6 Ways To Create A Shopping Experience Your Customers Will Love

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

You’ve made big business changes to prepare for 2020 holiday shopping. Here are six smaller-scale tips to create the shopping experience buyers desire: one that’s quick, efficient and safe.

COVID-19 safety precautions in place: check. Holiday stock secured: check. Amping up your capacity for online shopping: check.

Now it’s time to take a breath and focus on additional details customers will appreciate, whether in-person, at curbside, or online.

Because, according to a recent survey by Deloitte, “while they may not be planning to spend quite as much as in the heady, pre-pandemic days of 2019, Canadians are still shopping.”

But the expectations and apprehensions of today’s customers need to be part of your new business normal. Here are 6 tweaks you should consider:

1. Respond to their fears

The Deloitte study finds consumers “don’t see holiday shopping as a fun experience to cherish any more — it’s just a task to be done as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible.”

And a survey by Accenture shows 61% of those surveyed planned “to minimize in-store shopping to reduce health risks to essential workers … The same number said they are more likely to make purchases at companies that show they’re committed to health, safety and hygiene.”

In addition to making sure customers will see employees correctly wearing appropriate PPE, consistently maintaining physical distancing, and scrupulously disinfecting high-touch surfaces, take some time to refresh and update messaging about your services and how you are keeping customers, employees and the community safe:

  • If this information is still in a prominent place on your website, keep it there.

  • If it’s not, put it there. Include it in emails, across your social media feeds, and through your other communications channels.

  • Provide short, useful content, like including a store map in your mobile app so shoppers can plan the exact route to the items they want.

  • Make sure the FAQs on your website truly answer frequently-asked questions so that customers won’t have to call for basic information.

Don’t worry about over-communicating, and don’t assume customers already know what you have in place. According to Salesforce Consumer Research: “85% of consumers find operational update messages appropriate during the pandemic. [They] value messages such as store closures, order status, pickup instructions to ensure safety and convenience over the holiday season.”

2. Give ‘em exclusive access

Online shopping is booming this year, but a blog post by Audwin Cash, senior VP of Enterprise Solutions with Atrius, Acuity Brands, outlines ways to combine the safety of e-commerce with ways to “elevate the shopper experience.”

He suggests “introducing mobile-exclusive strategies that build loyalty and create immersive customer-centric experiences. An intriguing ‘new for 2020’ service is one that allows loyal customers to reserve a store entry time, personalizing their holiday shopping journey before they leave home.”

Sometimes referred to as mcommerce, Cash says the mobile commerce trend can “make the mobile shopping experience unique” with steps such as:

  • Using “historical in-store purchase information to notify customers when a favourite item is available at their nearest store."

  • Tempting customers "to shop in-app first by pushing exclusive discounts and in-store promotions."

3. Entice them to take advantage

The Salesforce survey also suggests your communications strike “a delicate balance between brand (empathy and emotion) and discounts (demand and margin).” It found customers are interested in taking advantage of:

  • price discounts (77% of respondents)

  • free shipping (67% of respondents)

  • free gifts (45% of respondents)

  • loyalty points (54% of respondents)

One way to create and offer discounts and perks that boost your business is with BOOM’s Rewards and Loyalty Platform. We connect brands from many different sectors — consumer goods, electronics, home decor, lifestyle, auto dealers and automotive services, hospitality and entertainment — with a highly valuable and engaged audience.

Because it’s targeted, measurable and flexible, working with BOOM might just be a holiday present you can give your business.

4. Use visual cues