The holidays have arrived earlier than usual this year. It’s weeks before Black Friday, yet retailers are already feeling the usual frenzy of the holiday shopping season.
And if that wasn’t stressful enough, email marketers everywhere are dealing with extra obstacles in Q4: an onslaught of holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges—not to mention the lack of any end to these problems in sight.
For many retail marketing teams, holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges are posing serious threats for any content or product launches months in the making. The good news, however, is that we’re all in this together!
So, here are four ways you can use creative email solutions to eliminate customer frustration, sales friction, and negative experiences this holiday season—no matter how many shipping delays and inventory outages your company may face in Q4 and beyond.
Save your customers, designers, and delivery team from several headaches this holiday season by incorporating live inventory feeds into your email experience. After scraping personalized website content or embedding data feeds that consider recently browsed items, product and brand preferences, purchase history, and more, you’re able to dynamically display the most relevant, engaging promotions across every channel someone interacts with in real-time.
Beyond a more personalized, easy-to-browse shopping experience, leveraging live inventory in your emails means you’ll never need to deal with a broken page link, send a sold out alert, or make a last-minute update to push a different product ever again. Freeing you up to take on bigger, better things than holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges this year.
Customers want to shop, but may not be ready to buy yet for a number of reasons. While holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges may cause a few unforeseen problems, dedicate your Q4 emails to highlighting the positives to drive customer intent through urgency.
If new inventory arrives, for example, mention that it’s first come, first serve and will go fast. If inventory is running low, use a dynamic data feed to highlight the exact number of hot sellers left in stock in combination with urgency-inducing language to close the sale. Then, you can put the fancy decorations on your customer experience by using back-in-stock and pre-order email campaigns to re-engage any disappointed or dissatisfied customers.
When all else fails, promote gift cards and e-gift cards when faced with serious holiday season shipping delays and inventory challenges to get more customers back inside your stores. While some may think a gift card is an impersonal email promotion, the reality is a lot of shoppers are uncertain about what they’re going to buy this year. And giving them the option of buying something is always better than not getting a family member, friend, or loved one a gift at all!
You can also send a gift card message with live data feeds and product recommendations to make these messages a little warmer. An embedded email poll is also a fun pairing to highlight the items you do have in stock ready for on-time delivery based on individual customer feedback and preferences submitted.
And if you have physical stores, you can drive shoppers to their closest location using a dynamic map with holiday hours to push store-only offers or gifts with in-store purchase. That way, your loyal holiday shoppers know you’re fully stocked to deliver an exceptional holiday experience.
Transparency is going to be key to your holiday campaign success in 2021. So, let customers know as early as possible when your standard shipping cutoff dates for holiday shopping are with countdown timers and one-click, add-to-calendar event email elements.
If you want to take personalized experiences to the next level, use dynamic tracking mechanisms in your messages to follow each individual shopper’s order and communicate shipping progress as it happens—all from the same email their purchase was confirmed from so customers have one consistent place to check anytime they need a status update or a deliver is running late.