In the world of ecommerce, it’s no secret that prep for the holiday season starts early. For many online retailers, the three key weeks of holiday shopping can make up 20 to 25% of annual revenue. Stakes are high, and customers expect a flawless digital experience —which doesn’t happen overnight.
Because many retailers will soon go into code freeze, holiday preparedness measures need to be fine-tuned well ahead of the actual shopping season. FullStory’s customer success team is working hard to help customers optimize their DXI set up before the holiday rush starts.
Why the 2022 holiday season is like no other
Though it feels like we’ve been chanting this for the past several holiday seasons, this year is different than previous ones.
You probably don’t need us to tell you that macroeconomically, times are tough.
Since you can’t control those factors, it’s crucial to control how well you prepare–and we’re here to help.
FullStory’s Customer Success team recently hosted an internal “Holiday Preparedness Week” to equip our customer-facing team members to best help FullStory customers be successful this holiday season.
During a fireside chat, I shared three recommendations for online retailers in the current macroeconomic climate, based on my 10+ years of experience in ecommerce.
Recommendation #1: Avoid shiny new objects
In other words, focus on the basics. Unless you’ve already invested the time to perfect new features, the months leading up to the busy holiday shopping season probably aren’t the time to implement your site’s first Augmented Reality experience or to buy property in the metaverse. Instead, make sure the features and experiences that are already on your site are doing their jobs well.
Here are three ways to use Digital Experience Intelligence to emphasize value over flashiness:
Improve user journeys: Use FullStory to monitor site abandonment and suss out ways to improve the customer’s journey. If a customer can’t easily find a product, read about it, and add it to their cart, they’re not going to buy it.
Balance payment options: With more and more payment options out there, retailers should think carefully about which to accept. Too many options (PayPal, Klarna, Afterpay, etc.) can be overwhelming for shoppers, while too few can be limiting. In fact, one major online retailer used FullStory to learn that they had two redundant payment steps in their checkout flow leading to major drop-off. It should be quick and easy for shoppers to open their wallets.
Clarify shipping and return policies: These can contribute to significant drop-off—especially if your shipping and return policies are unclear or seen as unfair. You can monitor the impact of these policies with Journeys, Funnels, Page Flows, and especially through the highlighted text signal in FullStory. If a shopper highlights something in your policy, it’s likely they’re surprised to read it.
Recommendation #2: Monitor your coupons and loyalty programs
You know the importance of customer loyalty—but do you know how effective your loyalty program is? Ahead of the holiday season, ensure that your loyalty program offers and promo codes are working properly. Accessing the discount they expected through a promo code or special offer can be the difference between completing a purchase or abandoning a cart.
On the other hand, it’s also a critical time to reduce friction for shoppers who want to check out as a guest without creating an account or joining a loyalty program. During gift-giving season especially, not all of your shoppers are part of your long-term target audience. Get out of the way of shoppers who just want to quickly make a purchase for now.
Recommendation #3: Make product research easy
Research is becoming an increasingly common and important part of buyer behavior. In fact, in a recent FullStory survey, 51% of consumers said they will research more carefully before making purchases in 2022.
Here are two signals that are unique to FullStory insights that can help you monitor and improve the experience for shoppers who may be doing product research:
Copy/paste: Shoppers who are using copy/paste are most likely comparison-shopping between sites. For example, if you see a high abandonment rate associated with users who are copying and pasting, you may be losing customers to a better deal (or a better digital experience). That’s the perfect time to optimize your offer.
Pinch-to-zoom: If shoppers are using pinch-to-zoom on your web or mobile site, it likely indicates that something is difficult to see. This can be frustrating, and may even cause customers to look elsewhere for a more user-friendly shopping experience.
By proactively setting up Metrics and Alerts for these signals in FullStory, you can monitor comparison shopping behavior and make updates to improve the experience.
We’re just scratching the surface of what you can do with FullStory but hope that these quick and easy insights make your holiday season brighter.