So with Christmas 2021 done and dusted, your customers might well be sitting back, congratulating themselves on their perfect gift-buying while you are celebrating excellent sales. If so, well done.
Alternatively, you might be tearing your hair out dealing with a flurry of returns that shows that, despite their best efforts, your customers didn’t get their gift purchases quite right. In the UK, post-Christmas returns surged in January by 24% compared to the year before and online returns are expected to top £3.2 billion in January.
The likelihood is you are somewhere in between, dealing with returns that show some of the purchases weren’t quite right and wondering what on earth your business can do to make present buying easier for your customers and reduce costly returns. With Valentine’s Day looming, there’s little time to waste.
The need for indulgence
Valentine’s Day 2021 saw UK couples stuck in lockdown, meaning spending was limited to gifts and in-home indulgences rather than events or eating out. Customers spent £926 million, an average of £23 each.
This year, although not in lockdown, the virility of the Omicron variant could mean that many lovestruck couples still choose to celebrate at home, making the need to impress the other half even more urgent. It’s not just about human loved ones – Millennials and Gen Z in particular, spoil their pets on Valentine’s Day!
How can you help your customers share the love and get their present-buying spot on, however difficult the person they are buying for may be to please? It’s a frustrating process that can test even the most solid of relationships.
How social proof messaging helps
Real-time social proof messaging can make a huge difference to customer confidence in what they are proposing to buy. It helps them to identify bestsellers, popular and trending items quickly. Acting as a virtual sales assistant it helps to answer the questions your customer might normally ask in-store. Such popularity and trending messaging not only helps to inspire customers to discover the ideal gift, it gives them confidence in their choice – but can also warn them when stock is getting low.
Flowers and chocolates are perfect for Valentine’s Day, but shoppers may also be looking for something more personal to their partner’s hobbies or likes, which can be challenging for the novice buyer.
When such social proof messaging is combined with aggregated review messaging, something that Taggstar offers through its partnership with Bazaarvoice, then such messaging is even more powerful, highlighting, for example, items that are rated five stars so that customers know what they are buying is the best option.
By buying right first-time consumers – and their gift recipients – are happier with their purchases, building strong loyalty that will keep your customers coming back for more, as well as powerful word-of-mouth marketing around how helpful your site was in the buying process.
And of course, the increase in conversion rate and revenue is not to be sniffed at either, with many of Taggstar’s retail customers reporting double-digit increases in conversion rates when using the technology. Importantly, social proof messaging can deliver results quickly and be implemented quickly, something Martin Bell, eCommerce Director for Hotel Chocolat, says is vital. “The speed in which Taggstar was able to help us pivot was incredible.”
Social proof messaging is a perfect tool to help inspire weary gift buyers to discover the perfect gift online, enabling them to make better purchasing decisions on presents that their loved ones will adore, whatever the occasion, as well as a perfect way to help reduce those rates of unwanted gift returns. What’s not to love?