Customer Data Now = Success Later

By Rob Zaleski
Sep 12, 2017
customer data ecommerce succes

Most retailers understand that the more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them—in every aspect of your business, but especially in advertising. People don’t hate ads. They hate ads that don’t feel relevant and targeted. Data can fix that. With the holiday season looming, you need to dive into your customer data now so you can succeed later.

We took four statistics of note from the National Retail Federation’s most recent study to show you why acting on your data right now is so important.

54% of consumers took recommendations from retailers

Purchase history can be a strong indicator of future purchase intent. Complimentary items, similar items, or properly-timed repurchase reminders can encourage people to buy again—and help you build trust with them.
For example, create a list of everyone who purchased a particularly popular SKU or one that you currently have in stock, and create an email campaign featuring the item to ask if it’s time to restock/get that gift for that special person, etc. You’re showing the customer that you pay attention to what they buy, and that you’re catering to their interests.
Set an automatic cadence on these types of emails (perhaps three, six, or twelve months later) and you’ll increase sales without a bunch of added work on your part!

54% of consumers began research for holiday shopping before October

I know, I know. The holiday season seems to get earlier and earlier every year. But if customers are doing their research this early, you need to be ready by then, too.

It’s time to take a look at what worked last year and what didn’t. What kind of campaigns resonated with customers, and what can you learn from that? Did your customers start their shopping early, or were they part of the last minute rush? Can you possibly encourage them to shop in a time frame that works better for your business?

Most importantly, think about how you can make their research easier. As mentioned above, people gladly take recommendations. If you offer wish lists, use that customer data to help them find other items to add to it. Remind them of shipping deadlines as things get closer, or how they can beat the rush and save on slower shipping methods.

51% of shoppers landed on brand pages through social ads

Through list segmentation and social targeting, you can really dial into customers’ needs and make recommendations they’ll actually care about. If you’re not already creating custom audiences on Facebook, you could be missing huge opportunity to get in front of customers.

All you need to do is upload a csv file in the ad platform on Facebook (this works better if you have personal email addresses rather than corporate, typically), and Facebook will create an audience of all that match for you to target your ads. Come up with some short, snappy copy and a compelling image, and you’re off to the social advertising races. You can use these audiences on Instagram too, but you should definitely make sure to use imagery that feels appropriate for the platform. Square-shaped, visually interesting and vibrant images can do well on Instagram.

You can also set up a pixel from Facebook on a specific URL of your site to create an audience to retarget to. If you’ve been shopping around the web, then head to Facebook, you’ve likely seen some of these yourself!

Some of the largest retailers start their holiday promotions in October, so you have no time to waste.

64% of holiday shoppers last year purchased because of a free shipping offer

In in an article about holiday eCommerce, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of shipping in the eyes your customers. The bar is getting set ever higher by the likes of Amazon, Walmart, and Target, and your customers come to you with some of those same expectations.

customer data holiday ecommerce

Will you offer free shipping? If so, at what thresholds? Well over half of your customers will expect it, so it will be important to make sure you’re clearly communicating this.

Are you able to track and manage your shipments in an efficient way? How are you communicating notifications to customers? How are you ensuring timely deliveries? Are you entering everything manually, or using software like ShippingEasy to pull in orders from all of your stores and marketplaces? If not, now is the time to adopt a platform. Make this choice wisely. Some software take weeks to adopt. We help you get set up and shipping in a single day.

The fall is an exciting, albeit often stressful time for eCommerce sellers. But if you’re smart with your data and use of technology, you can grow your business and increase orders this holiday season and beyond.

Before the holiday rush hits, brush up on your skills by downloading our Definitive Guide to eCommerce Shipping.

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Rob Zaleski

Head of Brand at ShippingEasy
I'm a digital content and social media nerd with a passion for telling stories, helping connect people, and finding joy in the details.

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