Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Guide To Maximizing Your Holiday Shopper’s Experience

The holiday season is in full swing! Christmas music and decorations sweep throughout every department store, Starbucks is serving up caffeinated delight in special red cups, and wonderment fills every child’s eyes when they see all the holiday festivities. But along with the joy of the holiday season comes holiday shopping–something most people (myself included) wouldn’t exactly call a joyful experience. Going to the store anytime in December is an event. There are hardly any parking spots, everything is out of stock, and people are packed in stores like sardines in a tin can. So how can you ensure a shopping experience that doesn’t turn your customer into a grinch? We’ve got a few ideas for you!

Merry Micro-Experiences
In a sea of companies advertising sales, specials, and coupons (oh my!), it’s hard to stand out against your competitors during the hectic holiday shopping season. Holiday customers are more impatient than ever. You’re looking for a way to make your products stand out. Enter: Micro-experiences!

Micro-experiences are mobile experiences that give customers access to all of the information they need, exactly when they need it. And perhaps the most compelling thing of all? The information is specific to their needs in that exact moment in time. Imagine you’re looking to fill a stocking for your Star Wars fanatic or beauty guru in training, when all of the sudden you receive an email with a picture of stockings hung by the chimney with care–pre-stuffed with themed goodies (that your loved ones won’t want to share). You realize that all you have to do is click or scan the QR code image on a stocking, and it automatically loads the products into your virtual cart. You can choose a quick one-click checkout, cross off checking your list twice, and rest easy because your shopping is done tonight. Creating personalized moments like this for your customer will ensure they will shop with you not only during the hectic holiday season, but also long after the tree has been put away. Being there to understand your customer goes a long way, and giving them what they want in that instant is even more valuable to you in creating a loyal customer.

Making Mobile Bright
Think about it: Mobile is the best way to reach your customer, because those mobile devices are never far away. More and more people are turning to mobile to do their shopping, and even if they’re not buying online, they’re certainly looking online to find where they can get what they need. In the past two years, mobile searches for “where to buy” grew over 85 percent. This is where Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) come in. Imagine your moment-specific, made-for-mobile experience appearing in a quick Google search, and people interacting with it like they would an app (but they didn’t have to take the time to download it or worry about available space). It contains all the information they need in that moment, and nothing more. No more wading through information-overloaded mobile websites or making room on their phone for another app they won’t use more than once or twice. That’s no Christmas miracle, that’s the power of a PWA. Power that can make all the difference for your yuletide shopper.

Make It Easy To Access
In this post, I told the story of the Christmas morning struggle every parent can relate to, and how contextual activation comes into play to create a better Christmas morning. No three words have infuriated exhausted parents more than “some assembly required,” especially after being woken up at five in the morning by their five year old because “Santa came! He really came!”. Providing helpful information to shoppers via contextual activation methods like NFC, QR codes, URLs, and text codes for pre-purchase and post-purchase can significantly improve the buying experience, which compels them to keep coming back to your brand time and time again.

When it comes to winning over the hearts (and wallets) of holiday shoppers, it’s all about providing frictionless, easy experiences that are personalized to them. After all, you want your holiday shoppers to become year-long shoppers, and utilizing these methods will help you during the holiday hustle and bustle, and help your customer to have a holly jolly holiday shopping experience.