The NRF is forecasting 12% increase in online sales and a 4.1% increase in overall sales this holiday season - meaning that shoppers will spend $96 billion online and $586.1 billion in total. That’s just in November and December. However, people don’t stop shopping in January; and, while the revenue might not be counted towards the holidays, it certainly counts towards online retailers’ bottom lines.
As you plan your holiday strategy this year, think beyond December and what you can do to keep customers shopping into 2013. Here are five Post Purchase Email Campaign tactics you should try, beyond the usual holiday sales and gift card redemption campaigns:
- Get What You Really Want - People typically give gifts that they’d like to receive from retailers that they know and trust. And just because they’re giving away all of their favorite merchandise doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get it in return. In January, try a post purchase email campaign to new customers letting them know that it isn’t too late for them to purchase items that they really wanted. Be clever – last year, Apple sent out an email the day after Christmas with the subject line “Wasn’t under the tree? Get it now from the Apple Store.”
- Cross-Sell / Upsell – Similarly, a cross-sell / upsell post purchase campaign after the holidays will generate a lot of additional revenue in January. These campaigns can be set up in advance and automatically deployed with accessories and other products related to the merchandise that was previously purchased. Be sure to include an easy way for the recipient to forward and share the message.
- Request a Product Review – There are many benefits of shopping online during the holidays – no crowds, 24 hour availability, better selection, easier price checks and inventory checks, and, of course, convenience, to name a few. In fact, a Bazaarvoice study in March of this year found that online shoppers are more satisfied than in-store shoppers across all demographics. After the holidays, send a post purchase email requesting a product review or survey. Customers love to provide feedback and they like to know that their opinions are valued – and new shoppers love to read reviews from other customers. Everyone wins. We’ve even seen survey and review request emails with conversion rates of 15-20% even though the emails aren’t promotional, so don’t be surprised if these campaigns drive additional revenue.
- No hassle returns – A study last year by Motorola found that 40.5% of shoppers are dissatisfied with the return/exchange process provided by online retailers. Let your customers know you care by sending out a post purchase campaign detailing your return policy to make it as simple as possible for customers to get the merchandise they really want. This campaign will help set you apart from your competitors and will keep trust levels high.
- Back in stock announcements – If you’re one of the retailers lucky enough to be selling this year’s hottest gifts, let customers know when inventory levels have been replenished. You should consider adding a notification module on your website so shoppers can sign up for an email alerting them that the product they want is available for purchase; however, for the best selling gifts an email may be sent out to your entire customer base, too. These emails keep customers happy and buying well after the holidays.