Many companies are shifting their focus to engage customers with higher value and profitability. The goal of engaging high-value customers (HVCs) is to nurture them into becoming loyal power shoppers. Increasing loyalty to a brand this way ensures retention and lifetime value of customers.

HVCs drive a significant portion of a company’s revenues. These customers are not only intensely loyal to a brand, but help promote the brand and its influence as well. Engaging and satisfying these high-value customers will put a company on a path toward greater success.

What Is a High-Value Customer?

Confusing high volume and high-value customers can be easy. However, high volume customers and high-value customers are two different target markets.

High volume customers are those who interact with a brand frequently. Although they may engage with the brand often, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these customers are the most valuable. Often with high volume customers, a brand will see a surge in activity for short periods of time. However, once the excitement fades, so does customer engagement.

High-value customers are those who buy for a reason. These customers look at products, services, and brands as a way to meet a need and satisfy a drive such as status, health or lifestyle. HVCs are customers who are loyal to a brand or company, even in times of financial duress. They will return to a brand and product even when a cheaper alternative is available. For HVCs, the cost is not a priority, and are more focused on having their unique needs addressed. HVCs are also brand promoters and influencers. These are the customers who will share the brand within their social networks.

Focusing specifically on high VALUE customers reflects an understanding of the power that these consumers have. Identifying who the high value customers are and tailoring marketing schemes to satiate these consumers, keeps them happy and ensures the brands’ profit margins.

  1. Evolve With Customers

Customer habits change and evolve. In turn, the way consumers interact with brands has evolved as well. Instead of fighting this evolution, brands should adapt and keep up with their customers. Part of this evolution includes the introduction of new goods and services and outlets, like online shopping. This development means customers are interested in a wide variety of items at all times. A shift towards items outside a consumer’s regular purchase pattern can indicate consumers are turning into HVCs. Dramatic changes in how customers buy items and spend money can also indicate greater trust and loyalty with a brand. Once the customer has extended the olive branch toward a brand, it is very likely they will shift into the high-value customer category.

  1. Pay Attention

The data provided by a customer’s recent activity can predict if a customer is high value or becoming high value. Data points such as high clickthrough rate, frequent site visits, and large purchases can indicate a customer as a high-value customer. One way to monitor customer involvement and identify high-value customers is through a  triggered marketing campaign. Triggered marketing includes a continuous stream of messages sent to customers based on their shopping activity, browsing history, purchases, etc. Triggered marketing indicates to customers that a brand knows its customers.

  1. Loyalty Rewards

Loyalty programs are teeming with information about members. Everything from brand preferences and item category to price sensitivity can be found in loyalty member data. Harnessing loyalty data helps brands personalize more towards HVCs. Knowing where, when, why, and how customers engage with a brand, can empower companies to create personalized experiences across multiple channels.

Loyalty programs also remove the barrier between customers and their next purchase. These loyalty programs make customers feel like “power users.” Their actions directly correlate to the experience found with a brand and company.

High-value customers make up the untapped bread and butter for many businesses. Understanding the behavior patterns of high-value customers enables brands to engage and target this niche group of customers. Providing high-value customers with the attention they desire keeps them engaged with the brand and propels companies to further success.

 

Omnichannel Evolution: From Magazine Catalog to Online Catalog

JCPenney was once one of the most influential catalog retailers and an original omnichannel retailer. JCPenney’s efforts to evolve the brick and mortar business has the company advancing omnichannel execution.The introduction of the digital age has provided JCPenney an incentive to create a more sophisticated and modern view of this catalog.  The evolution of the catalog is connecting with customers on how, when, and where they prefer to shop.  

According to JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison, the company has “developed true omnichannel capabilities” by advancing the brick and mortar store. JCPenney’s omnichannel strategy focuses around the creation of a successful mobile app and the implementation of a buy-online-pick-up-in-store method. Let’s look at each part of JCPenney’s strategy and how these elements are helping JCPenney’s digital expansion.

Mobile App

As part of JCPenney’s evolution, the company has focused largely on created a user-friendly mobile application, taking advantage of the massive growth of mobile channels. The JCPenney app features a sleek design and easy to navigate interface which connects to each shopper’s personal account. The JCPenney app is designed to connect the digital and in-store experience, as seen in the image above. Consequently, the user base rates the app at 4.5 stars, with over one million users. 

The app is a single mobile hub, facilitating online shopping at the customers’ fingertips. As a result, JCPenney creation of a mobile app has allowed them to connect with digitally savvy customers. JCPenney’s app helps shoppers locate items in stores, apply coupons, and also access their JCPenney Rewards. The app customizes to each shopper’s account, personalizing the app based on browsing history, purchase history, and even location. Customers can also make purchases based on what is available in nearby store locations and can even check available inventory.   Consequently, the user base rates the app at 4.5 stars, with over one million users. The evolution of the brick and mortar store to include a mobile platform maintains a personalized omnichannel experience. 

