It’s January. It’s back to work after the festive rush, and things are certainly slower. Selling off stock in January sales may bring in some bargain-hungry shoppers, but conversions are generally lower as consumers feel the pinch after the last quarter’s spending.
This isn’t all too surprising. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now such large events that many retailers report of an inevitable festive ‘hangover’, with sales suffering in the following Q1.
Luckily, we’ve got some ideas for how to tackle the challenges of the new year with personalisation. We believe there are loads of opportunities in Q1. Let’s take a look.
Tip 1: Bring back festive shoppers
The good news is that the new year brings with it an abundance of new data to utilise.
It’s likely that you acquired many first time customers during the Christmas shopping period. Unfortunately, due to the time of year, these visitors are unlikely to return so soon – but could you offer something to shoppers to drive them back to your site, and encourage another purchase?
By using order data you can set up targeted email campaigns for January, thanking new customers for their festive orders, and sending incentives to return. This could be a free New Year gift (think about relevant themes), a discount coupon or some helpful content based on their purchases.
Wallpops.com offered a free new year gift to returning shoppers as an incentive to purchase again.
Tip 2: Optimise repeat purchases for customer retention
Acquiring a new customer costs a business somewhere between 5 – 10 x more than selling to an existing customer. With that in mind, now is a good time to look over your data from the last year, and look at patterns in repeat purchases.
Looking over the data, can you find the optimal number of purchases needed before your shoppers become loyal customers? For example, in some stores, a shopper is statistically more likely to become a loyal, repeat customer if they have purchased on 4 different occasions. Therefore, their loyalty is likely to remain after the 4th time they order.
If this is the case, you can nurture that relationship to ensure a visitor has purchased 4 times by segmenting visitors by their number of visits, and presenting targeted discounts and coupons for their first 4 visits (obviously, the exact number may be different for your store).
By this point you’ll have helped reach that optimal level of purchases to ensure trust is sufficiently built.
Other ways you can do this include loyalty schemes – rewarding customers for repeat purchases. This could include free content, first peek at new product lines, offers or free merchandise.
Waitrose offered discounts for the first 5 orders to increase customer loyalty.
Tip 3: Use crowd data to show recommendations relevant to the season’s themes
For users landing on your site, a great way to promote engagement is to show products which are currently hot: ‘trending products’. These are recommendations that show what other visitors are viewing, or buying, the most.
A great way to do this is to filter recommendations by themes. For example, what do we associate with January? Health, New Years resolutions, new opportunities. If your product inventory allows, and you can filter your trending products down to a seasonal category, you may just see a great increase in engagement and conversions.
You can take this a step further and show trending products from the last hour. It’s a way of showing your visitors what’s on trend in real-time, and has the added benefit of making your store look really busy – and more social proof can never be a bad thing.
Amazon knows health related products sell particularly well at this time of year, and their homepage recommendations reflect this.
Tip 4: Drive increases in average order value to make up for lower sales
It’s a no-brainer to fill your site with highly relevant product recommendations that update in real-time. At this quieter time of year, it’s worth considering filtering those recommendations to display the items that bring a higher return. Products that bring low returns can be filtered out, leaving the focus on items that will help increase your bottom line.
To further increase the effectiveness of recommendations, optimise their appearance by testing number and size. Try hiding ‘zero reviews’ on the recommendations that don’t have any reviews yet (0 star products don’t look appealing). A/B testing will help determine the best way to present recommendations.
In addition to upsells, make sure highly relevant cross-sell items are available on the checkout page, too, or on your ‘add to cart’ page.
Other ways to raise order values are package or bundle deals, and offering a free gift for a minimum spend.
Saltrock increased AOV with a free piece of merchandise.
Tip 5: Make your content a conversion creator
Creating relevant and engaging content for your customers is great for many reasons: it establishes your brand, improves engagement levels and also provides fertile ground for targeting visitors based on their choices of content.
It also means that at a time of year when people aren’t buying, you can still drive traffic to your blog, and use content for your email marketing campaigns. Fill your emails with engaging content based on your customers’ interests, and embed with relevant product recommendations.
And of course, remember: creating content is pointless if no one is reading it. Find ways to capture email addresses with capture forms on your site.
And that’s all, folks…
So, we hope you found some tips that you can put to use in your Q1 campaigns. If you need some help along the way, Bunting‘s tool can easily implement the ideas discussed in this article. Happy personalising!