3 Common Retail Mistakes to Avoid During Holiday Season 2019

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other peak season retail events are snapping at our heels. As retailers get ready for launch, we explore 3 consumer pain points that retailers can fix with social proof.

Kate Cleevely

| 16 September 2019 |

Est. Reading: 4 minutes


This year, Black Friday will fall on the 29th November 2019. This means that the discounted shopping event falls on most people’s payday, and millions of savvy shoppers will be ready to splash their cash in the sales.

Years ago, that may have meant taking a day away from work, camping out in queues and beating out fellow beady-eyed bargain hunters. Today, it’s as simple as an internet connection and a couple of clicks.

Year on year, Black Friday moves further towards being an online phenomenon. There are clear advantages to this: the online shopping experience can adapt to customer needs and address some issues with the in-store sales experience. For example, a shopper can view loads of items at once, without having to go searching through the sale rail. On-site product messaging can show buyers how quickly an item is selling, how many are left, and if they miss out, other retail tech tools can recommend similar products that might suit their needs.

Last November, the ONS reported that online sales as a proportion of all retailing exceeded 20% for the first time, accounting for 21.5% of total retailing. Meanwhile, retain analysts Forrester predict that online fashion sales will make up 36% of all fashion retail by 2022, and 53% by 2028. Figures like these show that it is critical for retailers to find new ways to optimise their eCommerce channel before Black Friday.

Now is the time to ask how you can offer your customers the very best user experience, and make sure you use every tool at your disposal to turn browsers into buyers. That begins with social proof. We’ve made a list of common customer problems, and how social proof will help you solve them. 

1. ‘I’ve logged on to shop the Black Friday Sale, but now there’s too much choice and I can’t decide what’s right for me!’ 

This is a very common issue for online shoppers. A 2018 report from Humanizing Digital 2020 found that 42% of customers had abandoned online transactions because they felt overpowered by choice.

Using dynamic, real-tools like social proof messaging helps brands address choice overload and improve their customers’ experience. Trusted feedback about products other shoppers have viewed, bought or liked, allows consumers to make a confident purchase decision. It brings the support of a shop assistant to the online experience.

It's a proven psychological and commercial fact that customers follow the crowd when they see others take an interest in a product or service. This is the principle that Taggstar's software is built upon, and why social proof is one of the most effective marketing tools to engage and convert customers.

2. ‘I’m definitely interested in a product, but I just leave it in my basket and eventually forget about it. On days like Black Friday by the time I remember, it’s already sold out!’

This is common consumer behaviour. Baymard Institute estimates that a massive 69.5% of online carts are abandoned. A few eCommerce basket abandonments are unavoidable, but the most successful brands create straightforward customer journeys with clear and detailed information. 

Working with Taggstar, the UK and international retailer Matalan tracked an 8.8% online conversion rate uplift by combining our messages on both its product list and product details pages. 

How? They maximised online conversions by using urgency messaging like ‘Going Fast’ on its list page, alongside the audience, add to basket and purchase volumes on its product details pages.

On days like Black Friday, tools like this help bring the bustling atmosphere of sales shopping to the online shopping experience – but with the extra product information that a customer needs to make a confident purchase, and quickly!

3. ‘I like browsing online, but I don’t think there’s anything that really grabs me and convinces me to buy.’

Calling a customer by their first name is a basic requirement for any shop assistant, and online retailers should be no different. Infosys found that 59% of those who have a personalised experience say that it has a notable impact on their purchasing.

Successful retailers offer personalised deals, vouchers, product recommendations based on previous purchases and browsing behaviour. The best brands are now offering what Capgemini calls hyper-personalisation: “adapting your customer relationship in real-time, in terms of the offers provided and the overall customer experience.”

Taggstar has added a personalised message category to update an individual shopper on what has happened to a product since they last looked. We convey product views, add-to-bag volumes and sales as a real-time personalised message e.g: “Since your last visit 2 days ago, 22 others bought this." 

This isn’t only replicating what a sales assistant can offer, but actually gives shoppers an even more detailed, personal and up-to-date story than a shop assistant could. Taggstar is the only social proof provider to do this.

So, there you have it. There are many ways in which retailers can tailor their online user experience so that shoppers can make the most of Black Friday deals. With social proof, your customers will be more empowered than ever before to quickly make a purchase decision and checkout. 

What are you waiting for? Read our new eBook and talk to us today about adding social proof to your website:

- UK eBook

- US eBook