Buy Online pick up in store

JCPenney is also powering their omnichannel experience with the introduction of buy-online-pick-up-in-store option, also known as BOPUS. BOPUS allows shoppers to complete online and mobile purchases with a variety of pick-up options. BOPUS is available in all 1,000 physical locations and synchronizes with the location capability on the mobile app and online platform. Shoppers can make purchases based on the online catalog or available inventory in select locations. The shoppers can even choose which kind of pick up option they would like.

The shipping options include shipping to any location, same day pickup, and fast home delivery. JCPenney has a history of operating through catalog service desks. The direction towards digital catalog enhancement makes JCPenney is one of the biggest retailers to offer online orders to be shipped to any of its 1,000 locations. JCPenney’s successful blend of online retail and in-store pick up has evolved the purpose and functionality of the brick and mortar store.

The BOPUS option that JCPenney provides has also expanded the consumer market. Shoppers who come in to pick up orders have a higher attachment rate. A high attachment rate means shoppers are more likely to buy an additional item in-store when picking up an online order. Because of the integration of the digital and physical market through omnichannel, JCPenney is seeing greater returns .

JCPenney has implemented new omnichannel tactics to bring their catalog into the digital age. By marrying the physical and online experience, they have successfully rejuvenated their customer journey. JCPenney plans to continue their evolution through next year with the replacement of point-of-sale units with mobile devices. It will be exciting to see how JCPenney further develops through 2017.

 

The first rule of Fight Club… you don’t talk about Fight Club.

The first rule of Digital Fight Club… you tweet, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, live stream, and email about fight club (Oh, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #DDFightClub & #DigitalDallas).

Last week the NectarOM team grabbed ringside seats to Digital Dallas’s Digital Fight Club and watched ten digital dynamos go head-to-head in five “fights” putting on the ropes some of the hottest undecided topics in technology today.  In other words, providing the ultimate panel experience.

The Fighters 

 

“Well, what do you want me to do? You just want me to hit you?” 

 

The Referees

 

Project Mayhem – The Fight Format

The fighters didn’t hold back, for one minute each fighter stepped into the ring and presented their argument, followed by a 30-second rebuttal, and answered a question from the referees. This sparring format highlighted each fighter’s verbal communication expertise and how events can use digital to interact with the audience. After punches had been thrown, the audience and judges used a web app to place their votes to crown the winner.

 

The Winners & Losers

Fight Club Digital Dallas Winners

 

For all you marketers that couldn’t attend, you’re in luck.  Digital Dallas plans to release a video of the event so you can see the fighters in action.

 

Until then get the blow-by-blow recount.

 

So the numbers are in, and Cyber Monday was actually America’s biggest online shopping day ever according to Adobe. Shoppers spent $3.07 billion on Monday alone, bringing total eCommerce revenue to $11 billion for Thankgiving Weekend.

Now, here’s the catch: while total spend nationwide increased, the average order size actually decreased from $69 to $67.30. This trend suggests that customers are shopping around and purchasing specific products from various retailers, as opposed to visiting a one-stop destination for all of their gifts. Here are some crucial points where companies should employ personalization to take maximal advantage of their eCommerce sites:

eCommerce features deals 24/7

It’s not about big single sales days anymore.

A telling trend we’ve observed in recent years is the extension of the holiday shopping season, which is no longer constrained to Black Friday/Cyber Monday but basically starts after Halloween and continues until Christmas (and possibly after).

What this means is that the most attractive deals and discounts are prompting customers to buy in smaller orders, but with increasing frequency. Today’s shoppers aren’t shy about buying a gift for dad on Amazon, picking up holiday cards in the store, and then downloading apps to look for deals on clothes that they can check out in person at the mall. Factors like greater smartphone and mobile device usage, an increasingly digital culture, and a lack of patience for the “Black Friday at 5:00 A.M. mosh pit” experience have pushed customers towards embracing the convenience, selection, and value provided by eCommerce.

Mobile as a platform for advertising

This past Thanksgiving week showed us that mobile purchases are increasing in number, but the common pattern observed is that people enjoy browsing for products on mobile (up to 49% of shopping visits occur on from mobile devices) and then make about 75% of their actual purchases from a desktop.

This means that the majority of customers who interact with your brand on mobile devices are probably there just seeking some basic inspiration and information. Since the screen space and attention span of a mobile user is so limited, it’s essential for your brand to maximize its impact on the viewer by showcasing for them the products that they’re most likely to buy.

