Let’s skip the part where we remind everyone of the COVID situation and start to look ahead. As an eCommerce business owner, how do you see these upcoming holiday sales?

Everything is different right now, buyer behavior has changed (for the better?) and the eCommerce industry is coping with the consequences. If your company is prepared enough, it will thrive. If not, it will learn.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the ultimate test for eCommerce and this period is the perfect time to test your knowledge and abilities to satisfy your online customer throughout their entire journey.

This week’s session of the eCommerce Growth Show is a must-see! 

Who is Guido Jansen?

Guido Jansen is from Amsterdam, The Netherlands and is a cognitive psychologist and usability specialist focused on eCommerce. As a freelance consultant, he helps companies to build international customer experience optimization teams and to build a culture around experimentation and validation in the whole company.

Since 2008, Guido’s work included many Magento projects. He is a Magento Master for 2019 and is part of the Board of Directors for the international Magento Association. Since 2019, he also hosts the award-winning weekly CRO.CAFE podcast in which he extracts the most valuable tips from optimization experts. Guido is often invited to speak at international events about persuasion, eCommerce, conversion optimization and experimentation cultures.

Key takeaways from this episode

Three factors that impact customer behavior

There’s definitely a lot of uncertainty or at least increased uncertainty with a lot of people buying stuff. There is a lot of pressure people feel to buy other things (toilet paper, face masks). People feel that they cannot miss out on things. You can see the principle of scarcity is a very powerful thing. We didn’t have a shortage of toilet paper in all the big warehouses but the stores were empty because people got buying it in case there would be a shortage

Besides the uncertainty, I think there’s a real impact already. This has been going on for over a half a year now that a large portion of the population might just have less money to spend. A lot of people may have lost their jobs or if you’re a business owner, you may have a lot less money going around or a lot less revenue.

Also, a lot of people might be mentally tired of all of this, which may cause people to do more impulse buying. I’ve been sitting at home for half a year now. I deserve this! I deserve to splurge on something.

Those are real issues that can impact your buying behavior.

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How to create buying habits

It all comes down to providing value for your users.

If you don’t provide the value, then you can do all the persuasive tricks in the world. But if your product doesn’t provide value – especially since it takes a couple of times before people form the habit of buying – you can get all the social proof in the world to make them buy once, but it’s a big disappointment: either the whole process itself after clicking the “buy” button or the product itself doesn’t provide value.

If people trust the brand, it’s way more valuable in the end for an eCommerce company to focus on customer experience instead of having just people buy from them once. You do not make money if people just buy once.

Did your customer receive the value? 3 points to check

  1. The retention rate
  2. The product:
    • If you have something that people just buy once and you only have this one product, you can’t really expect them to buy that stuff every month. But if you have a marketplace or if it’s reasonable to expect people to return, you have to start there.
  3. Quantitative and qualitative research:
    • Google Analytics combined with some offline form of research or something in between, like doing surveys or using Hotjar
    • Answer these kinds of questions:
      • Do people sign up for your newsletter after they buy from you?
      • Do they respond to your emails?
      • Do they ask service questions?

Do things differently for this BFCYM

It comes down to that unique value proposition that you have now or that you can create.

More and more companies are expanding but you have to be very clear and honest in your communication with your clients on what they can expect from you and when they can expect it.

Those things that make you unique, even if you have a similar approach with similar margins, those are the things that you can do.

There are 3 ways to grow your business:

  1. Get more customers
  2. Get a higher Average Order Value
  3. Sell more often

Now, focus on retention! Focus on your current customers, the ones that you already have. Nurture that CRM system that you hopefully have in place, and focus on that loyalty during this BFCYM period.

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Create campaigns that are focused on getting people to return to your websites. Do something fun and make them return. Make them want to return. Whether it’s for buying small things or creating a fun experience online, create that connection with them.

Even before buying, don’t necessarily focus your first visits on buying something, get them hooked on your brands and get them hooked on the information that you could provide or the brand that you are, the image that you project.

Maybe it’s way more important for your brand in the first visits to get them actually subscribed to your YouTube channel or your newsletter than to buy something. In the end, it might be way more valuable if people get hooked on your YouTube videos, get into your brands, become somewhat of an ambassador of your brand. Maybe in a couple of months, that may be way more valuable than just selling them something one-off and they never return.