How to use personalization strategies to increase conversion rate.

The holiday season is the “make or break” time of the year for many retailers.

Whether you’re an online merchant or a brick-and-mortar business, you’ll be facing tough competition this holiday season.

In this era, it’s no longer enough just to offer better pricing or a larger product selection. Shoppers are looking for a customer experience that’s as painless, frictionless, and convenient as possible.

Given that the average American purchases 14 gifts, consumers can use all the help they receive so that they don’t have to spend endless hours on their holiday shopping.

With today’s omnichannel personalization technology, retailers can augment the holiday shopping experience and increase sales by helping customers find the most relevant products and take advantage of the best offers, which in turn will entice them to buy more.

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Real-time web personalization

When visitors interact with your website, you can promote the most relevant content, products, and offers based on their browsing behavior.

By using real-time web personalization, you can display items that shoppers have spent the most time viewing but haven’t purchased. This way you can increase the chances that they’ll re-engage with the products.

Keep in mind that many shoppers are looking for gifts to find recommendations related to the product they’re currently viewing helpful – even if it doesn’t match their personal profile.

You can also leverage aggregated customer data to map a shopper’s behavior to past customer purchases to display products they’d most likely be interested in.

Last but not least, there’s no better way to offer product recommendations than having shoppers tell you what they’re looking for.

Offer an interactive gift guide on your website to help them narrow down their choices. This will not only allow you to offer the most relevant recommendations but also increase engagement with your audience while educating them about your products along the way.

Personalized coupon offer

By using mobile and geofencing technology, you can send shoppers coupons when they’re near a physical store via text message or push notification on a mobile app.

Mobile coupon usage has been on the rise and 98% of SMS message is opened within the first minute, making this a powerful combination to drive more traffic and sales for brick-and-mortar merchants.

This real-time coupon offer can be a discount for one of the products they’ve viewed repeatedly on your website or it can be a recommendation based on their customer profiles.

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Personalized email automation

Email marketing is a great way to deliver targeted content and offers to individual subscribers on your email lists.

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Use personalization strategies such as email retargeting or triggered email campaigns to draw your customers’ attention to products or offers they’ve shown an interest in.

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In addition, you can customize these emails based on each customer’s browsing behavior, preferences, location, past purchases, or items left in the cart, to increase engagement.

Another way to generate more sales from email marketing is to make good use of receipts. “Predictive receipts” are email receipts that include personalized product recommendations based on the products purchased.

These are emails your shoppers are expecting and will open. Not to mention, since they’ve already purchased from you, they’re more likely to buy again.

Boost your holiday sales with omnichannel personalization

Your personalization strategy should work across multiple channels and reflect shoppers’ interaction with your brand real-time.

Using an omnichannel marketing platform that supports personalization strategies will help you make the most of your customer data so that you can offer the best shopping experience that will not only increase brand loyalty but will also make more sales.

Holiday produce sales are upon us, and many retail firms are already predicting that the 2017-2018 holiday season will have the strongest sales numbers we have seen in years. Yet don’t make the mistake of thinking that this forecasted sales increase will only take place in gifts and apparel: According to Deloitte, “non-gift” spending will account for 65 percent of consumers’ holiday spending this year. The National Retail Federation is also optimistic about the coming holiday, forecasting that the average holiday shopper will spend 218 dollars on candy, food and decorations this year. Since customers intend to spend more on food and grocery items throughout the 2017-2018 holiday, there is an opportunity to reap the benefits of increased consumer spending in your grocery store.


However, in order to profit from the increase in consumer spending this holiday season you’ll need to compete with ecommerce megastores for your portion of market spend. Many grocers struggle to differentiate themselves from online megastores such as Amazon. Yet brick-and-mortar grocers have the advantage of being able to offer customers a festive, personalized omnichannel holiday shopping experience, which is something that even Amazon has yet to replicate. Consider the following suggestions to stand out from the ecommerce giants this holiday season.


Focus On Healthy and Organic Options


Grocery shoppers are eating more healthful foods and the availability of organic and low-calorie food options is a determining factor for customers when choosing which grocery store to patronize over the holiday season. In fact, Statista reports that 80 percent of U.S. consumers said that whether or not there were healthy food options factored into their decision-making process when choosing a restaurant in the past year. The United States government has also become increasingly proactive about encouraging customers to opt for healthy and organic food options. Among the initiatives dedicated to inspiring Americans to live more healthily are Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” enterprise devoted to decreasing childhood obesity rates, and the USDA’s “Choose My Plate” initiative, which offers a wide variety of healthy meal-planning options for Americans to maintain healthy weight levels during seasonal meals.