Of course, mobile shoppers (especially impatient Millennials) will abandon your app or site if it’s too slow or acts buggy, so make sure that your brand’s tech presence is on point. Target’s site, for example, went down several times during Cyber Monday and it’s impossible to say how much potential business they lost for it.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday were huge days for eCommerce, but this isn’t the end of the story. What we’ve learned from this past weekend is that, regardless of how you slice it, eCommerce and the omnichannel shopping experience is becoming the de facto process for the modern holiday season. That means that today’s brands should invest heavily in personalization software to create a shopping experience that’s fast, functional, and provides relevant product offers to their customers. It’s only going to become more important next year and the year after, especially as more and more shoppers become comfortable with eCommerce as a whole.

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and this year’s Black Friday saw more shoppers make purchases online than ever. According to the National Marketing Federation, $4.45 billion dollars worth of revenue was generated in online purchases this weekend, an overall 14.5% increase since last year.

The NRF’s latest survey estimates that 103 million Americans did at least some of their shopping online from Thanksgiving Thursday to this past Sunday, which probably had a role in the decreased foot traffic that we saw in shopping malls and retail stores. The inevitable Cyber Monday statistics should confirm the overall trend that more people are opting out of shopping in person in favor of eCommerce, and the shoppers that still do enjoy visiting stores in person are increasingly going for the whole omnichannel experience via digitally-assisted purchases.

This shift could also be the result of an extended “holiday” shopping season that now starts just after Halloween, which means that shoppers who would have braved malls and Wal-Marts nationwide are now choosing to do their gift-buying earlier and online. Either way, we can see that more than ever shoppers have the luxury of making purchases based on price (always) and the convenience of the overall shopping experience year-round, instead of waiting participating in the Black Friday mosh pit for a couple of deals.

It’s not difficult to see a future where Americans start doing the bulk of their holiday shopping online as discounts on the goods they want start popping up in early November, perhaps even right after Halloween. Through eCommerce, shoppers have a wider variety of product choice, research tools, and access to a wider inventory than might be available in-store. And with the overall trend of extending the availability of holiday discounts, it’s likely that we’ll see a continued growth in online and mobile commerce while the Thanksgiving spike in brick-and-mortar stores continues to level off for everyone else but tactile shoppers that insist on seeing products in person and for whatever reason, enjoy the strange, contemporary American tradition of Black Friday.

Omnichannel Today – Black Friday Edition

Happy Thanksgiving from NectarOM! As we gear up for the eCommerce holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday these are the latest news articles we’ve been paying attention to:

JC Penney’s Retail Reinvention

Unlike Nordstrom’s and Macy’s, JCP is on course to exceed holiday expectations during a season where eCommerce and digital platforms are taking away business from retail. The secret, as CEO Marvin Ellison puts it, is finding the balance between the “art” and “science” of retail. JC Penney is taking a completely different approach to their in-store experience, developing attractive new features such as store-within-a-store kiosks for both younger shoppers and the upcoming cohort Millennial-age parents. Next up for the department store? Focusing on the science side of things by making improvements to their eCommerce, supply chain, and data processing abilities.

Amazon’s ingenious scheme to undermine Black Friday

Black Friday and its younger sibling Cyber Monday are a major source of income for the retail industry every year. Since this last Friday, web giant Amazon has taken advantage of the holiday shopping fervor to entice customers with constantly updated deals and featured items, hoping to sway buyers that won’t miss the authentic “Black Friday Experience” of elbowing through crowded stores. That said, certain stores such as Best Buy and Target have responded to Amazon by making their in-store discounts apply to their eCommerce platforms as well.

Facebook Says Nearly One Third of Online Shopping Transactions Are On Mobile Devices

New data from Facebook suggests that its users are becoming much more comfortable with using mobile devices to shop and make purchases. The social media titan expects a 30% increase in the percentage of users who buy on mobile by the end of the fourth quarter. Facebook researchers also observed that about 45% of all shopping occasions involve mobile devices in some fashion, such as during product research that results in a purchase on a desktop.

Retail enters third phase of digital evolution: ‘Emotional’ eCommerce

A new article from the Financial Times discusses how modern shoppers expect brands to develop a relationship with them over social media and other digital platforms. The thought leaders interviewed point to the success of apps like Instagram, Etsy, and Olapic, who offer businesses the ability to showcase their “human side” to potential customers by using memes, shareable posts, and conversation starters to promote fan engagement over social media.

