg, we have over 50 years experience working in-house with Retail brands. One of the most important things is that everyone involved in peak trading is on the same page. Make sure that your technical teams have been briefed on marketing campaigns, so they are prepped to cope with the additional website load.
Ensure logistics providers, payment and search partners are working with you. Some brands set up ‘tiger teams’ who have daily scrums and simplified authorisation to make quick decisions. Make sure to recognise your employees working in challenging circumstances.
2.Check your chatbots
With significantly more purchases being made online than in-store, your customer service team will likely be under some strain processing all the enquiries. If you have Chatbots, check that you’ve enabled them with the answers to the most commonly asked questions. Take the opportunity to update your FAQ page, and review your routing system to maximise efficiency.
3.Stress-test your eCommerce system
You work hard to drive traffic to your website, and on the right discounting strategy for your brand. Make sure that you maximise that expensive, hard won traffic by working with your systems integrator and eCommerce provider to capacity test.
Many websites fell over last year, or had to implement queuing systems, which aren’t great for the customer experience. If you do have problems, at this late stage, think about how you can make it easier for your customer with timely updates and the right messaging.
4.Focus on customer experience
Take a final look at your website from the perspective of your customers. Are there any unnecessary steps in the checkout process, or any confusing layouts that hinder conversion?
Basic things, like making sure feedback survey pop-ups come after checkout, and removing the menu bar when in basket view can make a big difference. In an ideal world, your commerce, service and marketing systems are talking to each other, but if they don’t, see what work arounds you can do to reduce wasted marketing spend.
5.Triple check your marketing
Make sure you’ve taken steps to help people engage with your brand, especially as store footfall is likely to be lower. Create a social media plan that fosters community, check your email sequencing to incentivise abandoned baskets and turn new customers into loyal ones, and align the whole team to the plan. When the team works together all your employees can be powerful brand ambassadors.
We know that it’s really tough out there: we’ve been there. Although you might be thinking about a complete tech overhaul, now is the time to make small changes to maximise the next season. If you need help identifying quickly what these are, or even for some additional pairs of hands to act as an extension of your team, get in touch with us.