Holiday Tips for Retail Marketers

Fresh Relevance LogoThe holidays are a time for cheer, spending time with family and — not to forget — gifting. With consumers looking to spend more money than usual during this time of year, marketers have an opportunity to generate a large chunk of their total annual revenue, but must also compete against the thousands of other retail brands looking to do the same.

Retail marketers who prioritize a convenient product discovery and smart shopping recovery strategy will be on track to earn shoppers attention and holiday shopping dollars this season.

Perfect Your Product Recommendations

Shoppers are going to be doing a lot of browsing for gifts, so retailers should make it as easy as possible for shoppers to navigate the website and discover things they might like. Filters are impersonal. As such, retail marketers should look to provide relevant product recommendations to help shoppers in their browsing. However, with customers often shopping for others during the holiday season, it might yield better results to use crowdsourced product suggestions instead of basing them on the shopper’s purchase and browsing history.

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On the flip side, retailers must be careful to not impact the accuracy of future personalized recommendations as people will be shopping primarily for other people. Consumers are put off by retailers who continue to suggest irrelevant products based off a gift they bought months ago. In fact, recent research shows that more than a quarter (26%) of consumers want retailers to notice when they buy for someone else, so they don’t send promotions or recommendations for irrelevant items.

Strike the Right Balance with Well-Timed, Triggered Emails

In a time of year where shoppers are browsing much more than usual, email marketing tactics like triggered browse and cart abandonment emails as well as price drop alerts can be especially helpful.

Many things can pull shoppers away when online shopping – the phone rings, their child is crying, or perhaps they carted items but wanted to compare prices before making a purchase decision. In any of these cases, smart email marketing can help get customers back on their path to purchase. And as shoppers will be in shopping mode already, triggering those emails quicker than usual can yield better results.

Cart abandonment emails are a proven tool to convert browsers to buyers. More often than not, a shopper did have interest in what they carted but got distracted or wanted to take some time to consider the purchase. A cart abandonment email can act as a friendly nudge to return to their cart. The key is to ensure that shoppers will find the items they had left behind when they come back to the website, even if they return on a different device. Research by SAP found higher-than-expected shipping costs to be the No. 1 reason for abandoning a cart, so including a free shipping promo code can help close the sale.

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Browse abandonment emails are similar to cart abandonment emails in that they remind consumers of shopping activity they have, for whatever reason, not followed through with. For example, a shopper may have found an item they like, and left the retailer’s site to compare prices. A browse abandonment email is a great way to get back on that customer’s radar. Marketers can not only offer a reminder on the browsed product, but also use it as an opportunity to suggest similar products in case the shopper is still undecided. Sending both cart and browse emails have shown to be quite effective — on average, our clients report a sales uplift of 11%.

Similar to browse abandonment emails, marketers may also want to consider price drop emails. Price drop alerts inform shoppers of discounts to their favorite products outside of a formal sale: A triggered email lets everyone who has shown interest in the product know that it just got cheaper. These messages could be what moves the needle for retailers this festive season considering the sales lift for this specific email type averages 3%.

With so much competition for shoppers’ attention during the holidays, many retailers will struggle to stand out of the crowd. But armed with a plan to provide convenient and smart email marketing, they can make a lasting impression with shoppers, and enjoy a boost in holiday revenue too.

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