Many marketers tell us that their biggest strategy for holiday is to do the same thing they do all year—but with the volume turned up. Normally source traffic from social? Let’s source more! Send marketing promos weekly? How about 2 or 3 times per week! Cart and browse abandon nurturing? More of it! Last year at Zaius, we saw the average retailer send twice as many emails in the month before Christmas than in the previous month.
Playing the numbers game sounds like a valid strategy until you really look at the numbers. We took a look across Zaius’s 2018 holiday data covering all kinds of retailers. Only 1% of new visitors during the holiday season made a purchase, but they made up 31% of customers who purchase during the holiday. Given these ratios, even a small uptick in this conversion percentage would make a huge impact on the bottom line.
Adding to the challenge, customers are busy and need to make quick decisions to buy or move on. New customers during holiday view half as many pages before purchase as compared to the rest of the year, providing the marketer with fewer opportunities to make the sale. Further, the time from visit to purchase is 20x faster, at less than an hour and a half. Standard practice to follow up across channels just doesn’t have time to work before the customer has either made the purchase or made the decision to move on.
With these aspects in mind, personalization strategies come to the forefront. By giving customers a highly-personalized experience, marketers can overcome the short cycle and make better use of all those dollars spent. Here are a few approaches to consider:
Personalize the browse
One of the trickiest parts of the holidays for many customers is that they don’t quite know what they want. Unlike when shopping for themselves, they may only have a general idea or, worse, none at all. Each time they show interest in a product, personalize the experience by offering recommendations for related or similar products. Surfacing additional, similar products can help the customer realize their vision for gift-giving, allowing them to find just the right option.
Personalize based on source
This one spans a range of simple to more complex. When showing a 20% off offer on social media, for example, showcase the same offer when the visitor clicks through and lands on your site, cementing the value and reiterating what interested them in the first place. More advanced approaches include showcasing a set of products or offers specifically curated for visitors referred by special interest sites, partnerships, and advertorials.
Personalize based on interests
Customers you already know make up a valuable buying segment and can also benefit from a personalized approach. Since you already know what they’ve seen and purchased, use product recommendations based on past behavior to drive them deeper into your catalog to find new and exciting products for the holidays.
Whichever approach you take, a personalized experience will help you amplify your brand’s holiday conversion rate and set the course for building new relationships into the new year.