This holiday season, American shoppers are expected to spend a record-breaking $119.99 billion during November and December. This Internet Retailer’s projection might shock you, but will surprise you even more is, this is 15.5% more than last year’s estimate. In short, orders will start flying even before you can think, and if you are not prepared to handle excessive holiday shopping orders, you will probably receive a number of complaints, bad reviews, and requests for refunds.
Quick order processing and ensuring efficient deliveries should be your top priority this holiday season. The easiest way to handle these overwhelming number of orders is to automate certain processes, and make use of marketing automation.
In this article, let us take a look at five marketing automation strategies that can help you handle excess orders efficiently.
1. Automate inventory management
Holiday season is the time to get rid of excess inventory and surplus stock. However, studies show that during the holiday season, most stores grapple to find ways to replenish stock because orders come flying incessantly. 46% of small business owners do not use automation to track inventory, and an even higher percentage don’t track inventory at all.
Marketing automation helps you to engage in more efficient demand forecasting and tracking life-cycle stages of your products. You will be better equipped to replenish stocks quickly and automatically so that orders are not placed when there is no stock available, which can cause shipping delays and poor customer reviews.
2. Use marketing technology to engage in remarketing
You will be surprised to learn that 25% of shoppers actually enjoy being wooed via remarketing techniques. In other words, they enjoy it when you contact them with retargeted ads because it reminds them of what they wanted to buy in the first place.
The holiday season is the best time to engage in remarketing because most shoppers add products to carts, and forget about them or find a better deal elsewhere. They still may not have made a purchase, and watching those retargeted ads can drive your orders through the roof. Automating remarketing and retargeted ads can help you process orders efficiently during the holiday rush.
3. Provide shipping status to customers consistently
If you notice people placing too many orders during the holiday season, and then cancelling them, blame unexpected shipping costs for that. 28% of abandoned carts are due to high shipping costs. And many more cancel orders once they have placed because they do not receive accurate updates about where their package is. If you have not already automated your order processing and shipping updates, now is the time to do so.
Avoid customers having to call you up to find out if their orders have been processed and where their package has reached. Automation can help deliver consistent updates from the time the order is placed to the time when deliveries are made. This also has a strong marketing component to it because, you can use these updates to cross-sell or up-sell products as well.
4. Request for feedback and reviews immediately
Customers who engage with consumer-generated content (CGC) such as reviews and feedback have a 97% likelihood of converting than customers who do not engage with CGC. This is why, you should proactively collect reviews and not wait for customers to write them.
Make sure that you automate the process of writing reviews by using tools that urge and nudge customers to review and write feedback. This can be done as soon as deliveries are made, which means, collecting reviews is a part of order processing and not the responsibility of customer service department. Automating the process of requesting for reviews helps you enhance the number of orders placed as well.
5. Gather data about holiday shoppers
One of the most important marketing endeavors is to collect data about customers. According to the NRF, during the holiday shopping season, businesses register a whopping 30% of their total annual revenues.
Marketing automation can help you collect a variety of data about both shoppers and visitors to your e-store. Use this surge in traffic and converted leads to prepare future marketing campaigns, and to build a database of your customers. Not only can you nurture these leads and customers during the off-season, but you can also offer better discounts during holiday season of 2019.
Use marketing automation to give your order processing a healthy boost
As you can see, marketing automation can immensely help you with order processing during the holiday season. Firstly, it helps you to both clear and replenish inventory quickly so that orders are managed efficiently. Second, it helps you remarket and retarget ads to customers who have abandoned carts. Third, it helps increase customer satisfaction scores by providing shipping updated consistently. Fourth, you can automate the process of collecting reviews as that will help you process future orders as well. Finally, you can use marketing automation strategies to gather data about your leads and customers for future marketing campaigns.