Summer 2021 is shaping up to be an explosive eCommerce shopping season as the pandemic wanes in the U.S. and people are looking to make up for a year of hunkered down isolation with plenty of time outside, with friends and family, and with travel. This is great news from a customer joy and business-growth-potential standpoint. But it also means that eCommerce brands need to bring their A-Game all summer long and effectively execute the plans they developed earlier in the year.
If you’re looking for some tips, advice, and wisdom to help handle and take advantage of the summertime rush, you’re in luck. As part of this collaborative webinar series, we’re chatting with some leading eCommerce brands to learn about what they’re doing to maximize this time in the sun.
Now, let’s get into some highlights from Session 1, where we talked to experts from TKEES, Beach Bunny Swimwear, HydroJug, and DripDrop ORS.
eCommerce Summertime Sales Success, Session 1: 4 Key Takeaways
Personalize and Humanize the Customer Experience
Now more than ever, brands are working to completely tailor the customer experience to the individual. This means a whole lot more than just special email flows for high-value customers and showing recommended products to customers based on their purchase histories (although both of those are must-haves for any eCommerce brand).
This summer, brands are kicking it up a notch.
We’re talking pop-ups personalized toward where the customer is coming from. Have they landed on your home page from TikTok? Have a cheeky tailored TikTok pop-up pop out at them to capture their email and number.
We’re talking SMS-based CX conversations, so that you can chat with your customers where they are, not just when they’re sitting at their laptop or desktop computer.
We’re even talking open phone lines for customers to have their questions directly answered—Beach Bunny reports a high purchase rate for customers who called—and 1-on-1 concierge service for high value customers to make them feel extra special (because they are!).
Treat Summer like BFCM/December Holidays
Although you should always offer compelling deals around the holidays, you can treat a time with higher sustained sales like another holiday season to drive more purchases (although this may not be possible for Summer 2021, you can have extra time to prepare for next year).
For example, you can create a special summertime sales day—create your own version of Prime Day! If you offer BOGO deals or heavy discounts during the holiday season, consider a summer-oriented version of those offers, especially if your brand has warm-weather products or a whole warm-weather catalogue. You can also make an official holiday (like Memorial Day, July 4, or Labor Day) a bigger deal by dropping some great offers.
However, your marketing and operations need to be in lock step. If you’re heavily promoting summertime deals, your inventory and fulfillment must be on point. Consider frontloading production in the year so that your inventory is well-stocked. Also consider investing in or investigating predictive modeling to ID high-demand SKUs before you get caught with high demand and low inventory.
Track the Metrics that Matter and Segment Your Customers
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): It’s always important to keep tabs on how much it costs your brand to acquire new customers, but remember to pay attention to how this number may fluctuate by season. TKEES noted that their cost per acquisition tends to be lower in the summer, which means it’s a great time to dedicate more budget toward acquiring new customers (that way, you can offer them your summer deals, and retain them a few months down the road with your killer BFCM offers).
Using a technique like RFM Segmentation is an actionable way to segment your customers. Once you’ve bucketed out your customer groups, you can then evaluate what messaging would be best to target each segment and learn more about the desires and tendencies of each segment. You can create messaging that caters to each group, and invest in different techniques for certain groups: you might implement or enhance your loyalty program for high value customers, or start running reengagement campaigns for customers who haven’t purchased from you as recently.
Optimize and Automate with Powerful Tools
You might be able to automate (and therefore reduce workload and costs) of certain parts of your business. Here are a few eCommerce tech stack mentions from the webinar:
- Tone Messaging: AI automation to provide real-time customer service
- Talkable: Targeted referral and loyalty programs to boost retention
- Daasity: Automate Shopify and Amazon data, dedicated LTV and RFM dashboard
- Better Reports: Plugin that determines product sellout dates