The holiday season is the season of giving, which makes the transaction the center of the customer experience. And with the continued uncertainty of this year as the CDC updates its guidelines, your brand needs to prioritize seamless experiences online and in-store.

Offering seamless in-store and online experiences 

While putting equal emphasis on in-store and online shopping during the holiday season is a challenge many brands didn’t have to face last year, it’s not impossible. To help jump start your holiday preparation, here are the three keys to success for superior customer experiences this year.

  1. Connect identity dots: Your brand should know where a consumer is in their journey, whether online or in-store, to help get them to the next step to purchase.
  2. Offer seamless mobile-to-in-store interactions: Sync both channels so they become one experience. For example, keep track of your in-store inventory online, and show customers where they can pick up the product in your store and how much of a certain product remains at any given location.
  3. Get products into people’s hands, quickly: The last mile of the customer journey is crucial. This means that commerce brands should have their shipping and delivery times and methods down to a science. And be sure there is open communication with the customer about where their product is at and when it will get into the recipient’s hands.

Once you nail down how to connect your in-store and online experiences, it’s time to find the optimal approach.

Optimizing your commerce strategy 

As we’ve mentioned throughout this holiday preparation series, now is not the time to revert to pre-pandemic strategies. In fact, many leading industry experts say consumers may never return to common purchasing behaviors we were used to seeing. Utilize these four tips to get out ahead of your competitors and anticipate consumers’ needs.

  1. Get smart about retail media: The holiday season is the time to broaden your reach to attract new customers. Now is the time to dive into all of your options with channel partners and media networks to determine what your mix of media spend and placement should be.
  2. Work backward from delivery: Take a look at the customer journey, starting from the moment the product reaches the customers’ hands, and examine possible pain point to address. This low-hanging fruit will have a big impact.
  3. Figure out your physical space: Start talking about how to best utilize your physical space immediately. You need to decide if your store should utilize square footage for product, order management, or even an experiential space.
  4. Perform a PIM/logistics audit: While there isn’t time for an ecommerce overhaul, there is still time to run an audit to determine how your PIM (product information management) and order management systems work to help you provide an excellent customer experience.

After your team has worked through this list to optimize your commerce strategy, consider walking through our previous insights in this holiday prep series:

Holiday Preparation 2021: Data Collection

Holiday Preparation 2021: Digital Experiences and Messaging

What’s next

As you map out the commerce experience to your holiday customer journey, come with us a step further as we talk about the role loyalty will play this upcoming season in our next 2021 Holiday Preparation blog.

In the meantime, download our 2021 Holiday preparation Playbook and sign up to watch The Next Normal webinar, The Trends Driving Holiday 2021 Success, on demand. We’re here to walk your brand through the new holiday landscape and beyond.

Download 2021 Holiday Preparation Playbook

Register for The Next Normal: The Trends Driving Holiday 2021 Success

 

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