You’ve already put time and money into attracting new customers to your site during the holidays, and now is the time to build on that momentum. There are a few steps you can take to hold on to new customers and keep them engaged, even after the season has ended. For more ideas on related topics, check out the complete Holiday Selling Guide.
Keep your mailing list in order
Don’t underestimate the power of a good mailing list. Make sure you're collecting email addresses at checkout, perhaps by offering the promise of future discounts. Use the Profiles panel to keep track of everyone who's signed up for your mailing list, as well as the emails of everyone who has previously purchased a product from your website.
Once you have a mailing list in place, you can periodically send out promotional discount codes or alert customers when you have new items in your store. If you have leftover inventory in January, you can inform your mailing lists of any sales you've planned to keep things moving.
Get your return policy running smoothly
Even if a customer isn’t happy with their product, or if they chose the wrong gift, you can make sure they still have a great experience with your brand.
You can choose to offer a full refund, or a refund for the purchase price, minus shipping and other fees. These refunds will go back to the customer’s credit card, though you could offer a discount that acts like store credit if you want. Just be very clear on your site about how you handle returns — a Returns Policy page is an excellent idea. Also, keep in mind that PayPal and Stripe don’t refund their transaction fees, so a full refund will leave you on the hook for those. Because you manually set the amount on partial refunds, if you want to recoup those transaction fees as well as shipping costs, a partial refund will protect your bottom line a bit more.
It’s up to you whether you want the customer to pay for mailing back the product or if you're willing to cover the cost, perhaps by providing a prepaid return label or other services. Squarespace also integrates a shipping extension that can generate return labels, track shipments, and keep you and the customer informed about the process. However you handle it, once the item is returned, you can easily update your inventory and resell it. Issuing a full refund through Squarespace automatically returns the item to inventory, but partial refunds mean you need to manually restock the item, which is simple to do.
Customer service is one of the key ways that you interact with customers, and it's important that you make a great impression. When dealing with customers who want to return an item, remember to adopt a warm, empathic tone. You have the opportunity to turn even a dissatisfied customer into a friend of your business if you make the return process hassle-free and even pleasant, increasing the likelihood that they'll shop with you again.
Boost and reward word of mouth
Every marketer knows that, in the end, customers trust their friends’ recommendations more than they trust advertisements. So in addition to rewarding your customers for their loyalty, it's also a smart strategy to encourage them to get the word out. Consider offering a reward to customers who refer others to your business by sending them a discount once their friend’s transaction is complete. You can also try to increase your sales by offering a two-sided referral code, so a customer can send a friend a discount code and receive that same discount once their friend uses it.
Social media is one of the best ways to get the word out. But as the social media newsfeed gets increasingly crowded, it pays to get creative. Unboxing videos are a perennial favorite on social media, as people love to watch other people unwrap and react to their gift. If you think it might fit in your brand’s aesthetic, consider offering discount codes to anyone who tags your store in a post or gives you a shoutout in their unboxing video. Positive word-of-mouth is worth rewarding and encouraging.
Before you put your year-long brand building plans into action, measure the success of your holiday ecommerce campaign.