A lot of the headache of the holiday rush can be prevented with a little bit of planning and preparation.
Shoring up your inventory, utilizing live chat to streamline and improve the customer satisfaction, training staff, making your site as mobile-friendly as possible, and preparing social media and email to support general site efforts are all valuable components of a successful holiday season for the online storefront.
You can read more details on what all of these components actually mean and how to get the most out of them here: 52 Tips, Tricks, and Insider Secrets for Handling the Online Holiday Rush.
You’ll want to start the process early enough that you’re ready by the time online shoppers hit your virtual door.
You can’t change whether your customers plan ahead or not, but you can change whether you do! Read on for Velaro’s 7 Tactics and 3 Live Chat Maxims that can help you plan for the holidays, even though your customers haven’t.
Ok, but how exactly do you plan to turn a mob of frantic, impatient shoppers into a firm base of long-standing, happy customers? So glad you asked!
Velaro’s 7 Tactics and 3 Live Chat Maxims to Prepare Your Site for the Holiday Rush
- Plan alternates for possible sell-outs
Just because you ran out of Batman merchandise doesn’t mean your customers won’t buy something with Spiderman on it—but they might need your help to think of that.
- Rush-proof your website
Most of this is just double-checking that things work the way they should and the user experience is generally intuitive. Live chat can help with this as well (see below).
- Be mobile-friendly
Neglect smartphone-based shoppers at your own risk!
- Utilize email and social media
Customers will appreciate communications about your promotions and you’ll appreciate documentation that you informed them about your policies.
- Analyze past rushes
Your business is unique—while there are some general things all online retailers can expect, take a look at what past behavior might indicate for what you specifically should expect this year. Not sure what to look for? Again, learn more here: 52 Tips, Tricks, and Insider Secrets for Handling the Online Holiday Rush.
- Train staff
Both permanent and temporary! Again, more can be said about this, but just thinking about it puts you a step ahead of many.
- Use live chat
You don’t want to install a new live chat system the week before your busiest season, but if you can get it up and running during a quiet period, both you and your customers will enjoy several benefits, such as superior customer service and reduced shopping cart abandonment rate.
Velaro’s Three Live Chat Maxims for the Holiday Season:
- Prepare live chat scripts for your FAQs—and keep them fresh/updated
- Make it easy for customers to initiate chat—this may entail being proactive and identifying a visitor who may have a question
- Strive for a 4:1 ratio of live chat reps to shoppers at any given time, to hit the sweet spot of maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction
If you do these 10 things, you can avoid the bad behaviors and barriers to success of years past and help develop a growing community of loyal customers for your site year after year!
Still not sure of what to do? Ask one of our live chat experts for help!