min read
November 30, 2020

How E-Commerce Stores Are Using Personalisation For Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Dan Kwarcinski
Senior Growth Consultant
Dan is a lawyer by trade and marketer by passion with a particular focus on lean methodology & high-velocity experimentation.

The last quarter of the year is truly a shopper’s delight as in-store and online shopping hits its peak. 

In recent years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have emerged as the biggest global shopping days, known for providing plenty of discount deals for consumers.

There’s a reason that businesses call this period the “Golden Quarter.”

In 2018 alone, Amazon experienced a record-breaking sale of more than 180 million items in just five days, with online sales for Black Friday reaching $6.2 billion.

Businesses that are successful with holiday sales have an immense focus on customer demands. Take Amazon, for example; they offer unprecedented levels of retail personalisation to the shoppers. This includes features like one-click purchasing that allows customers to save their shipping information for future purchases. It also includes “frequently brought together” items that offer personalised recommendations. These strategies are at the forefront of Amazon’s success.

What Is Personalisation And Why Is It So Important For E-Commerce Stores?

Fewer customers now travel to stores to shop for bargains and instead spend most of their time shopping on e-commerce platforms. This gives rise to an increasing need for retailers to personalise the customer experience to stand out among competitors.

Personalisation includes strategies such as product recommendations based on past purchases, loyalty discounts to select customers, and saved billing information for future purchases.

80% of consumers are more likely to shop from a retailer that recognises their needs and recommends products based on past purchase history, and 90% say they find retail personalisation appealing.

These kinds of personalised features can make customers feel valued, which leads to a higher conversion rate and a loyal customer base for your business.

Even if companies have all the right data for personalisation, using the wrong marketing technique can lead to more confusion for customers than ease.

In this article, we will see a few ways that e-commerce stores can use the right tools for the right kinds of processes to deliver personalised shopping experiences.

How Can Companies Use Personalisation?

Marketers can use many different tools to deliver a personalised experience that suits their e-commerce business, such as audience segmentation and website automation.

Audience segmentation enables you to market products based on the different categories of your consumer base, like tailoring specific products according to behaviour and attributes—gender, demographics, and location. Simultaneously, automation techniques offer options like “people who viewed this, also buy that”, “frequently bought products,” or click-on-advertisement options that can be deployed at scale.

First, let’s get acquainted with what automation is and how your company can employ automation in different ways.

Automation Techniques

Automation can shorten processes and make them more efficient.

For instance, traditional advertising methods, like distributing leaflets and pamphlets, have been taken over by online advertisements and social media campaigns that are less costly and target specific audiences.

You can even automate these digital marketing activities to deliver personalised experiences and get targeted results across various channels. However, you need to figure out which touchpoints are the most important for your company to automate and then go with strategies that provide the most value.

Some of the most critical must-have automation techniques are:

Cleaning Up Your Customer Data

Data cleaning includes filtering out all the incorrect information from a database. When it comes to their databases, around one-fifth of companies believe that at least half of their customer data is erroneous. This mandates the removal of repetitive and incorrect information by customers for better data analysis and targeted campaigns.

Cleaning your customer data is vital for several reasons:

·   It ensures a more efficient customer experience

·   It removes all dead leads that might be giving you a false idea of your overall total customers

·   Smoother customer communication

·   More targeted customer profiles

Thanks to many data cleansing tools, companies no longer have to spend hours manually verifying data. Some of the best data cleansing and analysing tools include Segment and Klaviyo that can check numerous data sources to get accurate data for you and create personalised customer profiles.

Segment collects all your customers’ data from website and mobile apps and provides a single view of the customer to every team in your company. You can then decide, based on the information, whether your customer is valuable enough to keep or if it’s a dead lead.

Klaviyo can also integrate natively with various customer data sources to create optimum customer experiences across multiple channels. Whether customers are shopping on a desktop or a mobile device, Klaviyo can generate personalised experiences for each channel.

