This post was contributed by Jenna Paton, copywriter at dotdigital.
After an unpredictable year, there’s great comfort in the predictability of the holiday season. As we immerse ourselves in the busiest shopping period of the year, eCommerce marketers need to work harder than ever before to drive sales.
This year, online sales are expected to hit an all-time high. The pandemic has already accelerated eCommerce growth by over 30%. This means that eCommerce brands, big and small, now have a greater opportunity to reach and connect with customers.
But this also means you’re faced with more competition. There has been an unprecedented surge in consumers discovering new brands. More brands are now vying for readers’ attention in the inbox. As a result, brands have to adopt new tactics to engage and convert customers.
Below are our five top tips to engage customers and boost your sales over this holiday period.
Personalization is essential for the modern consumer. Shoppers today are willing to give brands personal details about themselves in exchange for a unique, one-to-one experience. In fact, they’re increasingly turned off by brands who make no attempt to personalize their experiences.
To really connect with customers over the holiday period, you should be thinking about how you can personalize your marketing. Personalized subject lines can boost open rates by up to 50%. This doesn’t necessarily mean just first name personalization. You can also use data such as birthdays and location to drive email open rates.
Dynamic content is another great tactic that can be used in email marketing to personalize copy or images based on customer data, like location. The best thing about dynamic content is that it offers marketers the opportunity to create multiple variations of a single email, saving you a significant amount of time.
And don’t forget about website experiences too. Personalizing landing pages will create a unique and consistent experience for the shopper.
Segmentation is another easy quick-win. In some regards, it’s just another form of personalization.
Segmenting your audience database ensures that your marketing remains relevant. Irrelevant emails will never get the level of engagement you desire, so, whether you opt for basic or advanced tactics, segmentation is a must-do.
Basic segmentation can be used to group customers depending on location, gender, or birthday months. Advanced segments can be built using RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) personas. The benefit of this is that it allows you to target your loyal customers or big spenders with specific, targeted messages.
3. Abandoned Cart
The average rate of cart abandonment is just under 70%. That means that for every 10 shoppers visiting your website, seven will abandon items added to their shopping cart. eCommerce brands are losing $18 billion in sales revenue due to cart abandonment.
As a result, cart recovery emails are imperative for eCommerce brands. This simple but effective automation program uses customer actions as a trigger, meaning they can run in the background, recovering lost profits, while you focus on other marketing tasks.
The reasons for cart abandonment are varied. Anything from unexpected shipping costs, to simply browsing can cause visitors to abandon their cart. Therefore, it’s important to send your cart recovery emails at the optimal time.
Best practice advice recommends landing in shoppers’ inboxes between 30 minutes to an hour after they abandon their cart. Acting quickly will help you re-engage these shoppers while your brand is still fresh in their minds.
During the holidays, while shoppers are looking around for the perfect presents, a cart recovery automation can be the prompt that tips customers across the line on the path to purchase.
4. Product Recommendations
eCommerce giant Amazon permanently changed the game when it brought product recommendations into the consumer consciousness. Today, 91% of shoppers claim they’re more likely to shop with brands that offer personalized recommendations. Not only do they improve the customer’s experience, but they also showcase more of your product catalog.
Product recommendation blocks can be used across your marketing channels, from your email marketing to product pages. They add instant personalization wherever they’re used. Using the power of AI, recommendations can use customers’ previous orders, similar items, or items other customers have bought to surface products the shopper may not have found otherwise.
Include them in your abandon cart automated emails to boost relevancy and increase average order value. Product recommendations in email marketing can increase conversions by 150% so if you really want to drive customers to your eCommerce site, this is the ultimate tactic to use.
5. ￼Retargeting Ads
During this busy shopping period, consumers are browsing the web for the perfect presents for friends and loved ones. As they jump from site to site, the best way to keep your brand at the top of their mind is through a retargeting ads campaign. Customers will visit your website 3.5x on average before they’re ready to convert. This is likely to increase over the holidays, making retargeting ads an essential part of your marketing strategy.
Using data you already have on customers can help you deliver relevant and personalized ads based on their browsing behavior. By targeting your bounced visitors with these specific ads on other sites, search engines, and social media channels, you can drive them back to your site and further along the marketing funnel.
As inboxes begin to get inundated with marketing emails, eCommerce brands need to go the extra mile to capture and convert readers.
But the good news is that an extra bit of effort doesn’t require hours of work. The top tactics outlined above are available to marketers year-round and only take minutes to set up.
If you haven’t already built your cart recovery automation, there’s no time like the present. If you have, why not try adding product recommendations to your email to drive more conversions. Consider new ways you can use personalization and segmentation in every campaign you send to boost relevancy. Never let a visitor slip through your fingers by targeting customers with personalized display ads.
Combine all of our top marketing tips to see your sales soar this holiday season!
About the Author:
Jenna is a copywriter for dotdigital, the omnichannel marketing automation platform. Based in the UK, Jenna is an eCommerce expert and has written some of dotdigital’s key learning resources including its benchmark eCommerce report, Hitting the Mark 2020.