10 Ways Retailers are Leaving Money on The Table


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In absence of a centralized view into customer data, interactive marketers struggle to execute effective cross-channel programs, fueled by real-time, action customer data and insights. Customers increasingly push for and expect a seamless experience from all interaction points. Connecting each channel into a holistic experience for the shopper is key to driving conversions and not leaving money on the table.

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10 Ways Retailers are Leaving Money on The Table

  1. 1. Page 1 10 Ways Retailers Are
  2. 2. Page 2 Retailers now have more than just product pricing in their bargaining arsenals. Consider how you might be leaving money on the table: Are you narrowing your shopping experience to a single channel? It’s no surprise that customers today interact through various channels. They browse on a tablet and then later buy on a laptop. They read emails on their phones and redeem offers in-store. You may view each one of these channels as its own separate entity, but customers don’t. According to recent research real-time customer insight and engagement across channels is the key to success. Savvy retailers should strive for a centralized view of their consumers. In absence of a centralized view into customer data, interactive marketers struggle to execute effective cross-channel programs, fueled by real-time, action customer data and insights. Customers increasingly push for and expect a seamless experience from all interaction points. Connecting each channel into a holistic experience for the shopper is key to driving conversions and not leaving money on the table. These best practices are not only good for you, they’re great for your customers. These strategies significantly improve the customer experience. Shoppers show their approval and encouragement of these practices by converting into customers. Tips: Utilize a single marketing platform that allows you to gather data about your customers from all channels and use that data to drive personal, one-to-one interactions across email, mobile, social, in-store, and on the web. 1 Let’s face it: gaining and retaining customers can often feel like a high stakes match. What’s the right balance between what you’ll give in the way of offers or discounts and what you’ll gain in customer loyalty? You Your Customers
  3. 3. Page 3 Are you letting your shoppers leave their carts abandoned? According to the Internet Retailer article Cart Abandonment E-Mails Gain More Attention From E-Retailersi , 71% of shoppers are abandoning carts and only 19% of the top 1,000 online retailers are sending abandoned cart email messages to bring the customer back. Have you created your customer abandonment strategy yet? Abandoned cart programs are an “easy win” to recapture lost revenue. Are you sending non- targeted or blast emails? Sending the same offer to your entire database is yesterday’s news. In fact, this kind of blast email could actually be hurting your sales efforts. A recent study by eMarketer revealed that 56% of U.S. email users unsubscribed from email lists because the content was no longer relevant. To ensure you don’t succumb to this same fate, collect demographic and behavioral data from your site, email programs, and CRM systems, and then use that data to target messages to the audience that’s most likely to convert. For example, a hardware retailer could send a marketing email highlighting snow blowers to customers in the Northeast when a snow storm is predicted. Or an apparel retailer might send a special offer to customers who viewed, but did not purchase, a certain style of jeans in the last 30 days. Emails that are behaviorally targeted preform 20 times better in terms of conversion than general blast messages to your entire customer base.iii Tips: Recent studiesii indicate that triggering a message within 24 hours of a shopper abandoning a cart can recapture 10% to 30% of revenue left in the cart. Tagging your site so that these messages send automatically during the window of opportunity your customers are shopping AND incorporating their onsite behavior will dramatically increase ROI. You might ask, “What’s the window of opportunity?” The window of opportunity is different for every retailer. Some retailers should trigger an email 24 hours after a cart is abandoned, for some it should be as soon as one to three hours. Based on your unique business goals, the ExactTarget team will work with you to determine how soon an abandon cart email should be triggered to ensure it’s landing in your shopper’s inbox during the crucial buying period. 2 Tips: Make sure to implement a customer preference center where customers can choose what communication topics most interest them, which allows you to personalize future communication on a one-to-one level. For added sophistication, implement an engine that can further segment your audience based on site behavior, demographic information, geography, and email behavior. 3
  4. 4. Page 4 Are you still manually merchandising your cross-sells and up-sells? Recommending products to your online shoppers consistently delivers increased conversion rates and increased average order values. However, if you are manually merchandising these recommendations, there is another part of the ROI equation you should consider: the cost of these man-hours to do it. Manually merchandising your website can quickly become expensive, and makes you less agile when responding to shifting customer trends and preferences. Are you recommending products with “wisdom of the crowd,” or “personas” type solutions? For some retailers, the next step from manually merchandising is to use recommendations engines that rely primarily on “wisdom of the crowds” or “personas” to make product recommendations. However, when customers are shopping your site, every click made and every page browsed is giving you valuable insight into their wants, needs, and preferences. Why stop at “wisdom of the crowds” when the data is there to make truly personalized recommendations that are unique to each individual shopper? Tips: Just like with your emails, relevance is key to delivering product recommendations on your site. Invest in an engine that captures a wide variety of data points about an individual such as click, browsing purchase behavior, demographics, and social profile data. Use that information and marry it with “wisdom of the crowds” data to deliver recommendations that are truly tailored to the individual. Personalizing product recommendations, like those provided by iGoDigital, can increase conversions site-wide by up to 10%. 5 4 Tips: Utilize an automated product recommendations engine to deliver cross- sells and up-sells on your site. Even better, personalize those recommendations based on a shoppers behavior and purchase history to really move the needle.
