10 Ways Retailers are Leaving Money on the Table


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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?

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10 Ways Retailers are Leaving Money on the Table

  1. 1. Page 110 Ways Retailers Are
  2. 2. Page 2Retailers now have more than just product pricing in theirbargaining arsenals. Consider how you might be leavingmoney on the table:Are you narrowing your shopping experienceto a single channel?It’s no surprise that customers today interact through various channels. They browse on a tablet and then laterbuy on a laptop. They read emails on their phones and redeem offers in-store. You may view each one of thesechannels as its own separate entity, but customers don’t. Forrester Consulting put it best: Real-time customerinsights and engagement across all channels are the name of the game. In the absence of a centralized viewinto customer data, interactive marketers struggle to execute effective cross-channel programs, fueled by real-time, actionable customer insight. Customers increasingly push for and expect a seamless experience fromall interaction points. Connecting each channel into a holistic experience for the shopper is key to drivingconversions and not leaving money on the table.These best practices are not only good for you, they’re great foryour customers.These strategies significantly improve the customer experience.Shoppers show their approval and encouragement of thesepractices by converting into customers.Tips:Utilize a single marketing platform that allows you to gather data about your customers from allchannels and use that data to drive personal, one-to-one interactions across email, mobile, social,in-store, and on the web.1Let’s face it: gainingand retaining customerscan often feel like ahigh stakes match.What’s the rightbalance between whatyou’ll give in the wayof offers or discountsand what you’ll gain incustomer loyalty?You Your Customers
  3. 3. Page 3Are you letting yourshoppers leave theircarts abandoned?According to the Internet Retailer article Cart Abandonment E-MailsGain More Attention From E-Retailersi, 71% of shoppers areabandoning carts and only 19% of the top 1,000 online retailersare sending abandoned cart email messages to bring the customerback. Have you created your customer abandonment strategyyet? Abandoned cart programs are an “easy win” to recapture lostrevenue.3. Are you sending non-targeted or blast emails?Sending the same offer to your entire database is yesterday’snews. In fact, this kind of blast email could actually be hurtingyour sales efforts. A recent study by eMarketer revealed that 56%of U.S. email users unsubscribed from email lists because thecontent was no longer relevant.To ensure you don’t succumb to this same fate, collectdemographic and behavioral data from your site, email programs,and CRM systems, and then use that data to target messages tothe audience that’s most likely to convert. For example, a hardwareretailer could send a marketing email highlighting snow blowers tocustomers in the Northeast when a snow storm is predicted. Oran apparel retailer might send a special offer to customers whoviewed, but did not purchase, a certain style of jeans in the last30 days. Emails that are behaviorally targeted preform 20 timesbetter in terms of conversion than general blast messages to yourentire customer base.iiiTips:Recent studiesiiindicate that triggering a messagewithin 24 hours of a shopper abandoning a cart canrecapture 10% to 30% of revenue left in the cart.Tagging your site so that these messages sendautomatically during the window of opportunity yourcustomers are shopping AND incorporating theironsite behavior will dramatically increase ROI. Youmight ask, “What’s the window of opportunity?” Thewindow of opportunity is different for every retailer.Some retailers should trigger an email 24 hoursafter a cart is abandoned, for some it should be assoon as one to three hours. Based on your uniquebusiness goals, the ExactTarget team will work withyou to determine how soon an abandon cart emailshould be triggered to ensure it’s landing in yourshopper’s inbox during the crucial buying period.2Tips:Make sure to implement a customer preferencecenter where customers can choose whatcommunication topics most interest them, whichallows you to personalize future communication on aone-to-one level. For added sophistication, implementan engine that can further segment your audiencebased on site behavior, demographic information,geography, and email behavior.3
  4. 4. Page 4Are you still manually merchandisingyour cross-sells and up-sells?Recommending products to your online shoppers consistently delivers increasedconversion rates and increased average order values. However, if you are manuallymerchandising these recommendations, there is another part of the ROI equation youshould consider: the cost of these man-hours to do it. Manually merchandising yourwebsite can quickly become expensive, and makes you less agile when responding toshifting customer trends and preferences.Are you recommending products with “wisdomof the crowd,” or “personas” type solutions?For some retailers, the next step from manually merchandising is to use recommendations engines that relyprimarily on “wisdom of the crowds” or “personas” to make product recommendations. However, when customersare 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 personalizedrecommendations 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 andmarry it with “wisdom of the crowds” data to deliver recommendations that are truly tailored tothe individual. Personalizing product recommendations, like those provided by iGoDigital, canincrease conversions site-wide by up to 10%.54 Tips:Utilize an automated productrecommendations engine to deliver cross-sells and up-sells on your site. Even better,personalize those recommendations basedon a shoppers behavior and purchasehistory to really move the needle.
