4Cite CEO Bob Gaito Explains How the Shopping Elsewhere Platform Utilizes Data to Notify Online Merchants When Their Customers Are Actively Shopping
In March at Shop Talk 2018, 4Cite announced that their customers have managed to increase revenues by ~20+ percent because of 4Cite’s proprietary Shopping Elsewhere™ email triggers. Shopping Elsewhere™ email triggers provide valuable insight that prompts real-time, personalized offers at the moment. All this, when potential customers are actively checking in their inbox or are in shopping mode on other retailer sites. This drastically increases open rates and getting inactive and lapsed customers re-engaged.
To better understand the real tech behind Shopping Elsewhere, what’s in store for online marketers and the true state of Email Marketing, we spoke to 4Cite’s CEO, Bob Gaito.
Tell us about the data engine driving Shopping Elsewhere™.
Our Shopping Elsewhere™ service is driven by the 4Cite Data Network™. Think of the Network as a cooperative database where merchants pool customer engagement information in a single location.
The Shopping Elsewhere™ platform utilizes this information to notify these merchants when their customers are actively shopping. This gives them an opportunity to communicate with their customers while they are in shopping mode.
How would you define Consumer Identification from a CMO’s perspective?
It’s no secret that the best way to provide value to a consumer is to offer them the products that they are most interested in. That can take several forms – including communicating with them while they are shopping on your site.
Consider an example where a customer who recently made a purchase comes back to your site. You may want to offer this customer a discount toward making a second purchase. It stands to reason that you need to identify this visitor, retrieve their prior purchase history, and then present them with the offer.
From a CMO’s perspective, this exemplifies the customer identification process.
Who are you targeting with Shopping Elsewhere? How could retailers and e-commerce marketers better benefit from this technology?
The Shopping Elsewhere program is not about targeting the right audience…it is about contacting each consumer at the right time. The program triggers emails to consumers that otherwise would have received a ‘bulk’ email message. By using the Shopping Elsewhere platform, marketers can reach these consumers when they are most receptive. This is consistent with the increasing focus on relevancy.
Consumers expect to receive information on products that are relevant to them, get discounts and offers that reward them for being a valued customer, and finally – they want to be communicated with when they are in the mood to shop. Combining the timing aspects of the Shopping Elsewhere triggers with product recommendations and appropriate offer management is the perfect trifecta and is extremely effective.
How have email marketing and targeting campaigns evolved in the past two years?
We have seen a continuing trend to improve relevance within each email campaign. Smart marketers are moving away from the batch and blast technique featuring static creative and generic offers. Instead, we are seeing an emphasis on serving content (products and discounts) that are tailored to each customer.
Gone are the days when customers would tolerate a barrage of irrelevant emails. Now, they will quickly unsubscribe from these campaigns and leave you with no way to reach them.
What are your predictions on the ‘State of Email Marketing’ in 2018?
In addition to the continued focus on relevancy, we see contact cadence taking center stage. The practice of emailing your customers 4-5 times a week is waning because the unsubscribe rates are too high. Merchants are realizing the value of having a permissible email address and are beginning to covet them. Any practice that leads to losing this permission needs to be carefully evaluated.
How can marketers get closer to accurate marketing attribution? What efforts are you making to enable marketers?
Attribution is a very hot topic these days. Customers are being marketed to in a number of ways (email, print, social, banner ads, affiliate programs, etc). All too often these communication channels are not coordinated and it is hard to know what actually drove a particular customer to make a purchase.
That said, my advice when evaluating a new program is to do an A/B test. Allow both groups to get all the other marketing exposure that is currently in place and then introduce the new program to 50 percent of the audience.
Then, after the appropriate amount of time, measure the performance of both groups. Following this practice will give you an accurate assessment of the incrementality of the new program.
Recommended Read: Contextual Content and AI: The New Wingmen for Email Marketing Campaigns
Thank you, Bob, for chatting with us!