  5. 5. Page 5 Are you generating “basic” transactional emails out of your eCommerce platform? Transactional emails are often viewed as operationally necessary, but not as a marketing tool. At some retail organizations this function lives either in the IT department or is a generic email delivered from the eCommerce platform or the cart solution. However, this valuable touch point should not be overlooked as a way to provide product suggestions and reengage the customer post-purchase. Tips: Take control of your transactional emails and position them as customer engagement tools. Inject product recommendations into purchase and shipping confirmation emails. These product recommendations turn transactional emails into conversion tools, increasing click- through rates by up to 35% and conversion rates by up to 25%.iv 6 Are you using your social presence to drive email engagement? If your subscriber list has hit a plateau, you may be overlooking a captive audience: your Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Research shows that social consumers still want to receive email from brands— and, in fact, these individuals might be your most engaged email subscribers.v 7 Tips: Even though email is the most preferred channel, consumers still want communication from social mediums. Retailers should use a simple sign-up form to drive email opt-ins and collect customer data on Facebook or Twitter. Build branded Facebook fan pages with customized content, including an email opt-in form. When fans submit an email address, those individuals are automatically added to your chosen subscriber list. As always, make sure you are staying true to permission and only including those subscribers, fans and followers who have opted in to receiving communication from your company. Page 5 Have you fully leveraged the mobile channel? Ninety-nine percent of all mobile devices sold today are capable of receiving SMS messages, as cited in a recent report from BI Intelligence. Plus, according to Google mobile statistics, four out of 10 people leave a retailer without buying anything in the store—with that mobile device in hand! Most retailers are overlooking mobile as a way to reengage customers after they’ve left the store. Tips: Encourage people to join your email program via text message by promoting SMS calls-to-action on location (whether in-store or at an event). Entice participation by offering a discount or other promotion. 8
  6. 6. Page 6 Are you overlooking the importance of relevance in email deliverability? Poor email deliverability can be a result of several factors, but—no matter the cause—it will quickly jeopardize your email marketing programs. In fact, according to eMarketer, 78% of US email marketers say improving email deliverability is a significant challenge to email marketing effectiveness. Are you blindly pressing the send button and hoping it will reach your subscribers inbox? If you want to keep your position in the inbox, you must not only maintain good ISP relationships, but also make sure you’re sending relevant, engaging content to your subscribers. Tips: Before you hit the send button – make sure the content you are sending to your subscribers is RELEVANT. Create a worthwhile relationship with your subscribers by sending them content that relates to them. Driving subscribers to a preference center or landing page where they can provide more information about themselves (like how often they’d like to be contacted or what type of communication they’d like to receive) is a good start to creating relevant communications. Additionally, you should know your customers well enough to speak relevantly to them based on their preferences and shopping behavior stored in their customer profile. Back to Basic Tips Use a deliverability tool to find and fix rendering and deliverability issues before hitting send. Staying true to permissions will increase deliverability as well as using a consistent “from” name of your company. It’s beneficial to double-check the subject line before hitting send to make sure it doesn’t include words that might be considered spam, which gets your email a one-way ticket to your subscriber’s “junk” folder. Last but not least, make sure you’re sending only to your most engaged subscribers to maintain high deliverability rates. Webmail providers like Yahoo! and Gmail know exactly which messages are opened, viewed, clicked, or deleted without being read. This data is compiled to create an “engagement score” for you as a sender. Building scores to denote reputable senders isn’t new, but ISPs are starting to rely on this engagement-based data more heavily than before to determine what messages should be considered SPAM. Every email you send to an unengaged subscriber puts you closer to falling into the bulk or SPAM folder. 9
