Real-Time Email Personalization Proves Key for Retailers this Holiday Season

The results are in from the frenzy of Thanksgiving weekend’s holiday shopping and it’s all great news for e-commerce retailers. Online shopping was up this year, with Cyber Monday smashing records with $3.45 billion in sales – 12.1% more than the previous year. But while industry stats are helpful in knowing high level trends, it doesn’t always explain why numbers are up or how retailers were able to drive more online success this year compared to last year.

In our recent blog post, 5 Retail Predictions for the 2016 Holiday Season, we predicted that real-time personalization was key for retailers for the holiday season. It’s essential when competing for shopper’s attention to keep them engaged so that they put their holiday spending into your brand over others. Prioritizing convenience, 87% of shoppers admit to buying more when they receive personalized messages from brands. While the holidays are not quite over yet, we are ready to call what is already the clear winner for our customers in captivating shoppers during a busy season – real-time personalization with cart abandonment, browse abandonment, sale previews and mop-ups, and price drops.

With SmarterHQ, our customers were able to keep shoppers engaged throughout the holidays by automating real-time email and website personalization based on current and past behaviors. And as a result, they saw a massive increase in revenue during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Cart Abandonment
Everyone knows cart abandonment email campaigns drive massive conversions, but if you send it in real-time (less than 24 hours) featuring items your customers carted - you can see this great program drive even more impressive results. Don’t just take it from me, check out a few of our client results from Thanksgiving weekend.

  • A major department store went live with SmarterHQ right before the holidays and their SmarterHQ powered cart abandonment email campaigns drove 2x the revenue in one day compared to what their previous cart abandonment campaign generated for all of November last year.
  • Another major multi-brand retailer went live with SmarterHQ right before the holidays. In just two days, they generated as much revenue as what their old program generated for all of November last year.
  • Boston Proper replaced their previous vendor’s cart abandonment emails with SmarterHQ and increased conversion by 13% and last click revenue by 81%. Check out the in depth review of their email trigger programs conducted by MarketingSherpa. 
  • Value City Furniture launched a cart abandonment email campaign with SmarterHQ and increased their revenue by 283% in just weeks compared to what their previous program was able to generate in months. Check out the in-depth review of their email trigger programs conducted by Marketing Sherpa. 

Browse Abandonment
Many retailers check the box with cart abandonment campaigns and stop there. What they don’t realize is that the same tactic that works so well in the cart should also be applied at the browsing level, too--using browse abandonment email campaigns. The holidays bring a lot of distractions for shoppers and reminding them of the items they’ve browsed is helpful not only for the shopper, but also for increasing revenue.

  • A teen apparel brand used to depend on their ESP to send out their triggered emails, but switched to SmarterHQ because they knew their performance could be higher. Not to mention, SmarterHQ could make it easier to set up new campaigns such as browse abandonment programs. Their YOY results show that they’ve been able to increase revenue by 375% by utilizing SmarterHQ to create more up-funnel campaigns.
  • Because a large family footwear retailer’s cart abandonment programs generated 11% of their email revenue, they decided to move into browse abandonment emails to captivate the customer when they are still deciding what to buy. It’s a good thing they did because they were able to increase revenue by 33%.
  • Eddie Bauer also had great traction with their cart abandonment campaigns and looked to move up-funnel into browse abandonment. By doing so they’ve increased triggered email revenue 166%. See their story

Sale Notifications & Mop Ups
Some of our clients’ highest revenue generating campaigns are targeted sale notifications and mop-ups. Shoppers are inundated with emails regardless of the time of year. Honing in on those shoppers who are interested in particular sale items will drive stronger results in the long run, as they will appreciate fewer, more relevant emails. 

Sale notifications should be targeted to customers who have shown interest in those sale items in the past. When a promotional period is coming to a close, only send a Sale Mop Up or "last chance" email to those who had either heavily browsed or abandoned their cart during the sale period.

  • An upscale department brand introduced a targeted sale promotion for Cyber Monday and experienced the highest last click revenue they’d seen yet.
  • A high fashion retailer generated 58% of their triggered email revenue through sale promotions with half through a targeted promotional send and the other half through a cart mop-up. These programs alone drive $5.00+ in revenue per email - as high as some cart abandonment programs.

Price Drop Notifications
These notifications are a great way to captivate customers who had previously shown interest in items, but weren’t ready to purchase at that price. Due to excess inventory and additional sales at the end of the year, this campaign can play a major role in a retailer’s post-holiday strategy.

  • A women’s high fashion brand used price drop notifications to bring inactive shoppers back to their website which generated a whopping 42% of their triggered email revenue.

Email Collection Pop-Up Lightbox
Pop-up lightboxes are all the rage these days for websites … while causing customers overall annoyance at entering a website. With SmarterHQ, retailers can stop annoying their customers by triggering the pop-up only when they’ve reached a certain engagement level and may be ready to sign up to commit to receiving emails.

  • An upscale department brand replaced their previous onsite email collection pop-up lightbox with SmarterHQ and was able to collect 5x more emails than their previous lightbox. This was due to the reliability of our program popping up for each session (versus intermittently not working) and not triggering until the shopper had reached a certain level of engagement.

We’ve found that the more that retailers send personalized messages, the less emails they actually send, capitalizing on quality versus quantity. Using personalized email marketing campaigns, retailers can see revenue increase by 15% and customer lifetime value steadily increase over time. It’s never been easier to personalize and shoppers are asking you to make shopping a convenient experience. It’s time to give Amazon a run for their money in the personalization game. Let’s start personalizing!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Improve conversion by unifying your email & website with SmarterHQ

Creating consistency across your two biggest marketing channels means a better customer experience. A better customer experience means improved conversion, repeat business and long-term loyalty.

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