For many retailers and marketers, a lack of data isn’t the problem. From customer data to product data to third-party data and more, retailers are collecting information at a never before clip. However, the challenge comes in figuring out what to do with all of that data — i.e., using it to make better informed decisions that benefit the customer, business or, ideally, both.
Such was the situation for Calendars.com, an online retailer of the world’s largest selection of calendars, as well as games, toys, puzzles and gifts. A highly seasonal business dependent on one hero product — calendars — Calendars.com wanted revenue to become more consistent throughout the year, and do so by increasing the sale of noncalendar items. Data would be the key to accomplishing its goal. The problem was that Calendars.com lacked a tool to uncover the value in its existing customer data.
For example, Calendars.com lacked transactional data for customers across channels. For example, if a customer bought a puzzle in-store, and then went online later in the year to purchase a calendar, Calendars.com wasn't able to recognize that customer. Therefore, it was unable to target noncalendar customers with marketing campaigns personalized to the types of products they had purchased in the past.
To help optimize its data, Calendars.com partnered with Custora, an advanced customer segmentation platform powered by predictive analytics. Specifically, Calendars.com began using Custora’s Segmentation Studio tool.
“Custora has enabled us to get a single view of the customer, including transactional data,” says Marcia Oakes, senior director of digital marketing for Calendars.com. “[Segmentation Studio] has allowed us to send better targeted messaging to our noncalendar customers.”
Furthermore, Calendars.com has used the power of machine learning to identify predictive affinity customer segments — i.e., lookalike customers based on certain data points that might have a higher likelihood of buying a noncalendar item — to drive sales of noncalendar products.
“We’re now able to look at not just a customer’s own purchase history, but also use predictive analytics to identify other customers in our database that might share common product interests,” notes Oakes. Those customers are then segmented for targeted marketing messages in which noncalendar products are promoted.
Having a solution such as Segmentation Studio has enabled Calendars.com to unlock hidden value in its customer data. The results have been impressive. Calendars.com has realized a nearly 10 time increase in return on advertising spending (ROAS) on Facebook paid advertising. Furthermore, with better targeted communications, Calendars.com has reduced the number of emails it sends to customers, ditching the batch-and-blast approach of old, leading to a decrease in list opt outs.
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