Plan of action: Cater to customer demand for organic and healthy options by offering gluten-free, vegan, and low calorie alternatives to some of your best-selling holiday dishes. Bookmark healthy food options in your store aisles with eye-level signs marking the areas where the diet-friendly alternatives are stocked. Instead of making customers search for their favorite products, lead them to the right place with large and pronounced signs which are easily-viewable from the high-traffic main aisles of your store. This way your customers looking for diet-friendly holiday meal alternatives will be able to easily locate the aisles that house their favorite ingredients.


Stream Holiday Recipes On Your Website


There is an opening for independent grocers to build a following by offering customers a unique shopping experience this holiday season. Retail Dive reports that in light of an overabundance of discount grocers in 2018, “price is no longer a competitive differentiator.”  Instead of trying to compete based on price alone, focus on establishing your company as an innovative leader in grocery with the addition of a seasonal recipe section to your business’s website. Your website’s recipe section should include cost-effective and diet-friendly classic seasonal dishes with a nod towards the traditional holiday dishes of your company’s prime consumer demographic. By monitoring customer demographic information as well as the sales of particular food items, you will be able to populate a list of holiday recipes that are uniquely targeted for your customer base.


Plan of action: Holiday recipes can boost margins only when customers can easily find the recipe ingredients on your website. Give customers a clear click-path to purchase the components of your holiday recipes by linking the produce, spices, and sauces from each recipe to buyable items in your online inventory. In addition, while low prices alone are not enough to differentiate your grocery store from the competition, offer your customers value in addition to your holiday recipes by adding links to online coupons and sale items in your ingredient lists. Appeal to the novice or holiday-only cook by keeping the ingredients and steps in each recipe simple, cost-effective and easy-to-locate on your company’s website.


Stocking produce for the 2017-2018 holiday season doesn’t have to be complicated. Edge out the ecommerce competition by loading up on healthy holiday meal options and by streaming fresh seasonal recipes on your company’s website and mobile app. Go beyond the standard holiday dishes by researching your company’s target consumer and loading up on economical versions of their favorite seasonal foods, so that your company can profit from the strongest holiday shopping forecast we have seen in years!

The Key to Boosting eCommerce Conversion Rate This Holiday Season (Part 1)

While the total retail growth may be slowing down, the US retail eCommerce sales jumped 17.8% during the 2016 holiday season and are expected to climb 15.8% in 2017.

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As an online retailer, how can you capitalize on this trend?

To answer that question, we need to look at customer expectations.

More and more consumers are looking for a personalized shopping experience from their favorite brands.

A recent survey has found that 86% of customers say personalization affects their purchase decision while another study showed that 74% of shoppers get frustrated by seeing irrelevant content or product recommendations.

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Thankfully, you don’t need to do all the heavy lifting to deliver a personalized shopping experience to your customers.

With the aid of technologies that allow you to collect and analyze customer data and automation software that helps you deliver the right message to the right customers at the right time, you can leverage the power of personalization to increase your online store’s conversion rate:

Product recommendations

Using information such as the customer’s preferences, shopping habits, and past purchases, you can recommend products that are timely and relevant.

One merchant has seen a 248%  increase in conversion rate by displaying personalized product recommendations on the homepage.

For the holiday seasons, during which customers are likely to be shopping for gifts, make sure to factor in their real-time interactions with your website and offer recommendations that are related to the products they’re looking at or searching for.

You can do so by mapping their real-time browsing behaviors to aggregated consumer data to predict the type of items they may be interested in.

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Don’t forget to feature new and popular products that are your bestsellers. Chances are they’d make a great gift and you’ll be saving your customers a lot of time and headache!

Upsell and cross-sell

Displaying items related to the products that shoppers are looking at or have put into their carts is a powerful way to increase your average order value.

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You can recommend items often bought together with the product, complementary to the product, or offered as a bundle with that product.

Past and recurring purchases

Make shopping easy for your customers by displaying the past purchase list so that they can pick up their favorite items quickly.

You can pair the past purchase list with personalized product recommendations to help shoppers discover new products that are likely to be relevant to them.

In addition, for items that need to be replenished periodically, you can offer a subscription service so your customers can “set it and forget it.”

Your customers will appreciate the convenience and be more likely to buy more from you while you will generate a recurring revenue from these subscriptions.

Streamlined checkout

For shoppers who already have an account on your eCommerce site, you can streamline the checkout flow so that they can complete their purchases quickly and conveniently.

Use the customer data on file to offer one-click checkout, pre-populate forms, allow shoppers to choose shipping addresses (e.g. for sending gifts directly to recipients,) offer the ability to add recommended products, or apply loyalty points to their orders.

A faster checkout experience will not only improve customer loyalty but also reduce cart abandonment and increase your conversion rate.

Seamless customer experience made possible by personalization

A robust customer data management system and personalization software is the key to delivering an outstanding customer experience that will help you increase sales this holiday season.

