Modern Ecommerce brands like yours are fighting a war on two fronts:
On one side you are battling Amazon. They have captured nearly half of all US Ecommerce sales and account for 80% of the Ecommerce sector’s annual growth. Amazon is the gold standard for frictionless shopping.
On the other side, you are battling Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVBs). They have captured the hearts of shoppers through emotional connections, vertical focus and disruptive product or business model innovation.
And in the middle, there is you – the brand and the retailer – who needs a modern strategy in order to compete in this fast-changing DTC reality. To survive, you need a new way to mature their approach to digital engagement. You need a way to stand out and keep shoppers coming back.
There is hope:
- 83% of shoppers are willing to give up personal information in exchange for a better experience with brands
- 87% of shoppers expect a personalized and consistent experience across their engagement with brands
- 44% of consumers say that they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a particular company
Shoppers are, quite literally, asking you to use their personal information to personalize the experience they have with your online store. It’s an expectation. And it’s a significant factor in whether or not a consumer will continue purchasing from you.
And if that’s not convincing enough and you still feel like you have time to get this figured out, think again:
By 2020, 51% of consumers expect that companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they make contact.
That’s this year.
Personalization is one thing, but anticipation requires an entirely new level of thinking and sophistication. If you can anticipate what your shoppers want, who are the right shoppers to send a message to, and when to send it, you’ve reached a place that goes beyond just personalization. Your marketing will be relevant – and relevance is everything in the battle to find, acquire, and keep your customers.
Let’s dig into exactly how you should think about taking your campaigns to the next-level with relevance. Here are 5 campaigns that all Ecommerce brands should have in their playbook, ranging from simple to complex. The execution of all 5 are within your reach and will mean significant revenue if done correctly.
This is Ecommerce 101 and we’re sure that you already have this up and running. It’s typically your 4-email series with the goal of introducing a customer to your brand and making a good enough first impression that you drive their first purchase.
How to add Relevance:
As soon as a shopper gives you their email address and becomes part of your Welcome Series, an Activated CDP will stitch together their anonymous browsing history with their new identifier (the email address). If a shopper was on a product page looking at a specific product and then they signed up for your email list – you can automatically add that product to your welcome series along with a discount to encourage the first purchase.
This is a moment of high interest and relatively high intent. This shopper a brand new subscriber and they’re excited about your brand. Instantly presenting them with a relevant and personalized offer along with an introductory discount is a simple recipe for success.
The biggest difference between a Cart Abandonment and a Browse Abandonment campaign is the shopper’s level of intent. With Cart Abandonment, intent is high – they’ve chosen a product, they’ve added it to their cart, they’re one step away from buying. These people just need the right nudge. Every single brand should be doing this, so we won’t talk about this one.
Browse Abandonment requires much more finesse because buying intent isn’t quite as high. They’ve viewed a product or two, they’ve browsed around the site, but that’s it, nothing more. Your shopper has simply shown an interest in what you’re offering.
How to Add Relevance:
Since you don’t know exactly what made your shopper leave the site without buying, your goal should be to drive him or her back to the store and remove as much friction as possible throughout the process. Here are two recommendations that require a simple integration between your product catalog, your Ecommerce platform, and your marketing platform:
Assume they weren’t totally convinced of the product’s benefits.
Insert the product that they visited the most frequently during their browsing as the main CTA in your first email. Remind the user of the all of the reasons for why this product is worth their attention and add a product rating and review underneath it for important social proof.
Assume they didn’t find exactly what they were looking for.
Let’s say your shopper was browsing around on your site and viewed 3 different polo shirts. You know that he was in the market for a polo shirt, but which one? He may not even know yet, so how could you? In your second email, insert a dynamic product grid that allows you to add an entire collection of your best selling polo shirts. This level of personalization shows that you understand what he’s interested in, it lets you present him with similar options, and makes it as easy as one-click to get back him into shopping mode.
Birthday campaigns result in 481% higher transaction rates, 382% more revenue, and 179% higher unique CTRs than standard promotional campaigns. Now if we could only convince people to have more than one birthday each year. It’s a best practice to collect every shopper’s birthday during their welcome series signup so we are going to assume you’re already doing that.
