There are ecommerce verticals seeing incredible growth during lockdown due to the impact of coronavirus. Gifting ecommerce is certainly one vertical experiencing high growth.
It is understandable why gifting ecommerce has become more popular at this time, with customers feeling the need to send more gifts to show support and gratitude to family and friends (as well as having some cross-over with Mother’s Day and Easter).
Some gifting retailers may be experiencing their first growth peak and others may have seen slow growth over the past few months for it now to skyrocket.
How can gifting ecommerce retailers maximise growth during this time of uncertainty. How can they survive and thrive?
#1 – Build a loyalty and referral scheme
If you provide a good experience for your customers (and those receiving the gifts), it can be easy to bring them back again and again and position yourself as a trustworthy gifting retailer.
However, you can encourage this further by building a loyalty and referral scheme that rewards your customers by making repeat purchases. This can be with points (that can be redeemed for discounts or free products), or with tiered rewards (that provide benefits such as free delivery after a certain value of spend has been reached).
#2 – Personalise your online experience
Another fantastic way of making sure that your customers are having a positive customer experience online is by adding an element of personalisation.
If a customer has a trend of buying a certain type of product for their family or friends, then you can customise their next visit by promoting this product category again and speeding up the process. The quicker they can find the product they’re looking for, the more likely they are to make the purchase.
You may also want to personalise on a more top-of-the-funnel basis by providing a slightly different experience for new and returning customers. If a customer is visiting your site for the first time, you should be promoting more messages about your brand and your story. If a customer is returning, you may want to promote more reinforced messages such as free delivery or even give them a discount.
There are a number of personalisation platforms out there including Nosto, Segmentify, Bunting and Pure Clarity (who are also offering a three month trial for retailers who sign up before April 30th 2020).
#3 – Set up a welcome email series for your new customers
If you are seeing growth, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen a significant increase in new customers. What does your welcome experience look like for these new customers?
A quick win is to set up a welcome email series for customers who make a purchase and sign up to your newsletter. There are dozens of welcome email examples, but the idea is to send an initial email on sign-up, followed by another a few hours or days later if they haven’t purchased (or if they abandoned their cart), and then another in a few days perhaps with a discount (if they haven’t still purchased), etc.
Once these are set up, they will be automated to fire every time a customer signs up to your newsletter.
Here’s a handy guide from dotdigital with welcome email best practices.
#4 – Make sure to collect and encourage reviews
With an influx of new customers, you don’t want to miss out on their reviews and feedback.
Reviews can be highly valuable as the majority of online shoppers will read and evaluate reviews before making a purchase (especially if it’s a purchase for somebody else). With a significant increase in new customers, you have a golden opportunity to make sure to take advantage and collect reviews.
Whilst some shoppers will leave reviews anyway, you may want to send an email to your customers a week after purchase to encourage them to do so.
This is a particularly useful strategy as your online store will continue to benefit from reviews after this peak, and you can put your online store in a position to thrive for the months and years to follow.
#5 – Take advantage of automation
With any uplift in sales, comes new issues with workload – along with pressure on your logistics, operations, marketing, reporting and more.
You want to take advantage of as much automation as possible so that you can reduce the number of manual tasks your team needs to work through.
If you can automate customer segmentation, orders and inventory management, discounting and promotions (and more), you are in a position to scale and grow.
Most platforms have an element of automation, but Shopify is one of the key players here with their Flow and Launchpad tools.
#6 – Ramp up your paid search efforts
If you are seeing an increase in sales and interest, then there is natural demand for your product and brand. If this is the case, you may want to ramp up your paid search efforts to maximise the amount of traffic and sales you generate.
Customers are searching for gifts for loved ones and the first go-to is often Google (or Amazon).
There are many brands at the moment who are pausing paid search efforts (or scaling back), and so there are spaces in each vertical where you can win market share. Every brand will respond differently – some will increase activity if they recognise an opportunity, and some will pause activity entirely.
Paid search can be a dynamic way of increasing traffic and driving sales in times of opportunity.
Prepare for growth and scalability
For gifting retailers, there is an opportunity to survive and thrive. Consumers are looking for ways to support and show gratitude for others and gifts are a simple way to do so.
Prepare for growth and scalability by getting your loyalty, personalisation, email, reviews and paid search efforts in order. Support this with automation and you are in a good position to achieve ecommerce success.
Support for gifting retailers experiencing high growth is out there. Whether you need ecommerce support, or you need help with PPC strategy, we are happy to offer our expert insights. Get in touch and we can explore how we can help.