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!

Omnichannel Today

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The Rise and Demise of Ecommerce

Since the end of the 1990s, ecommerce has gone from minor curiosity to full-blown economic powerhouse. Amazon started out selling books by mail and then took over the e-book market with its Kindle devices and AZW e-book format. A few years ago, most people still thought of Amazon as a book seller, and they probably spent as much time or more shopping for books at Barnes and Noble as they did browsing online retailers. Today, most people know that Amazon is the biggest online retailer and that it sells everything from electronics and kitchen gadgets to auto parts.

How To Connect With Website Visitors in an Authentic Way

At the core of content marketing – and much of the rest of modern web marketing tactics – sits a single concept: connecting with visitors. It’s all too common for companies to lose sight of this core issue, pumping out meaningless, worthless, inauthentic content to fill space on their blogs, YouTube channels, and social media accounts. Or, even worse, to make genuine attempts to connect and nonetheless fall short due to a perceived lack of authenticity.

3 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Successful Ecommerce Brands

Whether you run a brick-and-mortar business or are thinking of starting a digital-based company, there is much to learn from the success of large ecommerce firms around the world. No matter what the industry, online businesses have shaken up the way people buy and sell, communicate, share and learn in all corners of the globe.

10 Tech Tasks Small Businesses Should Outsource

Outsourcing can be a great way for small businesses and startups to take care of tedious tasks while also boosting productivity and saving money. By outsourcing technology-related necessities, small business owners and employees can focus on more important responsibilities, like sales, customer service and more, without hiring more in-house employees.

Other stuff we read this week:

What 10 Travel Brand CEOs Said About Personalization in 2015
All Amazon Wants for Christmas is its Own Trucking Fleet.
Winning Over Big Box Retailers.
The Container Store gives (social) power to the people
Why 2016 is a Big Year for Twitter and Nintendo

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.

Online shopping is easy and efficient. With the introduction of omnichannel-savvy retailers implementing in-store pickups and fast home delivery, eCommerce is more popular than ever.

We know personalization is effective for every type of business. Customers like goods and services tailored to their wants and needs. We’ve seen some of the world’s strongest marketers reap huge rewards from personalization programs and experts predict that personalization is the key to the future of marketing.

But in terms of online retail, personalization is not always executed as well as it can (or should) be.

The problem

One of the biggest speed bumps in retail shopping online is determining a customer’s perfect size and fit. When shopping at brick-and-mortars, customers can tell whether an item fits by trying it on. However, the inability to physically model the clothing yourself is a huge caveat of online shopping at today’s top retailers.

However, there are a couple different ways that companies are tackling this problem.

Voluntarily sharing personal data

Determining which size fits best is often done by looking at the clothing’s measurements or relying on past purchases from similar retailers. However, both of these options can be problematic.

Let’s be realistic – how many shoppers actually use those measurements to determine which size is their best fit? Oftentimes, this can be too much effort to figure out. This is why most customers simply rely on the size they typically wear.

But while many customers have a standard size, retailers occasionally size differently from one another. Someone who wears a size XS pants at one store may burst out of XS shorts at a different retailer.

A scale that shows whether pieces run small or large can help fix this problem; however, this is not the only solution.

The best way to confront sizing disparity is by implementing a personalized sizing feature into your site. Sites with features like these are often customer favorites. Customers can feel confident with their purchase without worrying about the hassles of returning products. This feature gives customers a sense of security about making orders, which increases individual orders and draws in new customers.

So how does a retailer go about implementing a sizing feature? Consider the work from an expert: Lilly Pulitzer.

Click on the images to enlarge and learn about Lilly’s True to Fit feature.

Lilly Pulitzer helps customers unsure about their particular size by asking for their personal data. This data includes a customer’s height, sizing in other brands, and body shape. Lilly Pulitzer uses this data to evaluate which size is best for the customer. This feature also considers other sizes for the shopper, and explains which parts of a clothing item may fit poorly. Shoppers can save their profile, which comes in handy when checking sizing for other Lilly products.

Virtual fitting rooms

Retailers who more digitally inclined may have the option to utilize a new, exciting service. The UK-based company works with retailers to create a virtual fitting room for shoppers. This is similar to Lilly Pulitzer, but much more visual. The feature projects how different clothing items would fit on one’s specific body measurements. After a shopper selects the fit they like best, he or she can proceed to customize the clothing item. is an innovative concept that has yet to make its way into U.S. retail. These virtual fitting rooms are available in Europe, but with the United States’ strong eCommerce market I expect features like to come across the pond soon enough.

Need more personalization?

If you love learning about marketing personalization, be sure to read up on increasing loyalty with personalization and how personalization can be used with disconnected customers.