The staff prepares for these events rigorously; taking care of various elements like inventory, security, billing process etc. Holiday season sales can be chaotic but they bring in a huge amount of revenue.
This of course was a story of your usual consumer gadget store in the town. So, what is the story of a similar store if it were to be online? When it comes to web stores, the process is almost similar. Webstore owners and staff have to prepare for the same holiday season. They have to take similar measures to ensure that they take care of their customers and meet their demands.
Let’s talk about the preparation that online stores have to do this holiday season and how certain measures can help them:
The most important thing to do is make sure that your products maintain quality. Since the demand is high, you cannot use that as an excuse to rush production, whether you produce your goods inhouse or have a supplier.
Before you begin fresh production for the holiday season, make sure to analyse your previous sales data and produce accordingly. It is beneficial if you produce enough to meet the requirement, and have a little to spare, without overshooting the production.
Just as stores have an increased foot traffic, people will flock to your webstore. With the increase in the number of people coming to your store, you have to prepare for it. Make sure to update it with the discounts that you are offering and update the pricing structure of everything accordingly.
If you are giving coupons that customers can apply at checkout, then make sure to update the site to reflect that as well the valid coupon code that are available.
Make sure that your site can handle the traffic. If it crashes, you will lose out on customers.
To add a certain festive mood to your webstore, you can add a holiday centric banner on your home screen, or change the page load animation to match the festivities, etc. This adds a nice touch to the overall website and is quite similar to decorating a physical store.
With such a huge number of customers coming to your website, it is of utmost importance that you make sure your site is secure. Vulnerabilities leads to stealing or tampering with your data. Similarly, your customers’ data can also fall prey to hacking if you don’t take appropriate measures to secure your website. If your customers don’t trust you, they are less likely to shop from your store.
Depending on what your business is about, you will have sensitive customer data that should be private. Moreover, the addresses of millions of people can certainly not fall into the wrong hands.
Customer management is one of the most challenging aspects to handle during the holiday season. Your staff is easily outnumbered by the number of customers you have. Customers usually have a lot of questions regarding the discounts you are giving as well as the products themselves. They will flood your inbox with questions about discounts or requests to change their shipping address after placing order.
However, there are neat solutions for such a problem. You can use a customer portal. This portal acts as a gateway between your CRM and the customer. They can manage their contact details as well as their address changes if they want to make any. Additionally, they can use this portal to request an exchange or return on their products.
With this tool, your support staff need not feel quite as outnumbered because the customers can be more or less self-sufficient.
Shipping is intricately tied in with customer management. If not done right, customers tend to not return to your store. With so many packages to send, the amount of packing materials you use will also increase. You can be mindful about using the right size of the retail packaging to cut down on waste and can even have a recycling option where customers can return the packaging to you.
When it comes to the holiday season, the more you prepare, the better it is. Get your customers the best service you can offer, on top of the best quality of products you can offer. A customer may come for the product but generally tends to stay for the service that comes with it. And holidays are stressful times anyway; if something were to make it easier on them, they are sure to appreciate it.
A little something extra:
We understand that the holidays are a particularly tiring time for those of us who work in support. Customers reach out in distress because they need 5 more pairs of headphones but your website shows they are out of stock.
Train your staff to reply to them calmly and make sure that as soon as something goes out of stock, it is off the website until restocked. Apart from that, also tell them to keep updating the knowledge base of your website to show user manuals for each product. While gadgets make for great gifts, they are also quite expensive to break in the same hour as you receive them. And customers will come looking for ways to set up a camera. If you have a simple manual for the same, they will come buy a second from you!
We are in the business of helping you with your customers. If you are looking for a customer portal to give the best of you this holiday season, look no further than our sugarcrm customer portal and feel free to contact us if you have any queries. Happy holidays!
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