The moment the ball drops in Times Square and strangers stop hugging each other in the streets, retailers are forced to sweep up the confetti and deal with January.
In order to help you avoid an extended holiday hangover, here is an (un)official “Top 10 Ways Retailers Can Engage Customers In January” top 10 list.
10) Run a Post-Purchase Series
You’re likely coming off the best 6 weeks of the year in terms of revenue. But instead of basking in the glory of a strong holiday season, try reaching out to those customers who made a purchase recently. For example, consider adding or expanding on a post-purchase series with an emphasis on co-purchase recommendations.
9) Respect The Purchase Funnel
As site traffic dies down after the holidays, a holistic program strategy becomes critical to Q1 success. That’s because without gaudy Q4 revenue numbers clouting judgement, you’re forced to look closely at your highest value campaigns and ensure you’re maximizing the return. In somes cases, you will find that the campaigns that send to customers with strong “purchase intent” (i.e. low in the purchase funnel) are being cannibalized by larger, less impactful campaigns due to ill-advised frequency capping. Loosening those caps can do wonders for your volumes during a historically slow month.
8) Take on Some A/B Testing
Running A/B tests might not be the most ground-breaking suggestion but it is one of the most overlooked. A/B tests are like oil changes: You need to run them every few months in order to keep things fresh. If you’ve been sending the same abandoned cart subject line for the last year, it’s time to test that against a few other variants. The same can be said for hero images, copy or simple template layouts. Give your customers a new inbox experience in 2018!
7) Try Your Hand at Omnipotent Omnichannel
Let’s face it: not all customers are created equal. Some will always open, click and never convert. Others will convert every time. As a retailer armed with invaluable customer data, you can raise your communication game by using audience insights to determine the best way to reach each customer. Perhaps a brand nurture Facebook campaign is more impactful than sending another email. Or maybe you should try personalizing the onsite experience based on what you know about some of your highest value customers. Whatever the data tells you, January is a great time to dip your toe into the cross-channel arena.
6) Show Your List Some Love
While prospecting is always important, try focusing on the opportunities that are right under your nose. Chances are you haven’t scratched the surface when it comes to your existing customer base. How many of those customers are active on your site but have never made a purchase? Additionally, data suggests that the most difficult hurdle for retailers is getting a customer to make that second purchase — how are you approaching this challenge today? Sophisticated predictive algorithms can augment your approach to keeping customers in their active buying cycle. When they deviate and become at-risk or lost, sending the appropriate message at the right time could be the difference in preserving the customer or losing them forever. Show your list some love!
5) Obsess Over Personalization
It goes without saying, so let’s not say it…
4) Listen to Your Customers
Shhh! Do you hear that? Your customers are trying to tell you something. Are you listening or just sending them the next campaign on your marketing calendar? Be flexible and pivot when necessary. It may be tempting to push this “really awesome campaign” idea that isn’t backed by any real numbers, but remember: The data tells the story.
3) Find (and Promote) Your Hidden Gems
Q4 is all about bulk volume, revenue and high fives. Q1 requires a more refined approach. While top revenue generating products are easy to find and exploit, hidden gem products can offer a new revenue stream that even your merchandising team didn’t anticipate. Pairing merchandise data with customer data is a sure fire way to keep your customers engaged post-holiday.
2) Re-Consider Your Approach to Segmenting vs. Blasting
While more retailers are opting for personalized segmentation over static blasts, the effectiveness of a personalized message can be lost on a customer when they receive a static blast an hour later. Consider suppressing customers from receiving static blasts when they just received a personalized message. Doing so will not only increase customer engagement, but it will also provide the customer with a better overall experience.
1) Hone in on the Right Customer, Right Message, Right Time
The best way to keep your customers actively engaged with your brand is to double down on the individual. Who is this customer, what should I tell them and when should I tell it to them? To answer these questions, use data insights from across the customer and merchandising fronts along with predictive algorithms to augment your overall strategy.
Cheers to a Record-Breaking New Year!
So, as we put a bow on 2017 and kick off a new year, January is a perfect opportunity to show your customers that you not only appreciate them, but that you’ve also been paying attention. Are you prepared?