The holidays are a bad time for a lot of things. From traveling to saving money to making sure you don’t eat your weight in gingerbread, it’s hard to enter the new year unscathed.
Even in the marketing world, the holidays are probably the most stressful time of the year.
You’re trying to ship multiple ecommerce campaigns, aggregate all of your data for year-end reports, and figure out who your Secret Santa in the office might be.
But there are plenty of bright spots that stand out in the midst of the chaos.
In particular, the holidays are the perfect time to focus on the new customers you acquire during the rush of the shopping season and turn them into loyal customers for life.
While you’ve been planning your holiday campaigns for the last few months, you should also be thinking long-term. What are your plans to keep that momentum going through the new year and beyond?
As you consider the importance of building lasting relationships in Q4, keep these two key data points in mind:
- 80% of first-time holiday buyers will never make a second purchase from your brand.
- Customers who make a second purchase spend up to three times as much as they did on their first purchase.
There is a clearly a HUGE missed opportunity here, and plenty of room for revenue growth.
So grab a mug of eggnog, put on your reindeer socks, and let’s dive into what it takes to build a loyal following out of your newest holiday customers.
How data lays the foundation for getting to know your customers better
Once you’ve run your new customer acquisition campaigns over Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and into the rest of the year, how can you make sure first-time B2C customers return to make additional purchases in the future?
It all starts with the data. Gone are the days when marketers didn’t have instant access to the information that mattered most to them. Now, gathering and analyzing customer behavior is a key part of B2C marketers’ jobs. And luckily for us, this data is a lot less intimidating to understand and use to guide your B2C online marketing strategy.
To give ecommerce B2C companies some perspective into the data that matters most, we ran an analysis of over 200 Zaius customers—and hundreds of thousands of customer interactions with their brands—over the course of last year’s holiday shopping season.
Because these customers were using a B2C CRM (as opposed to, say, an Email Service Provider), they were able to capture super-specific data related to all of their customer interactions across product pages, multi-channel campaigns, and purchases.
Here’s what we found:
- Brands saw about 50% more people making their first purchases in November and December in contrast to other months.
- Email list subscriptions increased a whopping 200% during this time.
- In addition, brands saw 20-30% more shoppers browsing and searching their sites, which in turn meant more captured data and more insights into their browsing behavior for the brands.
- Because of this high volume of visitors, more shoppers were also abandoning their carts—11% more, to be exact. Talk about a big missed opportunity!
As these numbers show, the holidays are a goldmine for B2C customer data. Regardless of whether or not you’re capitalizing on it, your site is brimming with insights that you can use to segment and target your new customers with the content that matters most to them.
Using the holiday traffic influx to your advantage
Throughout November and December, you’ll probably have more visitors come to your site than any other time of the year combined. Think of all the touchpoints you have to win them over! With the right tools, you can:
- Track every ad your buyers click on, every page they visit, and every product they add to their carts.
- Quickly run A/B tests based on all of your additional traffic to hone in on the best messaging, CTAs, and more across your site.
- Build personalized cart abandonment, browse abandonment, winback, and other powerful campaigns to drive more purchases during the holiday season and beyond.
The holidays aren’t just a chance to sell more business to consumer products—they’re also a chance to get to know your B2C customers far better.
Each piece of data you collect can be used to better segment your buyers, create more personalized messaging, and upsell and cross-sell your most profitable B2C products.
The key takeaway here is this: If you’re not gathering data on your customers now, you’re missing a gigantic opportunity to use that information to send them personalized campaigns that are more likely to make them convert today and in the future.
4 tips to increase holiday and post-holiday engagement
So, how do you use all this customer data effectively to drive revenue?
As holiday traffic hits your site, make sure you’ve optimized your CTAs to capture as many emails as possible.
Once you have a customer’s email address, you can use identity resolution technology to understand their browsing behavior, clicks across multiple platforms, and everywhere they’ve engaged with your brand.
With that data, you can start creating campaigns that will up their level of engagement with your brand. Ideally, you want to not only drive a one-time holiday purchase, but also keep the engagement going after the holidays.
Here are a few data-focused B2C marketing strategies to keep your buyers engaged:
Create a segment of your new holiday shoppers
First, take all of your newest shoppers from the holidays (hooray!) and put them into their own segmented list. That way, you can easily keep track of them as you start to create more targeted, personalized campaigns meant just for them.
You can even subdivide them further into helpful categorizations based on where they are in the customer lifecycle (similar to the B2C example in the screenshot below), giving you all the information you need to know about them at a glance.
Use browsing data to build personalized campaigns
Now, we get into the exciting stuff. Once you’ve collected all the data around how customers and potential buyers are browsing and interacting with your site, you can build campaigns that encourage them to come back and make repeat purchases.
Keep in mind that gift-buying around the holidays can make this extra tricky. Was a customer buying that bathrobe for themselves, or for their aunt?
Sometimes, it’s easier to tell than others. For example, if a B2C shopper browsed a number of women’s products, but ultimately purchased a men’s necktie, you can probably assume they were just buying a gift.
In spite of the potential confusion, you can still use this data to create campaigns aimed at bringing them back to treat themselves after their initial purchase.
Thanks to detailed customer data, there’s so much more you can do besides sending a simple nurturing email flow. For instance, upselling and cross-selling campaigns can especially come in handy during and after the holidays.
Ask yourself what products make sense to target your customers with based on their browsing behavior or first purchase. Then, structure your campaigns around them, like Williams Sonoma does in their order confirmation emails:
Offer a discount on the second purchase
Now that your B2C customers have made their first purchase, sending them a coupon that encourages them to make a second purchase just might be the friendly nudge they need to make a return visit.
Case in point: The marketing team at True Citrus includes a time-bound discount code in all of their thank you emails after a customer makes the first purchase:
And if you can pair that coupon to customized product recommendations based on customers’ browsing behavior? Now we’re really talking.
Follow up with coordinated multi-channel campaigns
If email has proved fruitless up to this point, it might be time to summon the power of ads to come to the rescue. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Google display ads, or another platform, the possibilities abound.
Using a multi-channel approach, you can give your products the best chance to shine wherever your customers are on the web—and make it hard for one-time buyers to ignore them.
With targeted ads on Google and Instagram to complement their email marketing, Glossier runs multi-channel campaigns that demonstrate this strategy to a tee:
By using the behavioral and purchasing data you’ve collected over the holidays, you can build personalized business to consumer marketing campaigns that encourage customer loyalty and keep your business to consumer marketing momentum going long afterward.
From there, you’ll be ahead of the game and ready to take on your next campaign as the best marketer you can be.
You’ve got this!
About the Author
Jordan Wellin is the Senior Content Specialist at Zaius. When he’s not writing, you can usually find him watching 30 Rock reruns, baking in his kitchen, or finding the perfect Meryl Streep reaction GIF.