September 29, 2023

E-Commerce Strategies for Winning the Holidays

The holiday season is a make-or-break period for e-commerce brands.

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September 29, 2023

The holiday season is a make-or-break period for e-commerce brands. While it undoubtedly offers the potential for substantial sales growth, it also brings a significant increase in product returns, a surge in customer service demands, and an intensified level of competition within the market. Shopify reports that 30% of holiday gifts are returned every year, almost double the average for any season. Not to mention, 62% of shoppers plan to “buy mostly online”, showing the necessity for a seamless online purchasing experience. In the midst of this holiday frenzy, the central question for brands becomes: How can you stand out from the crowd and make the most of this crucial season?

In a recent webinar, Jake Disraeli, CEO and Co-founder of Treet, was joined by Casey Drake from Endear, a data-driven clienteling service, and Jake Springer from Sezzle, a Buy Now, Pay Later solution. Together, they shared invaluable advice and actionable steps for businesses looking to navigate the challenges and opportunities that the holiday rush presents.

Treet explains that a big point of contention during the holidays within e-commerce is combating the high influx of returns. During the holiday season, it’s not uncommon for returns to double the normal rate. To address these issues, you can improve size guides, adjust return policies to either extend or shorten them, focus on user-generated content and reviews, and explore branded resale options. Resale serves two primary purposes in relation to returns:

  1. It provides an alternative to returns, allowing customers to resell products for cash or credit, even if it's outside the return window. This creates a customer-friendly option for recouping funds.
  2. Resale helps reduce the cost of returns by rerouting unsellable items to logistics partners that can resell them on your dedicated resale site, minimizing financial losses for brands.

There is also an increasing importance on conscious consumerism, with 60% of people considering a brand’s sustainability practices when purchasing goods. Consumers are increasingly interested in buying secondhand products, making it a significant trend in the e-commerce industry and something to consider this upcoming holiday season.

Endear emphasizes the importance of brand-to-consumer messaging with e-commerce. There is a shift towards more conversational and personalized messaging and the importance of understanding the difference between retail sales and retail marketing. The goal is to make a consumer come back for more by building customer relationships and driving sales throughout the year, not just during peak holiday seasons. Three messaging strategies you could implement this season would be a winter collection launch, gift-with-purchase promotions, and 12 days of deals. By harnessing your communication with your VIP community, you’re building lasting relationships that build trust between your brand and consumers. By filtering customer data and tailoring outreach accordingly, you are converting holiday shoppers into returning customers and increasing your customer retention.

Sezzle highlighted the benefit of providing a “buy now, pay later” program for the money-conscious consumer. Credit insecurity amongst shoppers leads to lost sales for retailers, especially during the holiday season, by up to 25%. By offering a wide range of solutions, brands are able to appeal to consumers of all different economic statuses and enhance customer acquisition. Not to mention, a level of trust is built between the brand and its audience. Initiatives like “buy now, pay later” attract and retain loyal customers, specifically driving 35% of sales to brands working with Sezzle.

As we approach the holiday season, the lessons from this webinar highlight the importance of strategic innovation in e-commerce. Brands can adapt and thrive by listening to consumer needs and making actionable changes to stay competitive. With sustainability and conscious consumerism on the rise, these strategies not only optimize holiday sales but also set the stage for long-term growth in the ever-evolving world of e-commerce.

Watch the full webinar here!

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