As an ecommerce merchant, you know Q4 has the potential to make a major positive impact on your bottom line. We’re here to help make sure that it does! Here are our top nine tips on how you can:

  • create a memorable customer experience and increase loyalty
  • maximize conversions during this season, and well into the new year

#1. Make your brand stand out 🌟

We don’t have to tell you that competition for the online shopper’s dollar is fiercer than ever. What will your brand provide this holiday season that will set you apart and draw people in? You know your particular audience better than anyone. Think about what will intrigue or delight them. Choose an especially creative, memorable tactic, and it could help you bring shoppers back for repeat business when slow January comes around too.

For example, you could:

  • Give away a freebie with purchase. A tea store could include a sample of a holiday flavor. A pet-supply store could include a festive treat for Fido. Extend a bit of holiday generosity, and give something for customers to remember you by for next time they log on to shop.
  • Run a holiday-themed promotion, like a giveaway or a contest. Get people involved in your brand’s community, and use the spirit of the season to generate excitement. Plus, you can use a chatbot to automatically send coupons or offers to those who enter, but don’t win. It’s a great way to get lots of new prospects into your funnel.
  • Customize your product packaging. Create packaging with the colors, designs, and text of your choice to make your customers smile. You can customize boxes and mailers to make your brand stand out year round, or you can choose a holiday theme to add an extra-special touch to December shopping.
Package for the product by Arka
Customize your product’s packaging to make your brand stand out.

#2. Provide seasonal content that adds value 🎁

This time of year represents a great opportunity for you to show prospects you understand their needs, and that you can help. Share content that will help make their holiday season a little less stressful or a little more enjoyable. It can talk about your products, but in the context of helping shoppers find what they need or solving a seasonal problem. Opt for informative, helpful content instead of only the overtly sales-forward kind.

Build that authority, trust, and goodwill, and you’ll end up promoting sales and brand loyalty anyway. For example:

  • A cookware company could share hosting tips for holiday dinners. 🍳
  • An apparel brand could share outfit ideas for New Year’s Eve. 👠
  • Brands with a larger product catalog could share gift guides for different types of recipients (for her/for him, for newlyweds, for teenagers, for the outdoors lover, under $50, highest rated, etc.). 🎁

A Messenger chatbot is a great way to share content like this with users. HelloFresh does it well. Their bot offers recipes, advice on entertaining, time-saving cooking tips, and more to add value for prospects and customers around the holidays.

HelloFresh Ecommerce chatbot
HelloFresh uses a Messenger chatbot to deliver value-adding seasonal content to users.

#3. Share holiday-themed UGC 🎅

People spend 90% more time on websites that include galleries of user-generated content (UGC). Seeing others enjoying your products helps shoppers picture themselves enjoying them too. Add a holiday twist to this content to make it even more engaging. Then, display the UGC on your website easily to increase conversions.

One of the most popular ways to gather UGC is to request it via social media. Create a branded hashtag and a short message encouraging users to share on networks like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Then include that in emails you send, post-purchase messages from your chatbot, or even on your packing slips.

Your brand’s UGC could take the form of testimonials, photos, or videos. For example:

  • A makeup brand could gather photos of customers using their products to create the perfect going-out look for New Year’s Eve. 💄
  • A toy brand could ask customers to share photos of their little one’s expressions of joy when they open their Christmas gift. 🧸
  • A luggage brand could request photos of customer travels over the holidays. 🧳
Lush shares their User Generated Content
Lush, a handmade cosmetics brand, shares UGC in the form of photos from customers using their holiday-themed bath bombs.

#4. Have answers to holiday FAQs ready ❓

More than 50% of Americans wait until the last month to buy their holiday gifts. That means many users will be impatient or in a rush when shopping on your site at this time of year. So if they can't easily find answers to simple questions like, Will this item be here in time for Christmas? and What’s your return policy?, they may get frustrated and abandon your store for a competitor’s. Answer all the FAQs for the holiday season, and make them available everywhere.

Besides displaying them on your website, you should add them to your chatbot, too. That way, it’s easier for customers to find the answer they need without searching through pages of questions. Plus, your bot will be available to assist them in its engaging, conversational style, 24/7. You can also use our Live Chat plugin to connect users with more complex inquiries directly to a human agent.

