Valentine’s Day, of course, is traditionally a time when couples celebrate their relationship by giving gifts and going out on special dates. It is a time to show the person you love how much you care about him or her. And if you think online shopping is an unromantic way to do this – well, you would be mistaken!
Take some of the latest trends:
With each passing month and year, more and more consumers are using the Internet and their mobile devices to make purchases – for Valentine’s Day and any other time. And, for most-romantic day of the year, what are their buying habits? According to a report by Rakuten LinkShare:
According to the data, the top three sales categories for the years 2010-2012 were luxury items, jewelry and flowers. Further, the highest overall sales spike across these top three categories occurs from February 6-10 with February 8 being the day with the highest peak, on average, in online sales. However, each category has its own sales peaks.
Specifically, online luxury sales peak on February 9, jewelry sales increase consistently from January 30 through February 10 with the peak occurring the first weekend in February, and online orders for flowers spikes from February 5-13 with the peak occurring on the 13th.
Online retailers, of course, need to know their target audience, their behavior and shopping preferences so they can provide personalized and pleasant shopping experience to each and every customer.
Why is this important? To use a Valentine’s Day analogy, too many online retailers do not “love” their customers as they would probably expect to be loved. Given the overall dismal state of retail customer service, it is crucial to create a pleasant experience that will enthuse them to return for a second “date”. You do not want to push a “hard sell” on them but to provide them with useful information that is easy to get.
And how do you that? According to Steven Van Yoder, the key in this environment, he notes, is to “stop selling and help your customers buy”:
The secret to reaching today’s buyers is delivering valuable, honest advice at each stage of the buying cycle. Giving away valuable information through thought leadership marketing is a cost-effective way of positioning your business as a trusted resource, breaking through consumer marketing roadblocks with educational information they seek when it’s increasingly difficult getting your foot in the door.
If you are looking to provide better customer experience and help your potential customers along the conversion path to a sale, then our new, personal shopping widget lets you do exactly that – without the added cost of a flesh-and-blood salesperson helping each customer and website visitor. As the name suggests, it allows online retailers to provide their customers with a personalized shopping experience which is based on their behavior and purchase history. That way you can suggest products, offer relevant promotions and rewards and better service each customer.
The importance of creating a great experience will only increase. Online sales in Britain and elsewhere, for example, continue to grow and outpace those of brick-and-mortar stores – regardless of the time of year:
The fall comes at a time when online sales are growing much faster than high street sales. The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showed total UK retail sales grew by 1.5% in December 2012, while like-for-like growth barely held steady at 0.3% growth. At the same time, internet sales put in their best performance of the year, with year-on-year growth of 17.8%.
Brick-and-mortar stores might offer smiling staff, free coffee, and other items to create a pleasant shopping experience. Your website needs to do the equivalent. If you give a “valentine” to your potential customers by using our personal shopping widget to help them, then they will be much more likely to return the favor by “taking the relationship further” and purchasing your products.