3 marketing tips to maximize customer value this holiday season

November 3, 2016 06:34 PM

We’ve finally arrived at that time of year where e-commerce marketers are laser focused on doing everything in their power to make the holiday shopping season as successful as possible.

Now through December, we’ll see marketers’ most creative sides as they build out intriguing sales strategies, beautifully designed landing pages and compelling email campaigns. As we enter the last quarter of 2016, I challenge marketers to also apply their creativity in reexamining an important question that doesn’t get as much attention as it should: Can your business do more to maximize customer value?

Since many e-tailers are competing for sales in Q4, marketers focus much of their effort on attracting, engaging and converting customers. But just as important as getting shoppers to buy one item is enticing them to make additional purchases, and encouraging them to make referrals. While working to capture the maximum potential value from customers is nothing new, marketers often fail to put in place a comprehensive strategy to do this as effectively as possible.

Here are three tips for how marketers can go one step further in their efforts to maximize customer value this Black Friday and beyond.

Don’t just ask people to share items on social – incentivize them to do so!

In an ideal world, all the encouragement a customer needs to share her purchase on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat is a polite ask. Unfortunately, with every e-commerce company asking their customers to share recent purchases on social, people are becoming numb to these constant requests 

This holiday season, consider doing more to incentivize your customers to share their shopping experience. Incentives can be as simple as a discount toward their next purchase, a small gift, or the opportunity to be entered into a raffle for a larger prize.

You can even consider finding ways of offering dual referral bonuses, where both the referrer and referral recipient are rewarded. This tactic has been widely used with ride sharing apps in recent years, and is something e-commerce companies should consider implementing more broadly.

Highlight complementary goods more prominently when an item is added to the cart

Many e-commerce companies make some effort to display complementary goods after a shopper adds an item to her cart. Still, there are a number of things you can do to encourage a shopper to more seriously consider purchasing them.

First off, don’t suggest these products at the side or bottom of the screen. Also make sure that you’re not using images or fonts that are too small to notice. Shoppers are more likely than not to ignore these types of half-hearted efforts to promote complementary items.

For a great example of how to display complementary goods, look no further than Amazon. In many cases, when you add an item to a cart, Amazon does a full-page, bold overlay highlighting accessories. They also often offer a discount to shoppers who buy complementary items at the point of purchase, which is an effective tactic for encouraging people to buy additional goods sooner rather than later 

Add some extra punch to your email purchase confirmations

One piece of marketing collateral that has a lot of potential, but marketers often underutilize, is the email confirmation that a customer receives right after she makes a purchase.

At a basic level, these notes should invite customers to visit your site again, and suggest goods that complement their recently purchased items. For the e-commerce companies already doing this, there are many other ways you can get creative in using these emails to entice repeat shopping.

What if, for example, the note included discount codes that your customer could share with a friend? Or, suppose you offered your customer a free gift relevant to the purchase she just made if she makes an additional purchase before December 25? For instance, someone who just bought a new phone might be more encouraged to buy something else if the additional purchase came with a free phone case.

These are just three of the many ways that marketers can maximize customer value this holiday season. As we all prepare for the most important quarter of the year, I encourage marketers to reexamine all of their customer touchpoints, and think about how they can use each one more effectively to drive sales.

Based in the United Kingdom, Ve Interactive is a provider of online marketing and advertising services.




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