How to Create an Addicting Shopping Experience for the 2024 Holidays

As CS and CX teams dive into planning for the 2024 holiday season, missed opportunities from 2023 are top of mind. But given new payment options, conversational commerce, and interactive experiences, where should teams start?

Valuable for experts and newbies alike, this blog will cover the best first principles and tips that Envoy’s used when designing shopping experiences that consumers love all year round, especially at the holidays.

What we learned in 2023 about holiday shopping

As I said in my last blog, my greatest learnings last year all centered around how to make online shopping easy and convenient with conversational commerce. These data points illuminate them:

  • Most consumers preferred to shop online. Nearly 3 of 4, according to Statista.
  • Online retail sales are growing every holiday season. Whereas 1 of 5 retail sales happened online in 2022, 1 in 4 are expected by 2026, per Oberlo.
  • Online shoppers spend more when it’s easy to get in touch. 82% spend more when it’s easy to contact a business, per Zendesk’s CX 2023 Trends Report.

7 holiday trends that customer support leaders are obsessed with this year

As they’re ramping up for the 2024 holiday season, Envoy is hearing leading customer support professionals talk most about these seven trends the most:

  1. New payment optionsRetailers are looking to boost CLTV by absorbing additional costs and offering payment technology to drive conversion. Examples include fast shipping, free returns, buy now/pay later, and try on first/buy later.
  2. Marketplace growth Retail is augmenting their own marketplaces to compete with Amazon, Ali Baba, and other third-party marketplaces.
  3. Social commerce – Social shopping growth is predicted to triple that of traditional ecommerce (Accenture), retailers are investing to facilitate purchases on Facebook shops, Instagram & Tik Tok shopping, live & video streaming, and more.
  4. Conversational commerce – Generative AI and the latest advancements in large language models (LLMs) are enabling retailers to increase average order value by 20% simply by offering intelligence messaging.
  5. Interactive experiences – Interactive digital retail experiences combine augmented reality with real-life shopping, enabling shoppers to try on clothes, accessories, and makeup virtually.
  6. Experiential economy – Lululemon is not an experience company, not an apparel company but an experience company. REI predicts it will derive more revenue from experiences than physical products in the next decade.
  7. Retail media – It’s been the year of leveraging vast amounts of customer data for retail media networks. Major retailers now sell ad space on their ecommerce sites and stores to brand partners.

7 practical tips: Digitally transform 2024 holiday shopping experiences this year

While these trends represent a lot of new retail innovation, taking action on these trends is actually quite simple. Following are 7 ways my team is currently helping top-performing customer support teams in retail this year.

  1. Customize promotional offers with deep customer knowledge, context and history by connecting your e-commerce systems and tools.
  2. Give personalized, intelligent product recommendations that reflect consumers’ merchandise preferences, browsing data, and full shopping history.
  3. Collect payment at formerly unprecedented speeds, thanks to comprehensive payment integrations, unified SKUs, and inventory location data.
  4. Inform online shoppers of product availability and nearby in-store locations.
  5. Remind consumers about abandoned carts when they’re shopping.
  6. Track conversion and agent performance by monitoring and reporting on successful orders, order value, agent performance, and other key metrics across conversations.
  7. Access and quickly update customer profiles in your customer experience management system.

Please reach out if you’d like to chat and learn more!