Shippageddon is coming. You’ve heard about it. You’ve read about it. We’ve already started seeing its effects during October’s delayed Amazon Prime Day, as carriers had to refuse deliveries. And with the holiday season coming up, while so many are still sheltering at home due to fear of coronavirus, it’s only going to get worse during the months of November and December (and some are already saying to prepare for the Returnageddon in January).
- Here’s comprehensive coverage of the situation
- And Optimove’s expert tips on how to prepare for it (not, it’s not too late!)
Here at PostFunnel, we also wanted to reach out yet again to our Partner Advisory, comprised of marketing experts from Optimove’s most prestigious partners – and ask for their perspective and advice on how to cross this river for all you marketers out there still fearing the looming shipping chaos.
Larry Gray – CRM, Loyalty, Digital Marketing, Data Science and Analytics
Move Demand and Volume up as Much as Possible
Black Friday has been starting earlier each year, with significant sales beginning even in the summer months. Retailers should work to pull demand forward as much as possible to reduce the stress on their supply chain and risk of decreasing customer satisfaction.
For example, Walmart plans to have three different Black Friday Sales, with the first beginning on November 4th. Consumers will need to embrace these changes and make it a plan to start holiday shopping much sooner than usual due to the sheer volume of this year’s online buying. And do note, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Khol’s have all announced they will close retail stores for Thanksgiving, which will undoubtedly cause more online volume.
Take Advantage of Alternative Methods (In-Store Pickup and 3rd Party Delivery Services)
Many retailers have either added or strengthened their In-Store and Curbside Pick-Up options for consumers. And if the evaluation and updates have not been done, now is the time to seriously consider making changes to make order fulfillment safer and more convenient.
Third-party delivery systems like Shipt and Instacart have proven that these business models can make a considerable difference for convenience and offer consumers an alternative to brick and mortar shopping.
Ben Malki – Director of Customer Success at Dynamic Yield
Tip 1: Talk About It
It’s imperative that messaging speaks to shipping delays and timelines. Brands should be transparent, clear, and create a sense of urgency. For example, “To receive your package by X date, you should order by Y date.” And the earlier, the better.
Tip 2: Early Calls
Brands should be ready with their holiday products and specials now. Even in mid-October, many of our clients have told us they think Amazon Prime Day has become the new Black Friday. If that’s any indication of what’s to come, at some point soon, teams will be getting ready to go live in September!
Tip 3: Spread the Joy
We firmly believe that there will be no such thing as Cyber Monday or Black Friday this year. The fact that Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and other major retailers are officially closed on Black Friday says a lot.
The most important trend we saw last year, even before the pandemic, was that retailers realize consumers are holiday shopping earlier and earlier. Deals start online in November now, sometimes late October. This reflects the concept of “share of wallet,” as brands trying to duke it out for the same dollar on the same day wasn’t a winning strategy.
Sticking out in that saturated crowd is no longer something to bank on – go big and go early with your sales, get your holiday messaging and experiences up so you can beat the competition before they get there.
Tip 4: Meet BOPIS AND BORIS
Given it will be tougher to make purchases at physical retail locations this year, we suggest highlighting messaging around “buy online and pick up/return in-store” to clarify that these options are available to shoppers who prefer it over dealing with anticipated shipping complications.
Phill Manson – Director at PAASE Digital
Flatten the Curve
It’s a little cliché, but this year is all about flattening the curve. No, not Covid, but balancing the ever-increasing sales requirements with the operational output from a shipping perspective.
Prioritize the Ones Who Prioritize You
We’re encouraging our clients to get their customers to sign up for early access deals via a dedicated landing page and then planning to launch activity a day or two in advance.
Good customers and prospects get early access to a larger amount of stock before the general melee of the holiday season, and we hope we flatten the curve into a growing but manageable level of sales from a shipping/customer service viewpoint.
No Time Like the Present
The next question is, is it too late to start? Of course, the answer is no. It’s never too late to prep and plan digital campaigns. I would still let the data lead you, so focus on your best customers to start with and on cost-effective channels such as email and SMS.
Start Strong and Adjust
Also, look at cohorts that purchased this time last year, but haven’t since – this is a great opportunity to get them to repurchase.
Then, as the peak is reached, start introducing the long tail of data – those who have only purchased once, those that have never purchased, etc. Following this approach (that 20% of your customers will give you 80% of the results) means that you can maximize customer contact points without risking things like email deliverability right at the start of the campaign.
Hope you were taking notes! Find more in-depth advice here. Good luck out there!
The post The Experts Are Here: Pro Advice to Fight Off the Looming Holiday Season Shipping Chaos appeared first on Post Funnel.