How to Add Relevance:
The goal is to make your customer feel special on their birthday, so personalization is absolutely essential in this campaign. In the same way that you would show up to your friend’s birthday party with a gift they love, because you know them, you can do the same thing with your birthday campaigns.
Here’s how you take it to the next level: insert a dynamic product grid underneath the discount. Populate it with product pages that the customer has frequently visited alongside a message that says “Hey, treat yourself – we know you’ve had your eye on these.” It shows that you know them, it shows that you care. And of course, we’re always big fans of including a time-sensitive birthday discount to incentivize the purchase.
Here’s how RueLaLa does it:
These are just three examples for how you can take your 101-level campaigns and use relevance to drive more engagement, more revenue, and use personalization to your advantage.
Now let’s get into the really fun stuff.
These final campaigns can only be achieved if you’re using an Activated Customer Data Platform.
Having a CDP is a prerequisite because without a CDP you can’t create a unified customer profile. Meaning: all customer interactions from anonymous visits across devices, channels, and sessions are stitched together into one actionable profile. Customer interactions include store visits, ad interactions, interactions with customer service, purchase history, loyalty status, and many other attributes.
Having an aggregated database full of complete customer profiles allows for deeper analysis of customer data which surfaces trends, hidden segments, and allows for predictive modeling.
Predictive Winback Campaigns
Most winback and churn reduction campaigns are rules-based. Brands will typically create a threshold for engagement frequency and apply that to every single customer in their database. More simply put, the rule might look something like this: If any customer hasn’t been back to my website in 30 days, send them a winback campaign. It’s a fundamental flaw because at its core, this rule assumes that all customers interact the exact same way with your brand. It causes winback campaigns to be wildly inefficient and ineffective. If customers expect every engagement to be personalized, why would this be any different?
Zaius Churn Prevention campaigns are powered by a personalized data model that is built specifically from your own customer data. Zaius analyzes every single interaction from your customer database and creates a model that looks something like this:
You can immediately see which customers are engaged, which are churned, and most importantly which customers have reached the inflection point where a winback campaign is needed.
You’ll have a prebuilt campaign recipe that automatically triggers each time a customer crosses into the winback threshold of the model. It’s set up to send a customizable and dynamic series of messages, across any channel, to these customers at the optimal time for re-engagement, at a time that maximizes the result of your efforts. New customers will enter and exit the campaign each day.
As with most of the other personalization suggestions, you can smartly and dynamically recommend the products that these customers were the most interested in according to their browsing data. By combining the “who” (which customers are most likely to churn) the “when” (the predicted moment where churn behavior is beginning) and the “what” (the products they care most about) you are using relevance to give yourself the best chance to save each customer.
And it works. Zaius customers have seen a 2x lift in email engagement and a 4.4x life in post-exposure conversion when using this campaign.
Predictive Order Likelihood
Wouldn’t it be incredible if you had a crystal ball that you could look into that would tell you which customers are most likely to purchase, what they’re most likely to buy, and when they’re likely to do it?
Zaius gives you the ability to do this and it couldn’t be simpler for you to use. Similar to Predictive Winback Campaigns, Zaius builds a personalized data model from your customer data. Here’s what it looks like:
First, your customer database is analyzed based on their engagement with your brand. Next, it’s broken into daily and weekly segments according to when they are likely, very likely, or extremely likely to purchase next. And in just one click, you can save any of these predictive segments and trigger a campaign to be sent to any customers who meet the criteria. You can automatically enroll shoppers into these segments as their behavior suggests that they’re about to buy.
The personalization you use here involves some finesse. You should dynamically insert the product or products that Zaius has predicted they are about to purchase, making it simple for them to continue on their buying journey. But your content and messaging should be more of a “nudge” than a “push.” Remind them of how many others have purchased the same product. Show them a review of someone raving about its quality. And if you think it’s necessary, offer them something like free shipping to remove that last bit of friction.
Ready to get Started?
It’s time to take your campaigns to the next-level. And we can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish.