Black Friday, Cyber Weekend, and the Holiday season present golden opportunities this quarter. Yet the cost-of-living crisis, supply chain issues, and high acquisition costs mean businesses face another challenging peak.
51% of shoppers see Black Friday as vital to make their cash go as far as possible during the peak. As eCommerce remains the most convenient way for shoppers to check prices in real-time, it’s expected to increase up to 7.1% YoY. But following Amazon’s latest announcement of Prime Day 2, businesses must compete even harder by adding extra value through their CX and post-purchase experiences.
Keeping the customer engagement momentum going in the lead-up to Christmas and New Year will be fundamental in building customer relationships. But you need to focus on the long-term goal: building customer loyalty through a truly personalized experience using your customer insights. To help, we’ve teamed up with our Partners VTEX, Jakala, and Fact-Finder to give you key tactics to make this Golden Quarter a success.
Make customer data your superpower by activating it with the right tools! 62% of retailers believe they have a competitive advantage thanks to data analytics.
Generating actionable insights from your customer data helps you cut through the noise by personalizing your messaging and appearing on the right channels at the right time. This customer-centric approach can be your key differentiator to keep customers engaged, drive conversions, and retain customers post-peak.
“CDPs unify your customer data to build 360-degree customer profiles that are enriched with first-party data collection – in a GDPR-compliant way, of course. This enables you to become more insight-led, to learn more about your customers through their behavior along the customer journey and interactions with your brand.”
Those blurred lines between online and offline channels mean brands must deliver a convenient and frictionless omnichannel experience. While eCommerce remains the most convenient way for shoppers to purchase products, MasterCard predicts that in-store retail sales are expected to increase +7.9% YoY.
Your MarTech stack plays an important role in constructing innovative ways to connect the dots between your digital and physical stores. By adding interactions for data collection in your brick-and-mortar stores, you can use your CDP to combine online and offline data to connect and unify your data points, assign purchases to the customer profile, and form a single customer view of the customer journey.
Some common tactics are digital receipting, QR codes at the in-store Point of Sale, Net Promoter pages, and gamification.
“Create and enrich your unified customer profiles by leveraging in-store data. QR codes on paper receipts can be extremely powerful, enhancing the customer’s in-store ability to signup digitally. This helps you become more tactical in your cross-channel marketing, making each personalized interaction highly relevant and impactful across email, in-app, SMS, push, and even direct mail.”
“Offering exclusive in-store discounts using geo-targeting can drive footfall and encourage shoppers to convert. Diversifying your traffic between your channels can also help you manage unexpected demand and ease the pressure on each channel. By offering the convenience of BOPIS and curbside pick-up, it reduces the strain on fulfillment and delivery, and customers can immerse themselves in the familiarity of the in-store shopping experience.”
Customer loyalty comes from an emotional connection with your brand. Be more conscious of your definition of “loyalty segments” and what shoppers look for in a brand. Having personalized experiences and rewards in return for loyalty makes every conversion worth it to customers.
“Just because customers aren’t spending as much with your brand as they did last year doesn’t mean they’re less loyal. It could mean they’re still spending their entire budget in this category with you and simply can’t afford to spend more. Using your CDP makes this clear, as deeper customer insights are key to identifying what pages they’ve interacted with and their spending pattern.”
While inflation may lead to early Holiday shopping, there’s a possibility that customers may push this back as late as possible. Customers will either get in early or hold off for the best deal.
Your MarTech stack plays a crucial role in reactive marketing to quickly adapt to changes in customer behavior and manage demand effectively. To ensure you’re prepared, review your tools and see what capabilities these give you to respond effectively. It’s important to remember that consolidated tools prevent fragmented marketing, to make your customer experience as seamless as possible.
“To create a sense of urgency, consumers are blasted with discounts, offers, and personalized products, all in a short period.
Shoppers will stay informed of your promotions from the banners, sponsored ads, or emails you send to them, but there’s always a percentage of them who will only check what’s available right before the promotion ends.
It’s crucial to polish your mobile CX, ensuring it also stays consistent across your web and app channels, especially regarding products, discounts, and UX. Get those push notifications active and personalize your offers according to your historical customer data to get those conversions, even if it is at the last minute.”
“Keeping up with consumer needs and market trends is crucial to make the most of your opportunities in the Golden Quarter. Social selling, live shopping, marketplaces, omnichannel, click & collect are increasingly becoming common phenomena, and all play a specific part in enhancing the online shopping XP, especially during big events like Black Friday when competition for consumer attention is highest.
User interest in promotional events during the pre-Christmas period continuously increases, and data shows that digital will remain the main channel. VTEX’s promotional engine can ground more than 4000 different combinations to create the right match between users’ expectations and retailers’ needs. Keeping up with technology is the starting point: doing it in an agile and fast way, with the shortest possible time-to-market, is what keeps retailers competitive while optimizing the supply chain through omnichannel initiatives.”
Who can’t help but spin the infamous wheel of discounts? Capturing data in a GDPR-compliant way through interactive mediums can grow your contactable marketing database, enrich your customer profiles, and helps you better understand your new and existing customers. In fact, 41% of consumers are open to sharing data and preferences if it means they receive more personalized and relevant future offers from the brand.
