Preparing Your E-Commerce Store for Easter: 8 Strategies to Engage Online Shoppers
Easter is almost upon us and there’s been an undeniable shift in the retail atmosphere. In the era of COVID-19, people are turning to e-commerce all the more. To secure a healthy bottom line this Easter, your store must attract and retain customers and be poised as an oasis in these challenging times.
In short, It’s time to prepare for being able to meet the demand of a perpetual “Black Friday.”
A 2019 report by eMarketer, an independent industry analysis and research company, predicted retail trends for 2020. The report forecasted a 12.8% growth in U.S. e-commerce sales, but with the current climate entering the third quarter, that number will no doubt skyrocket. Globally, there’s a surge of online shopping according to Digital Commerce 360 an e-commerce trend news source.
In this post, we will share eight strategies to prepare your store for Easter and beyond. Position your store as a trustworthy, fully-stocked beacon. Make your shoppers feel safe, engaged, and excited about shopping online at your store this Easter by:
- Sharing a COVID-19 statement on your site
- Giving back to efforts that fight the spread of coronavirus
- Showcasing your site’s secure shopping features
- Offering Easter-inspired bundles
- Providing interactive Easter-themed games for online savings
- Adjusting your return and refund policies
- Ensuring hot items are in stock and shipping quickly
- Offering them buy now, pay later solutions
This is a great time to get close to your customers and establish rapport with shoppers who are just discovering your site. You can use these tips now and throughout the pandemic.
Crafting Your COVID-19 Statement
At the top of your site, post a statement detailing how your company is protecting the health and safety of employees and customers during this pandemic. Additionally, your shoppers want to know that they will receive items in a timely manner. If there will be delays, be up front and share how you are working to overcome the issue.
Displaying an FAQ-style response is a good choice that’s reader-friendly. Address questions about shipping, returns, how to handle shipped packages, your commitment to fair pricing, and even options for contactless delivery if you provide delivery services or work with delivery partners.
Here are some additional resources to help you craft your COVID-19 statement:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
- World Health Organization – COVID-19 Guidance
- The National Retail Federation – Coronavirus Resources for Retailers
- Federal Coronavirus Resource – Coronavirus.gov
- Global Health Council – COVID-19 Response
The objective is to help shoppers feel informed, empowered, and cared for. Making that connection early and often may develop bonds of brand loyalty.
Giving Back to Efforts Fighting Coronavirus
Your shoppers are being impacted by this virus in various ways. Some have been directly infected or have friends, loved ones, or even co-workers who are battling the disease. Show them how your store is giving back to the effort to stop the spread.
Some ideas include:
- Ensuring your employees are supplied with personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Funding PPE dispersion efforts to first responders and medical personnel
- Donating a percentage of online sales to legitimate COVID-19 relief efforts.
- Offering discounts or free shipping on essential merchandise
Think about what makes sense for your business and don’t be shy letting your customers get in on the effort. Offer ways for them to donate and provide detailed information about how their financial support will be used.
Showcase Site Security
Scams are on the rise, so show your online shoppers why they can feel safe ordering from your site. Highlight your security policies and educate shoppers about how you handle business with a prominent statement on your site as well as a personal email communication or text message.
Make sure your online shoppers are aware of your standards for:
- How you contact customers: Outline the methods for contact so that your customers know who you operate. If your customers know you only use email, then they can be suspicious of text messages or phone calls.
- Security protocols: Share information about how your site protects customer data such as the use of encryption protocols.
- How you handle customer data: Be sure to include information about privacy and data use policies on your site.
- What data you request and why: Be clear on what kind of information you ask for and why so that shoppers will know how to navigate data requests. Scammers often request reverification of data to steal information. Assure your shoppers that you’d never ask for data they already shared when setting up a secure customer account.
This will help your customers spot suspicious activity and avoid being victims of scams.
Offer Easter-Inspired Bundles
Think about paring best-selling items in a discounted bundle with an Easter-inspired flair. Maybe it’s an Easter Basket Bundle or a Bunny BOGO. Be creative and crystal clear about how the customer will save money by choosing the bundle instead of buying items a la carte.
Create different bundles to reach different customer segments. Focus on familial and social relationships as a way to market the bundles because people are likely to be shopping for loved ones or friends who need help such as grandparents, stay-at-home moms or dads, and those with mobility challenges.
Launch Fun Easter-Themed Savings Games
This is a serious time, so a bit of laughter and fun can go a long way. Talk to your IT and web development team to come up with interactive Easter-themed games on your site such as discount scratch offs. You can even encourage shoppers to explore your store by hiding savings “eggs” on different pages that, when clicked, reveal coupon codes.
Revamp Your Return and Refund Policies
If you haven’t taken a good look at your return and refund policies lately, now is an excellent time. On your return and refund information page it’s good to explain:
- What cannot be returned based on public health and safety
- The details of any money back guarantee
- How many days shoppers have to initiate a return
- How to process a return or refund properly
- Any temporary extensions to the return and refund policy due to the pandemic
When it comes to your e-commerce return and refund policies, clarity is golden. Make sure your policies are fair and account for the current retail climate.
Keep Hot Items Stocked and Ready to Ship
Stay on top of what’s selling and keep a hefty supply on hand. Offer multiple speeds of shipping options to accommodate customer needs. Provide shipping incentives for those who purchase by a certain time. For example, all orders processed by a certain time can be shipped the same day.
Offer Buy Now, Pay Later ‘BNPL’ Solutions
Some of your customers may be changing shopping habits during financial uncertainty. They may be tempted to choose quantity over quality as they look for ways to make finances stretch. By giving them the option to purchase a higher quality product with a BNPL solution like Splitit, you are helping them to:
- Get the best product with a low initial payment
- Choose an interest-free installment payment plan
- Skip complicated applications that could impact credit scores
- Access the buying power of their existing Visa or Mastercard
- Start enjoying and using their purchases now
- Stay on top of their budgeting goals
As an online merchant, having an alternative payment solution like Splitit in addition to other payment options sets you apart. Since 35% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase with an interest-free installment payment plan, doesn’t it make sense to offer one?
With Splitit, both sides win. Your store gets paid in full over time. Your customers know there is a place they can shop to budget and plan for large purchases to help their family and friends this Easter and throughout the year.
Contact our team to request a demo of Splitit today. We are ready to serve you.