#5. Add a festive touch to your content 🎄

If it matches your brand voice, use holiday GIFs, emoji, images, and puns on social media, on your website, and in your chatbot. Reflect the spirit of the season and connect with what people are feeling, and you’ll draw them in more easily. For example, Click to view holiday-related content about chatbots is far less engaging at this time of year than Jingle bots, jingle bots, jingle all the way! 🤖🎄

It’s a great time of year to focus on visual imagery, too. You can set up your chatbot to send personalized images to users. A coupon or sale notification with snowflakes or candy canes and your name on it is likely to catch your eye more than a plain block of text.

Create personalized images
You can use tools like FotoScript to create and send personalized images like this one with your bot.

#6. Streamline the shopping experience 🛍

The faster a shopper can find the perfect gift on your site, the better. Facilitate their search process however you can! Show You might also like or People also viewed-type recommendations on your sales pages.

Product recommendations for the ecommerce products is one of many ecommerce sites that shows product recommendations on their sales pages.

For an even more interactive shopping experience, use your chatbot to recommend products specifically for the prospect or their gift recipient. Learn how to set up a quiz-style personal shopping experience with your bot.

The benefit of creating a highly personalized, guided interaction like this is that customers find what they need quickly and easily. They have a positive experience with your brand, and you get more conversions and increase the likelihood of repeat business. Plus, their tastes and preferences the bot gathers will be stored in Chatfuel’s People tab. You can use these to send tailored retargeting offers to customers in the future.

A great example of this idea in action is the chatbot for LEGO, which offers a gift-recommendation feature. It asks the user about the age and interests of the recipient, and the desired price range. It’ll then recommend LEGO sets that are the best fit.

Lego Messenger chatbot giving recommendations
Facebook Messenger chatbots can provide a personalized shopping experience by recommending products based on user input.

#7. Share the love—and get your customers to as well 💕

It’s the season of giving! Encourage your customers to share your brand with their friends, and give them a reward in return. A few ways to do this include:

  • Give customers a discount or coupon for sharing your email newsletter with friends using a custom link.
  • Run a creative, engaging giveaway on Facebook or Instagram that will motivate users to comment and tag friends to enter.
  • Reward users with freebies for sharing your bot with their friends, like this music festival did.

You can also set up a rewards program to give customers discounts or cash for referring friends. Referral leads convert 30% better than leads from other marketing channels, and they have a 16% higher lifetime value. So if you’re not already taking advantage of referral marketing, now’s the time to start. Customers get rewards and you earn new business—it’s a win-win. 😎

Referral program
Not only does Thrive, a cosmetics company, give customers rewards for referring friends, but they donate to a charitable cause for each purchase, too.

#8. Create a smooth post-purchase process 📦

The chance to satisfy and impress customers doesn’t end when they buy. At this time of year, it’s especially important to make sure that everything in the post-purchase phase goes smoothly too. You don’t want any problems with inventory or shipping to delay orders and upset customers who need their packages to arrive on time for the holidays.

First, make sure you stay organized. Use software to manage your orders and help get everything packed and shipped on time. Second, keep users informed at every step once they’ve made a purchase. Integrate a Messenger chatbot with your Shopify store, set up a chatbot to send users transactional messages, like order confirmations and shipping updates.

Ensure a smooth post-purchase process
Your Messenger bot can send transactional messages to users to keep them informed about their order.

#9. Don’t let warm leads get away 🛒

A prospect was about to complete checkout to buy from you when…the doorbell rang, the dog barked, their computer died, or any number of other things distracted them. Don’t let that sales opportunity pass you by!

With Chatfuel’s Cart Reminders for Shopify, your chatbot can automatically send engaging Messenger reminders to bring shoppers back to complete the purchase. It takes just three clicks to set up, and it can help you recover up to 7x more abandoned-cart revenue for your Shopify store.

The reminders are easily customizable, so you can include product images, a link to the shopper’s cart, and even deals or discounts to incentivize conversion. Take a few minutes to learn to set it up, then start watching recovered-revenue dollars roll in! 👇🏻

Make this the most wonderful time of year for your store ❄️

Take the time to implement these holiday tips for your ecommerce store, and you’ll get more than just a seasonal sales boost. Use these tools and ideas to improve the customer experience with your store overall. Make it easy, enjoyable, and memorable when users shop with your store to build customer loyalty, and you’ll be setting yourself up for repeat business in the new year.

Learn more about how a chatbot can help you increase sales for your ecommerce store, then sign up with Chatfuel for free to create your own Facebook bot—no code required. (After all, the function of Chatfuel is to make building a bot accessible to everyone!) When you're ready for unlimited users, priority support, and other perks, upgrade to Pro. Part of a marketing agency with ecommerce clients? Check out our Premium Agency plan.