Other stuff we read this week:

How James Murdoch thinks the ad industry should innovate: ‘Empower the Consumer.’
Here’s how advertisers will be able to target TV viewers who see competitors’ ads
Goodbye privacy, hello ‘Alexa’: Amazon Echo, the home robot who hears it all
Volvo Wants to Use Microsoft’s Sci-Fi Glasses to Sell Cars

Check back next time for the latest developments in omnichannel! We’ll bring you news, facts, opinions, and infographics that will help you gain a broad perspective of the industry. Drop in, stick around, and subscribe to our newsletter – and who knows? You just might learn something.

Here’s what we’ve been reading this week:

omnichannelfill

Avocados From Mexico Is Turning Guacamole Addiction Into Consumer Data

A new piece from Ad Age explores how NectarOM partner Avocados From Mexico has used a blend of multiple channels, emerging technologies, and personalized marketing techniques to become the first truly omnichannel produce company. We’re extremely proud to work with them and can’t wait to be a part of whatever comes next.

The New Normal: How Native Advertising’s Changed in a Year

DigiDay assembled writers from marketing news outlets like Forbes, Gawker, Mic, and Time to discuss the ongoing evolution of native advertising. Some of the biggest developments they touch on: the actual growth of the industry (which has doubled in the past year), new ways of presenting ads that maximize audience engagement, and, most importantly, the rise of “off-platform” media such as Facebook Instant Articles and Snapchat as ways for audiences to consume content.

3 Ways to Evaluate and Engage High-Value Customers

Your high-value customers (HVCs) are responsible for driving a disproportionately large share of your revenue – in some cases, up to 80% of the revenue can come from 20% of your most loyal customers. Given that, it’s in your best interest to keep these people happy. If you haven’t thought much about CRM in the past, this is a great place to start.

Teens spend an average of 9 hours a day with media, survey finds

Researchers report that American teens spend an average of 9 ours a day shifting between TV, browsing the Internet, and using a mobile phone. The sheer amount of screen time that young people are exposed to has huge consequences for omnichannel, and means that moving forward every brand should try to maximize their presence in the virtual media space.

We also enjoyed these pieces:

From teens to adults, everyone’s watching online video as much as TV.

Why one writer thinks you can’t win that Facebook fight.

Google and Amazon account for 57% of all online revenue.

Tech is eating media. Now what?

Snapchat Reaches 6 Billion Daily Videos Views, Tripling From 2 Billion In May

Check back next time for the latest developments in omnichannel! We’ll bring you news, facts, opinions, and infographics that will help you gain a broad perspective of the industry. Drop in, stick around, and subscribe to our newsletter – and who knows? You just might learn something.

The Omnichannel News Roundup: Week of November 2, 2015

Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading this week:

data analytics is a powerful tool but a disabling crutch

This week’s featured article: How understanding the limitations of Big Data analytics will actually help you make more informed decisions and become bolder innovators.

Target’s Halloween marketing campaign this year included a virtual haunted house and a Trick-or-Treating app.

Though personalization software can automatically give marketers a more complete picture of their customers, CMOs still play a crucial role in balancing the technology’s scale with its relevance. This article explores some of the questions businesses may encounter in their personalization journey – such as how to treat “dark” social data – and gives insight from a unique perspective.

PepsiCo exec Brad Jakeman went off on advertisers, criticizing them for unoriginality, outdated ways of thinking based on the dying TV model, and for an overabundance of “white straight males.”

We also enjoyed these pieces:

8 Personalization Trends that are Reinventing the Buyers Journey.

MIT’s latest big data system could one day replace human beings

Facebook will notify you if it thinks your account is being hacked by the NSA

The Internet’s Dark Ages

Brand, James Brand: The shifting home media market and the necessity of product placement for big-budget blockbusters.

Amrit Kirpalani 40 under 40“Unstoppable.”

That’s how Direct Marketing News is describing NectarOM founder and CEO, Amrit Kirpalani.

The annual Direct Marketing News 40 Under 40 Award was awarded to Amrit last month, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic. This prestigious award celebrates marketing leaders with exceptional achievements.

Amrit’s work with NectarOM helped name him as one of the 40 award recipients. His most notable contribution to direct marketing highlight his influence on email marketing. Recognizing the full potential of personalized email, Amrit successfully developed a process and framework for fully realizing direct marketing revenue with automation and data.

Amrit’s work has been groundbreaking, and he continues to pave the way for retailers looking to expand their direct marketing services.

But Amrit’s recognition as a “marketing maverick” extends beyond his successful business achievements. His reputation for genuinely caring for clients and their success, along with a strong set of communication, strategy and multitasking skills, have set Amrit apart from other business executives.

The Direct Marketing News 40 Under 40 Award only offers further accreditation to an already-impressive list of achievements. Over the past two years, Amrit has also received recognition as a 2015 Dallas Business Journal 40 Under 40, Minority Business Leader (2014), and 2014 GDAACC Small Business of the Year.