How To Exceed Your Customers’ Expectations For The Holiday Season5 min read

Want to truly stand out in this competitive e-commerce landscape and enjoy the fruits of holiday season success? 

Easy. Give your customers what they want. 

What customers want

The increase in e-commerce-based technology, changes in the status quo of online shopping, ever-dynamic trends, etc have all turned customers’ wants into needs. Don’t forget, these interests keep on changing YoY. 

Sure, you can do the bare minimum and just meet ends. But that doesn’t cut through today’s landscape. 

You really need to understand your customers’ mindset, go the extra mile, and give more than what they want

To help you do that, we’ve tried to cover some of the most crucial things your customers expect from your brand and how you can exceed their expectations.

How To Exceed Your Customers' Expectations For The Holiday Season

Here are several strategies and tips that can help you not only meet but exceed customers’ expectations to ensure that your e-commerce business shines during the holiday season.

Let’s delve into these techniques and make this holiday season one to remember.

1. Store, marketing, and the holiday spirit

Let’s start with one of the early expectations for customers when choosing an e-commerce store to shop with during the holiday season — a trustworthy and interesting store. 

Imagine ending up on a website or application for your particular holiday season needs and finding it outdated. It really makes one question the authenticity of the store and keeps it easy to move on to the next option. 

So, what can you do to prevent this from happening to your business?

  • Populate your store’s website with a holiday-themed design that includes banners, icons, graphics, colors, and imagery
  • Consider incorporating interactive features such as holiday-themed quizzes, interactive product showcases, and other virtual experiences into your marketing campaigns to engage customers
  • Set up personalized email campaigns to prevent abandoned cart incidents. You can also take this up a notch and include holiday-special offers to motivate your customers even further
  • Offer branded tracking pages to improve convenience for the customer with seamless order tracking and brand recall
Spin-the-wheel Promo

2. Gift guides, bundles, and special initiatives

Moving on to our next holiday-specific initiatives — 36% of holiday season orders are gifts for someone else. Here are some ideas for you to capitalize on this opportunity and maximize your selling capabilities. 

  • Create gift guides tailored to different recipient types or occasions, such as “Gifts for Pet Lovers” or “Holiday Party Essentials.” Organize these guides on your website for easy access
  • Offer bundled product packages that combine related items at a discounted price
  • Provide optional holiday-themed gift-wrapping services during the checkout process to add an extra layer of convenience
  • Allow customers to add personalized notes and gift-giving options to make the unboxing experience exciting
Gift Set during the Holidays

3. Shipping, fulfillment, and timely deliveries

Thanks to the growth of e-commerce, apart from looking across products and choosing a brand to buy them, today’s customers also have high expectations when it comes to order deliveries.

Their need for timely and intact order deliveries is understandable and somewhat from their perspective, the bare minimum. 

However, with shipping carriers straining capacity during each holiday season to deliver a huge volume of packages, tasks like getting orders out on time become an uphill task. 

  • Optimize your order fulfillment process to reduce processing times. Consider using automated systems to streamline order handling
  • Offer multiple shipping options such as BOPIS and expedited shipping options for customers who need their purchases urgently
  • Collaborate with multiple shipping partners based on their pros and cons to ensure on-time delivery and minimize the risk of shipping delays
  • Consider free shipping (with certain conditions such as order value or for exclusive members) to spur shoppers to spend more

4. Communication, engagement, and positive CX

Not just during the holiday season, something to always keep in mind with your customers is to prevent unnecessary frustrations from bad shopping experiences. 

The bad news is that there are a lot of instances that arise from high customer expectations that can result in these bad experiences. 

The good news is that proper communication can help you mitigate customer frustrations and ensure a positive customer experience.  

  • Clearly outline your holiday shipping and return policies on your website. Include information about shipping deadlines, costs, and return windows
  • Communicate your customer support hours during the holiday season. Provide multiple contact options such as live chat, email, and phone support
  • Proactively resolve order issues before your customers become aware of them in the first place
  • Offer real-time order tracking, delivery and return status updates so that customers can monitor the progress of their purchases

5. Feedback, gratitude, and a personalized touch

One of the best ways to exceed your customers’ expectations apart from your regular offerings is to connect with them on a personal level. 

In the current e-commerce landscape, where almost all of your competitors offer the same products, it is the experiences that you offer that give you an advantage. 

  • Encourage customers to leave feedback and reviews after their holiday purchases. Express your appreciation for their input and use their feedback to improve your services
  • Send personalized thank-you emails to customers after their holiday purchases. Express your gratitude for their support and include a heartfelt message. You can also consider including handwritten thank-you notes in packages to add a personal touch. These notes convey your appreciation and make customers feel valued
  • As a token of your gratitude, offer exclusive discounts or promotions to loyal customers. This not only shows appreciation but also incentivizes repeat business
  • Include personalized order recommendations based on customer history in your tracking pages and delivery notifications to improve cross-selling opportunities and covert order tracking into a separate revenue channel.
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Final Word

By implementing these comprehensive strategies and tips, you can not only meet but exceed your customers’ expectations during the holiday season. 

Remember that the holiday season offers an opportunity to create memorable experiences and foster lasting customer relationships that extend beyond the festive period. 

Wishing you a joyful and successful holiday season filled with happy customers and thriving sales!