The continued impact of inflation and a shift in consumer priorities are defining the 2022 holiday season and the start of 2023. Consumers are more budget-conscious and price-sensitive as inflation pushes the cost of living and products’ prices. Inflation is causing American households to spend $445 more per month buying the same items they did a year ago. SMBs can use this time of market instability to double down on their online stores.
There are several ways SMBs can tap into to create new revenue-increasing opportunities, maneuver through a tricky holiday season, and grow their business in 2023.
Make your online shopping journey easy for shoppers.
Be crystal clear about what you’re selling online and publish detailed product pages with images and descriptions that provide everything shoppers need to know to confidently buy and to ensure there aren’t any surprises when the product arrives at their doorstep. 85% of shoppers say product information and pictures are important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from.
Checkout should be easy.
Roughly 20% of shoppers abandon their carts because the checkout process is too complex. Make sure your checkout process is simple with various payment options, such as traditional credit card methods, Buy-Now-Pay-Later, Apple Pay, PayPal, and others, so customers can pick their preferred method. Also, make sure your site is mobile-friendly for those on the go, and keep in mind that 59% of shoppers say that being able to shop on mobile is important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from, and mobile sales drove almost half (44%) of all online shopping revenue so far this holiday season.
Remember what your buyers need with the current state of the market.
This year customers are looking for coupons & discounts more than ever. With inflation causing record-high prices, consumers are hunting for ways to save; 78% are looking for discounts. Additionally, 88% of holiday shoppers believe promotions and coupons are important when deciding what holiday items to purchase. Merchants can also consider flash sales. Gift cards are great at combating inflation. In 2021, consumers sidestepped the supply chain crunch by turning to gift cards in record numbers, driving a 114% increase in sales year-over-year.
Leverage an omnichannel approach to increase brand awareness, customer reach, and sales.
An omnichannel approach is a strategy for merchants to sell their products and sync their catalogs across their branded online stores, physical stores, social media, and marketplaces. This approach creates a consistent and holistic brand experience as well as a seamless shopping journey for your customers. Remember that about 73% of consumers use multiple channels for their purchases. In addition, those who use 4+ channels spend approximately 9% more compared to those who use a single channel. Furthermore, omnichannel strategies can drive about an 80% higher rate of incremental store visits. You can multiply the opportunities to sell your products by syncing catalogs across your branded online store, physical stores, social media, and marketplaces.
Be where your customers are.
Social media touchpoints are a big piece of the eCommerce customer journey. 65% of consumers say they use social media for inspiration when making a purchase, and 60% said that they shop from content posted by brands on social media. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have shopping features and capabilities for merchants to integrate their store catalogs, and customers are using them. These offerings will only continue to advance and become more seamless and frictionless for buyers.
Level up your customer service because it promotes organic marketing & returning customers.
Customer service goes a long way. It’s not a new concept, but it reigns true; good customer service builds trust and customer loyalty. The experiences created by a brand are just as important to buyers as the products and services, according to 80% of customers. When it comes to customer service, set yourself apart. Beyond answering phone calls, have a live chat and FAQ on your site, and be proactive. If someone bought something, check in and see how they like it.
Be smart about your inventory strategies.
Protect your brand from overselling, late shipments, and other costly mishaps by setting up the proper fulfillment and inventory flows. Many larger retailers are having challenges juggling their inventory supply and demand. Dropshipping and print-on-demand are good options for smaller stores to avoid this same dilemma. Dropshipping allows you to fulfill orders without guessing the amount of inventory to stock, and print-on-demand adds a layer of customization to your products. Nearly 30% of eCommerce businesses use dropshipping as their primary fulfillment method. You can also offer pre-order options to let your customers secure anticipated new products. Note that 28% of all pre-orders are placed on the first day of pre-order availability which is a strategic way to gauge how much inventory you need. Also, you can ensure you don’t miss potential sales by letting customers pre-order out-of-stock items – just don’t forget to notify users when back-in-stock items are available.
Despite inflation and the current economic uncertainties, SMBs can double down on their online stores to turn holiday traffic into sales to grow their business and kick off 2023 strong. Be prepared, smart, & strategic, and focus on your customers. Merchants can leverage Wix’s leading eCommerce platform to launch, run and scale their online store to make the most of this holiday season and into the coming year.
Yael Weiss Ayalon, User Relations Manager at Wix Ecommerce