  7. 7. Page 7 Are you lacking automation and segmentation practices? Tasks like data movement, segmentation, and routine messaging programs can become time-intensive and costly. The right marketing automation tools make it possible for retailers to do more with less. By leveraging automation functionality, it frees resources to focus on strategy that optimizes your interactive marketing programs, directly resulting in increased revenues. Retailers are also asking how they can create a one-to-one experience in their messages that combine prior customer data, email transaction history, and purchase history and speaking to each and every client in a relevant way without using an email blasting approach. By investing in segmentation solutions you can ensure your subscribes are receiving the messages that are targeted. According to a recent study from McKinsey Global Institute, targeted emails bases on customer demographics alone produced a response rate up to 18 times grater than those that were not targeted. Think of the possibilities if you leverage other behavioral data to further target your shopper communication. 10 Tips: If you’re sending welcome messages or cart abandonment emails, you’re on the right track. Here are some strategies to take your segmentation to the next level. Think about incorporating site behavior into your segmentation strategy. By leveraging iGoDigital behavioral segmentation tool, customers have seen as much as a 50% increase in click-rate and a 56% increase in orders per send.vi Additionally, there are other intrinsic benefits to segmenting your audience and sending your shoppers messages that are relevant, timely and personal. As a retailer, you can leverage behavioral segmentation to push inventory, cross-sell/up-sell, geo-target marketing messages, send event based campaigns, send re-engagement offers, and create social buzz. Think of the possibilities you could send outside of “traditional” message types. Continue to maximize your ROI by leveraging automation. Automate your email lifecycle campaigns by using drip campaigns to help manage your customer and prospect relationships at various stages of the customer lifecycle. For example, begin your drip campaign by sending a welcome message. Welcome emails are highly anticipated, frequently opened, and (luckily for you) simple to automate inside the ExactTarget system. Don’t forget to leverage preference centers, registration forms, and landing pages to collect incremental data that will improve automated segmentation. Page 7
  8. 8. Page 8 Consider the strategies and tips mentioned here to create a winning combination, where you avoid leaving money on the table, and your customer receives an excellent user experience across channels. You might ask, “How do I put all these strategies to use?” ExactTarget + iGoDigital gives retail marketers the tools they need to create engaging customer experiences across all channels. We call this holistic solution the Interactive Marketing Hub.™ It allows retail marketers to focus on delivering relevant, real-time communications without juggling multiple vendors and systems. The Hub gives you UNITY: Integrate data from disparate sources—from CRM and social media networks to point-of-sale information and web analytics—to gain a single, unified view of each consumer. The Hub gives you CONTROL: With access to real-time tracking and first-class, graphical reporting, get immediate visibility and ultimate control over all of your marketing campaigns. The Hub gives you SPEED: Ensure your communications are as relevant as they are timely. Automate advanced, sequenced programs and deliver personalized cross-channel messages from a single, intuitive console. i Source: Internet Retailer - http://www.internetretailer.com/2013/01/09/cart-abandonment-e-mails-gain-more-attention-e-retailer ii Source: SeeWhy - http://seewhy.com/blog/2012/10/10/97-shopping-cart-abandonment-rate-mobile-devices-concern-you iii Source: iGoDigital Customer Benchmarking Data iv Source: ExactTarget’s subscribers fans and followers Channel Preference Survey v Source: iGoDigital Customer Benchmarking Data vi Source: iGoDigital Customer Benchmarking Data It’s time to stop leaving money on the table. See how to get started at www.exacttarget.com.