The holiday season is fast approaching, and catalogers and online retailers alike need to be prepared. One way to win at the holidays this year is by connecting the online and catalog experience. In doing so, retailers can better engage their customers, and provide more paths to purchase.
Here are three ways to achieve cross-channel commerce success this year:
- Make catalogs available online. Integrating your catalog with your eCommerce site provides a more seamless customer experience and gives shoppers more ways to buy. However, few catalogers have been able to fully integrate their catalog and online experience, due to technological constraints. Virid’s eCommerce platform, marketAgility, has a native ‘Catalogs’ feature in the administration tool. This tool allows merchandisers to easily upload pages and link catalog images to the corresponding products online, or to alternative products when the item pictured is no longer available. This feature helps convert catalog customers who have gone online to buy without the product information in hand.
One Virid client faced limitations from their back-office systems when it came to integrating their catalogs with their eCommerce site. Certain business and accounting processes require that a catalog use different product IDs from the eCommerce product IDs. To work around this, Virid built the site to load both online and catalog specific product IDs and add them both to search indexes so that both are valid search terms online. This allows catalog customers to quickly find exactly what they are looking for. This information can be managed in the marketAgility tool on a per product level or as part of an automated product load from an inventory management system. For the client, this catalog-specific information was available from their inventory management system, and the process required no additional effort from their merchandising team.
- Implement Search in Store and BOPIS. The key to a positive customer experience is allowing customers to shop where and how they want. By implementing a ‘Search in Store’ feature, or by enabling customers to “Buy Online Pick Up in Store” (BOPIS), retailers give customers more ways to shop, which means more paths to purchase. BOPIS is also a great way to capture those last-minute holiday shoppers, who don’t leave enough time for something to ship by December 25th. The ability to pick up a product in store can mean the difference between last minute holiday panic and a more stress-free holiday season for shoppers.
- Make the most of holiday sales and promotions. Everyone is looking for deals during the holidays. One way to effectively connect the catalog and online experience is through single-use coupon codes. marketAgility supports single-use coupon codes managed through a simple interface. These are often used for abandoned cart incentives or email newsletter signup incentives, as they minimize fraud. One Virid client has leveraged this feature to allow certain attribution for catalog orders. Unique codes are put on each print catalog sent, allowing the retailer to track which catalog customers are converting into actual shoppers. When a single-use coupon is redeemed, it’s attached to an order and marked as ‘used’ in marketAgility. A list of redeemed coupon codes and purchase amounts are sent to the client’s back-end system via an automated process. This information is used by our client to clean up mailing lists and calculate overall ROI on catalog designs and market segments.
The holidays can be a stressful time, particularly for retailers. However, arming yourself with the right tools can make this holiday season a little merrier.
Not feeling ready for the holidays? Schedule a free holiday site analysis with Virid’s team of experts and get personalized insights to bolster your site before the holiday rush begins.
About the Author
Rachel Hobble is the Marketing Specialist at Virid. She loves all things creative, and handles everything from the content strategy for Virid’s website and social media to advertising and PR.
Virid is a team of eCommerce experts providing a comprehensive solution for growing retailers. Virid’s unique offering includes an enterprise-grade hosted eCommerce platform with 24/7 monitoring, website development, and ongoing technical and strategic support from a results-oriented team. For more information, please visit https://www.virid.com/.