In the next installment of this series, we’ll look at how you can use targeted content and email marketing with personalization automation to boost your conversion rate.


The Key to Boosting eCommerce Conversion Rate This Holiday Season (Part 2)

eCommerce will be driving the growth of US retail eCommerce this holiday season. On the flip side, online retailers will also face increased competition as more businesses and merchants recognize the opportunity.

In Part 1 of this series, we showed you how to deliver an outstanding shopping experience to increase eCommerce sales through personalization on your online store.

In this article, you’ll learn how to extend the personalized experience beyond your eCommerce platform to create an outstanding customer experience with targeted content and email marketing automation.

Email isn’t dead!

Contrary to what many are saying, email is far from dead.

In fact, it’s one of the best marketing tools for the busy holiday season when consumers are bombarded with generic messaging from online and offline channels:

  • Email works well with mobile, which accounts for 48% of holiday shopping traffic.
  • Email offers instant buying options.
  • Email can marry targeted content with a specific call-to-action aimed at driving sales.
  • Email automation allows you to deliver relevant offers effective and efficiently.

Here are a few ideas to help you increase sales by using personalized email automation:

Saved cart and reminder emails

Cart abandonment statistics from a recent report show that desktop has a 61% abandonment rate, tablets have a 71% abandonment rate, and mobile has an 81% abandonment rate – which translates into over $4 trillion of merchandise left unpurchased in shopping carts!

To recover some of the sales from abandoned carts, you can send out reminder emails to shoppers who have registered on your site.

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This is a very effective sales recovery tactic. Research has found that nearly 50% of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over 33% of clicks lead to purchases back on site:

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Targeted content

Gift guides create some of the most popular content during the holiday season. Take it to the next level by personalizing them for specific segments of your audience.

Create gift guides that focus on different target markets and send personalized emails to specific segments of your customers, directing them to the content.

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You can further customize shopping experience with an interactive gift selector, such as a quiz on your website, to help shoppers narrow down their choices.

Besides gift guides, publish other holiday-related content that maps to shoppers’ preferences and customer lifecycle and share it with your audience via email and retargeting campaigns.

Deals and discounts

Another way of utilizing email marketing to increase sales is ending personalized offers to your customers.

Email segmentation makes it extremely cost-effective to deliver deals and discounts tailored to the preferences and purchasing behavior of your audience.

By delivering relevant offers, you can increase conversion rate and drive more sales.

Personalized email automation also allows you to send out action-triggered messages. For instance, you can recover abandoned carts by offering a special discount on the specific items in a shopper’s cart via email.

Make personalization automation work for you this holiday season

Personalization is the key to cutting through the clutter by delivering an outstanding customer experience designed to drive sales and improve loyalty.

Thankfully, today’s marketing automation technology means you can put these strategies into action in no time. So, don’t let another year go by without upping your online retail game!

marketing personalizationLifecycle Marketing can Deliver the Right Message at the Right Time!

You, as a marketer, are aware of the thousands of e-mails that companies send out according to the various seasons of the year. As the winter months near, there are a slew of promotions for winter apparel, home heating and everything related to the holiday season. Come spring, consumers’ inboxes bloat with offers for patio furniture, grills and air conditioners. These companies are targeting groups of products to coincide with seasons and holidays.
Lifecycle marketing is similar. Not only are you using big data as a means to strategize delivering the right message, product and offer at just the right time, it’s also recognizing the stage in which the customer is with the brand or lifecycle of the product itself. If a customer is an avid runner and purchases a pair of sneakers, more than likely, they’ll need a new pair 6-12 months down the road. It’s knowing that when a customer purchases a mobile phone, they’ll probably be looking to upgrade and exchange towards the end of the second year.

One of the “don’ts” in marketing personalization is treating everyone the same despite interests and lifecycle changes. That would be like trying to sell an air conditioning unit three days before a major blizzard is about to hit. It’s not happening.


Placing the right products and offers on the table at the right time increases your chance of customer loyalty and increasing your revenue. There’s a narrow margin of “make it or break it.” If a customer purchases a new mobile phone you wouldn’t try to sell them a new one several months down the road. What do customers purchase for their phones throughout that timespan? If you guessed accessories, you’re right.

A lifecycle can range anywhere from somewhat long term to short term. Jill and Bob announced they’re having a baby and the due date is months away. This widens the margin for email marketing and allows you to send various products and offers relevant to the stages of pregnancy, preparation and beyond. On the other hand, if John is showing interest in asking Jane for her hand in marriage, the margin is narrow. Got a great deal on engagement rings? Well, now is the time to send it. NectarOM’s suite automates the content based on the customer and product lifecycle so you know what products and offers to bring forth at just the right time.

You can request a demo through our website to see how Nectar’s products can best serve your needs.


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