What to Do With All That Holiday Shopper Data? 4 Tips for Brands
The good news for consumer brands this holiday shopping season? Economic concerns aren’t expected to slow down shoppers’ appetite for deals. According to the 2022 Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey, 74 percent of consumers say they’ll spend the same on the holidays as they did last year.
The bad news? Holiday customers are among the lowest performers when it comes to customer lifetime value (LTV).
Don’t let the joy of new customer acquisition turn into a post-holiday letdown. Take these four steps to make the most of your commerce data pre- and post-holiday and build a strategy that will increase revenue well into 2023:
1. Forecast accurately pre-holiday.
While no two holiday seasons are exactly alike, it’s still vital to review your sales data from last year before Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM). Doing so will help you understand your targets. That way, if you see that you’re falling short of your revenue forecast early in the holiday period, you still have time to course correct.
Because the dates of BFCM change every year, you should run comparisons using Black Friday as Day 0, and then count either forward or backward to or from that mark. Do the same for pre- and post-Christmas forecasts, too. This will give you a higher degree of data accuracy and ensure you get all the holiday revenue you expect.
2. Get granular during the height of the season.
From Black Friday on, start looking at intraday trends. These will show you not only which day of the week that holiday shoppers purchase most frequently, but also the most popular times they shop each day.
This level of granularity will help you achieve one of two goals. For one, you’ll know whether you need to increase or decrease the number of marketing campaigns or channels this holiday season. For another, you’ll also get data you need to run extra promotions timed to meet your holiday shoppers exactly when they’re most likely to buy.
3. Make segmentation your superpower.
To improve marketing campaigns, segment shoppers who buy for themselves from those who make gift purchases. How can you tell the difference? You can see whether the shipping address matches the buying address. You can also simply ask the question in an order confirmation email, a tactic that achieves open rates of close to 60 percent per Omnisend.
You can use this information to drive personalized offers to gift-buyers in particular. Consider sending an incentive such as a discount or a free sample to a gift-buyer as a way to encourage them to purchase your products, too. You can also send them a message letting them know how much you appreciate their business.
4. Rock your returns.
Returns will happen post-holiday, especially among gift buyers. An exceptional customer experience will win them over. Data shows that 92 percent of consumers will buy again from a brand if their returns process is easy. To make the most of holiday returns, start by estimating your anticipated return volume based on prior holiday seasons. Then ramp up (or down) customer service staffing to meet the anticipated demand.
Also, decide how you want to handle holiday returns. If you want shoppers to return their item, consider offering free returns with bonus credits toward a future purchase. If you want shoppers to exchange items, consider following the lead of DSW, Zara, and other retailers that now charge for returns but make exchanges free.
The difference between holiday season leaders and laggards will be the way they use their commerce data. Follow these four tips to make sure you wind up a holiday winner.
Dan LeBlanc is the CEO and co-founder of Daasity, a data and analytics company built for omnichannel brands.
Daasity CEO and Co-Founder Dan LeBlanc is an analytics, customer experience, and business technology expert who is passionate about helping consumer brands achieve their goals through more informed insights. Before founding Daasity, he held senior executive roles with companies such as Provide Commerce, Encore Capital Group, and Groundswell Equity. In his spare time, you can find Dan outdoors enjoying the San Diego weather or visiting one of the city's many great craft breweries