As brick-and-mortar stores begin operating under limited hours or have temporarily closed their doors, many retailers – from fashion and wellness to electronics and grocery – are witnessing an influx of online traffic. As a result, many brands are facing new challenges and must find solutions to effectively handle irregular inventory levels.
Within our customer base, a large Russian supermarket chain has witnessed a 26% increase in traffic to its site, as well as a staggering 70% uplift in revenue. To help manage the situation and provide a better overall customer experience during this time, together with their DY Solution Partner, Stellar Labs, they have implemented a few successful site changes and campaigns, which I’ll highlight for you here today.
Recommend product substitutes
Even in a utopian world, it’s important to provide customers with the most suitable recommendations. When items are flying off the digital shelves, this is even more important. Brands should, therefore, consider providing users with relevant alternatives.
Use recommendation widgets to offer non-perishable products
This can be done manually by filtering by categories or keywords in the product feed that indicate that the items are non-perishable, or by adding a field to your product feed in order to do this automatically.
Include a link to other product substitutes that are available
Leveraging the similarity algorithm, showcase similar options to the current SKU being interacted with on the wish list, product, or cart page.
Communicate limited stock
In times of uncertainty, visitors want to be in the know about if and how their shopping experience is going to be impacted. Brands should attempt to keep customers updated about any major changes along the way so that they can make informed purchase decisions.
Use countdown timers in the cart
Due to increased traffic and limited inventory, items will remain available in a user’s cart for a limited period of time. By deploying a countdown timer, users are aware of how much time they have to complete purchases.
Set purchase limits for specific items
As certain products, such as toilet paper and other personal hygiene items, continue to be in high demand, brands can apply purchase limits for particular items, curbing bulk purchases.
Managing delivery and fulfillment
Managing high traffic volumes is critical, not only for keeping your site running smoothly but also for maintaining a level of satisfaction that is generally associated with your business. Make adjustments to payment and delivery options based on your current and foreseeable resources.
Increase the threshold for standard and free delivery eligibility
Reduce the number of deliveries that will need to be made by increasing the minimum basket amount. This eGrocery chain altered the delivery eligibility requirements, increasing the purchase minimum for both standard and free deliveries by over 100%.
Encourage signups for general updates
Give users the option to leave their email addresses to receive general delivery updates, such as delays or drop off details.
Allow online payments only
In order to maximize the number of deliveries conducted daily, as well as conform to a hands-free delivery system, customers are required to complete all payments online, as cash payments have been temporarily restricted.
Additional ideas –
- Offer bundled items; for example, a TV + PlayStation or Laptop + tablet
- Promote product categories for items that are available and offer discounts
- Recommend best selling items to new users
We've created a special conversation around COVID-19 in our Community. If you are managing irregularities in business in light of the situation in a way that can be utilized by other Personalization Pioneers, I urge you to share your insights on the thread.
Customer Success Communications Manager
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