But the data exchange needs to be worthwhile to audiences through the reward and experience of the activity. Consider using gamification tools and vendors, such as our Partners Odicci and Leadfamly, to launch interactive campaigns and landing pages to help collect first-party and zero-party data. These can drive engagement from your existing database and boost your new customer acquisition rate.
“51% of consumers say that a prize or voucher won individually by doing well in a game is more valuable than a standard coupon code that everyone receives. Find creative ways to capture customer data with a pleasant experience, such as an online scavenger hunt (that’s detailed below) to increase the discount coming up to Black Friday and carrying on throughout December.”
Thomas Kalinna, Pre-Sales Consultant @ Mapp
“Use competitions, partnerships with other brands, and new product launches (online or even in-store) to start engaging with your audience. Collect first-party data from sign-ups, trials, and other interactive methods with a short-term or long-term incentive and build your audience. If you already have a marketing audience, use the power of your collected first-party data in your Paid Ads strategy. PepsiCo did this last year, and ads using first-party data (stored in Mapp) outperformed all other audiences while being the most cost-effective option too!”
If you can’t undercut your competitor’s pricing, be selective in your discounts. Use your customer insights to identify your high-value customers who are likely to convert to keep your margins healthy at a lower cost. As a result, it increases the ROI of your campaigns.
Incorporating highly specified segmentation based on your audience’s demographic, behavioral, and historical data helps differentiate your discounts and target communications. You can gauge where your loyal customers or churning customers are and personalize your loyalty programs to create an engaging CX, increase sales, and grow customer retention.
“Go ‘VIP’ for your high-value customers by offering the best discounts and personalized offers to this audience. Invite loyal customers for early access to your sales so they feel valued. Some other example segments can be recent openers, geographic targets, product browsers, peak shoppers, high engagement/low purchasers, and many more.”
Shopper budgets are a significant factor this year. In the U.S., the average budgets for Black Friday are $574 and Christmas gifting stands at $735. In the U.K., consumers also intend to spend an average of £567 this Christmas. These restricted budgets mean customers need to feel in more control throughout their shopping journey and will be more selective in their purchases.
Around 73% of all eCommerce is mobile – and it’s expected to grow even further. With smartphones at their fingertips, customers will be price-checking frequently across multiple channels. It’s essential to use your customer data to learn about their past purchases and real-time interactions, such as the product pages they keep revisiting.
Use these insights to personalize product recommendations and cross-channel communications to help shoppers make informed purchasing decisions. You can also offer a 5% discount on abandoned purchases and revisited products to encourage shoppers to complete purchases.
“When searching for the best deals, many shoppers like to conduct detailed research before making a purchase. Prices are compared and shipping options are checked, as these are the two biggest drivers of purchases.
Online shoppers are most active in the evenings, and most orders will be placed between 20:00 and 22:00. Our research has seen that around 80% of shoppers use up to 6 different channels to get the information they’re looking for. The most popular channels for this type of research are websites, e-mails, social media, and retailers’ mobile apps.
Many will use their smartphones to bounce between these channels and place their orders, so it’s important to guarantee the mobile optimization of your online shop for the duration of the shopping process.”
If you send the same daily emails about your sale being the last chance to buy, you’re giving your customers a reason to unsubscribe. Show empathy through your incentives to build positive customer relationships. Fair pricing demonstrates this, but it’s important to be subtle and conscious of how you communicate your promotion, e.g., emails with a time limit can pressure your shoppers, which may result in a higher unsubscribe rate and increased customer churn.
“Be compassionate and honest with your audience. Your marketing communication can address the topic of tough times and create a sense of ease. Let your customers know that a product they’ve been revisiting multiple times has a price drop as an FYI. This shows you’re being considerate and not pressuring them to make a sale.”
“Instead of relying on heavy promotional emails, relevant product recommendations can subtly contribute to a truly personalized experience and won’t overwhelm your shoppers. Leverage your cross-sells and upsells effectively by placing these at the right place at the right time, e.g., at the checkout process. Be strategic in the product content you displaying by showing the value or savings they’ll get through your upsells and/or cross-sells.”
No one wants standardized communications. Shoppers notice when a brand pays attention to them. It’s why 90% of leading marketers believe personalization contributes significantly to business profitability.
Rolling out standard loyalty programs and constant discounts can make your brand seem uninterested in your customers, lowering your engagement rates and increasing churn. You need to cut through the noise and engage audiences using customer insights to ensure every interaction is relevant and personalized.
Each consumer is unique, as they show different behavioral patterns. Your customer insights are the foundations of your personalization. Use these insights to create customer segments and personalized dynamic content that’s based on their real-time and previous engagement with your brand.
“From adding engaging VIP content in emails to targeted content through popups on your eCommerce website – these methods show your customers relevant offerings that will help them go down the buying funnel to then make the purchase. Some examples of personalized and relevant content can be:
“For a specific customer journey, use your customer analytics to interact with shoppers at the right time. This can be more impactful than personalizing the message itself. Common use cases include abandoned cart/browse, first order bonus, and win-back campaigns. For example, use automation to trigger a specific message whenever the customer lands on your website after 6 months without purchasing with your brand,”
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