by Amba Wilkes

With this year’s peak season on the horizon, we’re discussing how you can make the most of the busy shopping season and make your efforts last into the new year and beyond.

An awful lot of data is collected during peak. Just getting your head around the sheer volume can be challenging, never mind comprehending how to translate it into valuable actions.

But if you can turn this data into new, profound customer knowledge, you’re sure to stay ahead and improve that bottom line.

We’re sure your peak preparations are well underway but to get the maximum impact from your investment you need a plan for your post-peak activity too. With the busiest shopping season of the year edging closer, we’re discussing how you can make the most of it and see the benefit of your efforts last into the new year and beyond.

in this blog.

We look at:

  1. taking stock of peak performance
  2. turning peak customers into loyal ones
  3. how to maximise the return of your peak investment
  4. getting ahead for 2022

take stock of your peak performance.

The best place to start is to look at your peak performance. There are a number of areas to consider that will give you key insight. This could include:

  1. did your website handle the traffic influx? With promotions rife and competition at an all-time high, peak season is notorious for driving high traffic levels to your site. How did your website cope? Did your site withhold the influx? Did you experience any negative feedback from customers on their experience? If your site performance is getting you down, consider how it could be improved to ensure that it can cope at busier times.
  2. was the checkout fast and frictionless? Review your abandoned cart stats and how long it took your customers to get through the checkout process. If your abandoned cart rates are higher than usual, it’s a good opportunity to see how your checkout could be streamlined.
  3. have you looked at your customer feedback? The good, the bad and the ugly – it’s all-important to review and analyse. Your customers’ feedback is a first-hand insight into what they think of your products and their experience with you. Review your peak feedback to uncover valuable insights that can be implemented for this year.
  4. how did your marketing plan hold up? Post-peak is a good time to assess the success of your promotions and marketing plan. Review how many customers redeemed discounts and through which medium. Are your customers downloading digital coupons or did they use a specific promo code? Did they see the discount on an ad, in-store or your website?

turn peak customers into loyal customers.

The peak period is a great opportunity to acquire new customers and customer data by incentivising them to shop with you. However, post-peak is when the real fun begins. Brands should focus on retaining their customers to transform them from one-time buyers into loyal advocates.

Chatting to Jordan, Partnership Manager at LoyaltyLion, he shared insight into how this can be done:

“Our tip to maximise sales is to make sure that new customers are signing up to your newsletter, make sure they're signing up to loyalty programmes, make sure they're incentivised to follow you on Instagram and Facebook.

Although businesses are going to have a huge spike in transactional orders over that weekend, the dividend is getting paid in the next 12 months following. If they can open that channel to communicate with that customer and get them to come back, trigger them to make a second, third and fourth purchase, that's really what's going to drive profitable growth.”

review delivery trends.

Getting customers to buy with you is just one part of the battle. Your post-purchase experience, including delivery and fulfilment, play an important role in making your customers happy.

During peak season, sales are likely to be at an all-time high which can put a strain on your warehousing and fulfilment teams. It’s worth reviewing how processes performed and what delivery options your customers preferred.

How many customers opted for same-day delivery or one-day shipping? How many used your click and collect services to pick up an item in-store? How many preferred your free standard delivery option? Refine and improve your fulfilment strategy for next year to ensure your customers can choose the delivery options that best suit their needs.

maximise the return of your paid media peak investment.

During the peak period, significant time and money are invested into gathering data. Don’t let your efforts stop there. This data can be leveraged into the new year to reengage with those who didn’t convert to generate more sales.

Remarketing is an ideal tactic for this, giving you a chance of winning back some of those lost visitors. Remarketing campaigns can be used to target previous users, encouraging them to return and convert. So, how can you use this tactic after peak?

  1. sales and promotions: The new year brings with it the highly anticipated January sales. This is a perfect opportunity to entice customers to return and purchase that product they’ve had their eye on for a discounted price. Remarketing ads can be used to advertise the products specifically to the users who showed interest featuring a discounted price or promotion code as an incentive to convert.
  2. new stock: New products and season lines are a brilliant hook for retargeting shoppers who have shown interest in similar items. Social media posts or emails can be used to visually showcase new stock, encouraging visitors to return to your site once again.
  3. Dynamic ads: Once a visitor has interacted with your brand, you have more data on their preferences. Use this insight to define segments and create tailored ads suited to the individual. Dynamic ads can be used to automatically adapt content to each user, ensuring they always receive relevant ads.

nurture your new email contacts.

Peak shopping season is the prime time to capture customer data for future use. Incentives such as loyalty schemes and promo codes can be used to encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletter or email campaigns.

Not only can you enjoy a boost in conversions, but this data can also be used to build upon your email marketing list which will be hugely beneficial for communications post-peak. Taking this approach can also help you forge those all-important customer connections allowing you to share new stock updates, sales events and general brand information to keep them engaged.

get ahead for 2022.

With so much to learn from your peak season, add a deep dive into how the sales event of the year shaped up to your peak plan. Using data and previous performance to drive decisions and improvements, you’re much more likely to make changes that resonate with your audience. The result? Sales and customer loyalty that last way beyond peak!

As an eCommerce business, you’ll no doubt want peak season to run as smooth and profitably as possible. That’s why it’s essential to get the most out of peak so you can keep your momentum going into the new year.

If you want to chat with a team of eCommerce experts about how to make the most of peak 2021 and apply your insights to next year, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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