With an almost 70% cart abandonment rate across industries, ecommerce retailers are losing billions of dollars when frustrated shoppers jump ship during the purchase process. A sale is not a sale until the final checkout button is clicked and it’s the retailer’s job to make the path to that action as smooth as possible. One of the big roadblocks to a seamless transaction is promo support. In fact, support for understanding and applying promo codes and offers ranks behind only Where Is My Order? (WISMO) and return assistance as the top sources of customer support inquiries.
Increasingly, retailers are turning to automation to bolster and simplify their digital promo support, but not all efforts are created equal. If your brand is planning to invest in promo support automation, here are the best practices you need to embrace.
Prioritize the needs of new customers
Digital welcome offers are table stakes when it comes to enticing first-time shoppers to engage with your brand. Usually, they’re substantial discounts tied to joining a mailing list or placing an initial order. Unlike public-facing promo codes that you might advertise to all potential customers (“Use code WELL20 to save 20% on health and beauty products”), welcome offer codes are unique to the individual email address used to sign up for them. And you promo support automation needs to be able to handle them in addition to standard promo codes. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression to potential new customers, so that means you need to make that first purchase process as seamless as possible. If you want to convert them, first-time shoppers need to be able to access real-time assistance when figuring out how to apply their code – what to do if it isn’t working for the items in their cart..
Offer more than generic/FAQ-level assistance
Bespoke CX is the new normal when it comes to your customers’ expectations across all of their interactions with your brand. If they have questions about a promotion, they want to be able to receive answers to their particular issue (“Does this code work in-store and online?” “Is it limited by quantity purchased?”, etc.) vs. a stock “That promo is not valid.” response, or a link to an FAQ page that doesn’t solve for their pain point. Promo support automation needs to be as robust and customized as the support you provide during every other point on the purchase journey.
Provide opportunities for engagement at critical buying junctures
With high cart abandonment rates, it’s critical to remove as much friction as possible in your checkout process. You don’t want a customer to have to open a new tab to search out your promo terms and conditions page, go back to their email to see if they made a mistake in copying and pasting the code, or get distracted Googling a new promo code to try when theirs fails to work without explanation. Your promo support chat should be embedded into and easily accessible within the checkout process to provide real-time resolution and help customers to complete their transaction without leaving the page.
Integrate with your other automations
Your automation approach from pre-purchase discovery and promo support through to return and exchange assistance needs to be cohesive, contextual and consistent. It should feel like a single digital assistant is shepherding the shopper along their journey and that the experience at each stage of the process is smooth and seamless instead of disjointed and variable. One way to ensure this is to look for a vendor partner that offers a scalable solution that spans the customer journey, bypassing the need to shoehorn a number of separate tools or platforms together.
Tie it into your promo code inventory
One of the frustrations shoppers have with human customer care agents, whether via webchat or phone, is that the agent often doesn’t have the information at hand to address their issue.he customer is either put on hold or left staring at a static chat box while the agent burns precious time looking up a particular promo code and its terms and conditions, and sourcing answers as to how to redeem or troubleshoot it. By contrast, a promo support automation assistant has the ability to process large amounts of data in real time, returning a speedy answer to the shopper. If you give the assistant access to the platform housing your promo code inventory, you increase its power exponentially. Now, shoppers can ask questions or get immediate assistance with any promo you’re running, or have previously run, without the need to wait for a lengthy information lookup.
With so much at stake during the checkout process, retailers are looking for any advantage they can find to make sure customers complete their purchases as intended. Deployed correctly, promo support automation can save a potential sale and turn a point of frustration into a positive experience for a new or returning customer.