  5. 5. Page 5Are you generating “basic”transactional emails out ofyour eCommerce platform?Transactional emails are often viewed as operationally necessary,but not as a marketing tool. At some retail organizations this functionlives either in the IT department or is a generic email delivered fromthe eCommerce platform or the cart solution. However, this valuabletouch point should not be overlooked as a way to provide productsuggestions and reengage the customer post-purchase.Tips:Take control of your transactional emails andposition them as customer engagement tools.Inject product recommendations into purchaseand shipping confirmation emails. Theseproduct recommendations turn transactionalemails into conversion tools, increasing click-through rates by up to 35% and conversionrates by up to 25%.iv6Are you using your socialpresence to drive emailengagement?If your subscriber list has hit a plateau, you may be overlooking a captiveaudience: your Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Research showsthat social consumers still want to receive email from brands— and, infact, these individuals might be your most engaged email subscribers.v7Tips:Even though email is the most preferred channel,consumers still want communication fromsocial mediums. Retailers should use a simplesign-up form to drive email opt-ins and collectcustomer data on Facebook or Twitter. Buildbranded Facebook fan pages with customizedcontent, including an email opt-in form. When fanssubmit an email address, those individuals areautomatically added to your chosen subscriberlist. As always, make sure you are staying true topermission and only including those subscribers,fans and followers who have opted in to receivingcommunication from your company.Page 5Have you fully leveragedthe mobile channel?Ninety-nine percent of all mobile devices sold today are capableof receiving SMS messages, as cited in a recent report from BIIntelligence. Plus, according to Google mobile statistics, four out of 10people leave a retailer without buying anything in the store—with thatmobile device in hand! Most retailers are overlooking mobile as a wayto reengage customers after they’ve left the store.Tips:Encourage people to join your email program via text messageby promoting SMS calls-to-action on location (whether in-storeor at an event). Entice participation by offering a discount orother promotion.8
  6. 6. Page 6Are you overlooking the importanceof relevance in email deliverability?Poor email deliverability can be a result of several factors, but—no matter the cause—itwill quickly jeopardize your email marketing programs. In fact, according to eMarketer,78% of US email marketers say improving email deliverability is a significant challengeto email marketing effectiveness. Are you blindly pressing the send button and hopingit 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 sendingrelevant, engaging content to your subscribers.Tips:Before you hit the send button – make sure thecontent you are sending to your subscribers isRELEVANT. Create a worthwhile relationship withyour subscribers by sending them content thatrelates to them. Driving subscribers to a preferencecenter or landing page where they can provide moreinformation about themselves (like how often they’dlike to be contacted or what type of communicationthey’d like to receive) is a good start to creatingrelevant communications. Additionally, you shouldknow your customers well enough to speak relevantlyto them based on their preferences and shoppingbehavior stored in their customer profile.Back to Basic TipsUse a deliverability tool to find and fix rendering and deliverability issues before hitting send. Staying true to permissions will increase deliverability as well asusing 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 thatmight 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 onlyto your most engaged subscribers to maintain high deliverability rates. Webmail providers like Yahoo! and Gmail know exactly which messages areopened, viewed, clicked, or deleted without being read. This data is compiled to create an “engagement score” for you as a sender. Buildingscores to denote reputable senders isn’t new, but ISPs are starting to rely on this engagement-based data more heavily than beforeto determine what messages should be considered SPAM. Every email you send to an unengaged subscriber puts you closerto falling into the bulk or SPAM folder.9
  7. 7. Page 7Are you lacking automation andsegmentation practices?Tasks like data movement, segmentation, and routine messaging programs can become time-intensiveand costly. The right marketing automation tools make it possible for retailers to do more with less. Byleveraging automation functionality, it frees resources to focus on strategy that optimizes your interactivemarketing programs, directly resulting in increased revenues. Retailers are also asking how they can createa 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 emailblasting approach.By investing in segmentation solutions you can ensure your subscribes are receiving the messages that aretargeted. According to a recent study from McKinsey Global Institute, targeted emails bases on customerdemographics 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.10Tips:If you’re sending welcome messages or cart abandonment emails, you’re on the right track. Here are some strategies to take your segmentationto 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.viAdditionally, there are other intrinsic benefitsto segmenting your audience and sending your shoppers messages that are relevant, timely and personal. As a retailer, you can leverage behavioralsegmentation to push inventory, cross-sell/up-sell, geo-target marketing messages, send event based campaigns, send re-engagement offers, andcreate 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 yourcustomer and prospect relationships at various stages of the customer lifecycle. For example, begin your drip campaign by sending a welcomemessage. Welcome emails are highly anticipated, frequently opened, and (luckily for you) simple to automate inside the ExactTarget system. Don’tforget to leverage preference centers, registration forms, and landing pages to collect incremental data that will improve automated segmentation.Page 7
  8. 8. Page 8Consider the strategies and tips mentioned here to create a winning combination, where youavoid leaving money on the table, and your customer receives an excellent user experience acrosschannels.You might ask, “How do I put allthese strategies to use?”ExactTarget + iGoDigital gives retail marketers the tools they need to create engaging customerexperiences across all channels. We call this holistic solution the Interactive Marketing Hub.™ Itallows retail marketers to focus on delivering relevant, real-time communications without jugglingmultiple vendors and systems.The Hub gives you UNITY: Integrate data from disparate sources—from CRM and socialmedia networks to point-of-sale information and web analytics—to gain a single, unified viewof each consumer.The Hub gives you CONTROL: With access to real-time tracking and first-class, graphicalreporting, 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 messagesfrom a single, intuitive console.iSource: Internet Retailer - http://www.internetretailer.com/2013/01/09/cart-abandonment-e-mails-gain-more-attention-e-retaileriiSource: SeeWhy - http://seewhy.com/blog/2012/10/10/97-shopping-cart-abandonment-rate-mobile-devices-concern-youiiiSource: iGoDigital Customer Benchmarking DataivSource: ExactTarget’s subscribers fans and followers Channel Preference SurveyvSource: iGoDigital Customer Benchmarking DataviSource: iGoDigital Customer Benchmarking DataIt’s time to stop leaving money onthe table. See how to get startedat www.exacttarget.com.