Customer Lifecycle

A customer lifecycle refers to the different stages that a customer goes through from the first time they come in contact with your business until they make a purchase. These stages include the ad campaign that attracted the customers to click on your page, the website experience, signing up for newsletters, receiving any targeted emails, and eventually selecting products and becoming paying customers.

Companies need to analyse and evaluate every customer touchpoint to ensure that the process is smooth, leading to higher conversions and greater brand loyalty.

However, to achieve a smooth customer journey, it is essential to have a robust automation strategy to deliver a personalised experience across each touchpoint.

With tools like Vero, IT managers and marketers can also manage and automate workflows by visualising customer experience as they build it. This means that while setting up a system, marketers can now find out loopholes (if any) that their customers might incur and find a viable solution.

Sending Out Personalised Emails

If your company still hasn’t employed email personalisation as a marketing tactic, it is now time to do so!

According to Statista, the number of email users worldwide is expected to grow to a whopping 4.3 billion around the world! 

There are numerous ways you can use email segmentation to send out personalised emails for your audience. For example, you can use online analytic tools to track active and inactive users. Inactive users will be people who haven’t opened your emails in more than three months, so you can redesign a specific reactivation campaign that targets only your inactive subscribers.

Serious Sport, a sportswear company, took advantage of Black Friday Sale to increase their subscribers. Their four-phase email campaign included creating an air of excitement for Black Friday by offering exclusive offers every day until Balck Friday. These offers were targeted to customers depending upon whether they would be interested in athlete wear or equipment. This campaign was so successful that it led to a 35% increase in their YoY revenue!

You can also segment your audience via demographics. If you’re a retail store, this would be of great help since you can send product recommendation emails or information regarding new arrivals at the store, catering to each gender accordingly.

The more information you have about your audience, the easier it will be to segment your audience and send personalised emails. You can decide which metrics are essential for your business during the customer sign-up process.

Using a tool like Vero you can add dynamic content that improves the impact of every email by sending customers specifically tailored content. With Segment’s unique feature of zooming in on every customer touchpoint like their favourite product colour or last product bought, you can send customers specific emails about products that your data shows they’ll be interested in.

Example profile from Segments' personalisation solution, Personas.
Example profile from Segments' personalisation solution, Personas.

How Can Companies Use Customer Data For Sales Like Black Friday?

With each new sale, companies and brands experience an influx of new customer data that can be used for effective marketing techniques.

Personalised product recommendations are one way that can increase the click-through of a website and uplift sales by 11.2%.

For most online shoppers, it is natural to get dazed by the different options available to them. Sometimes they are not even on the website with the intent to purchase something. However, research shows that 45% of online shoppers are likely to end up buying on websites that offer personalised recommendations based on their past purchases. Amazon continues to nail this technique of providing personalised product recommendations. Having a limitless supply of products to shop for, Amazon makes it easy for customers to choose products by analysing a customer’s past behaviour and promoting only related products on the customer’s homepage.

Amazon's recommendation engine provides a personalised experience.
Amazon's recommendation engine provides a personalised experience.

You can use historical customer data to find common characteristics between customers of one segment. For example, you may notice that your international customers are likely to be loyal if you offer free shipping with a newly arrived product. So you can attract your international customers on Black Friday by offering them free shipping!

CRM software solutions like Vero and Klaviyo are specially designed to make tracking for customer segments easy. You can also add customs and label fields that can help you identify to which segment a customer belongs.

In Conclusion

This year has already seen a massive boom in online retail, and there’s no saying how these golden period sales will affect retailers and e-commerce stores. However, the one thing that is for certain is that this holiday season is going to be one of the biggest!

So as a retailer, it is vital to consider the relationship you have with your existing customers and the relationship you’re going to build with new customers. This article already highlights a few tips and tactics that you can use as part of your marketing campaign that can help you optimise consumer satisfaction, yield more revenue and earn goodwill for your brand.

Need help setting up 1-to-1 personalisation at scale? Give us a call on +61 2 8311 8689 or email us at hello@ikaros.io.

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