Hey, take the initiative

Jozo KovacGeneral

Does your sales chart look like a flat line with only a few seasonal peaks? If so, I guess you would like to change that. Doing that may sound like rocket science, but it is actually not that hard. All it takes is knowing your customers, and then good execution. Read on to find out how to change your fortunes with just a little effort.

Share the news

People like news. Is there a new product or collection on stock? Do you have any product update? Are there any new trends in your industry? Look around for opportunities to reach out to your customers. Build a structured, regular process to gather news, communicate them properly over various channels (email, blog, homepage, social or networks) and evaluate their impact on business. Once you set it up, you will see which channels, events and messages work the best.

Use seasonal campaigns

People tend to ramp up their shopping before seasonal events and festivals. Consumers expect special promotions and businesses that deliver on the expectations can gain a very loyal and engaged customer base. It’s always a good idea to review the previous year’s activities (yours or those of your competitors), and draw inspiration from the successful ones, with the aim to push the quality a bit higher. And don’t necessarily focus on major holidays only. Identifying micro-seasons will open up a trove of new opportunities. The special, geographically targeted promotion reflecting the schedule of Champions League, which one of our customers in the travel industry did recently, is a fine example.

On-board customers properly

Most customers make only a single purchase in your shop. Proper on-boarding of first-time shoppers is a great opportunity for long-term profitability growth, since repeat purchases are not burdened by high acquisition costs. Approach customers regularly, take your time to explain what makes your business special, and feed them with relevant content. For example, one of our clients found customers were extremely likely to become loyal after making 4 purchases on their platform. With this knowledge, our client correspondingly adjusted its promotion campaign to reward repeat purchases more to hook more users.

Prepare a medicine for the shopping fever

You know that feeling of pure joy from shopping? Your customers have it too, and you can make use of it. An up-sale offer targeted right after the purchase will increase the order value and deliver more happiness to customers in the right mood. Use analytics to identify signals of the shopping fever and sell the whole collection instead of one item. For example, one of our clients successfully combines product recommendations upon checkout combined with a nudge such as free shipping if the order value exceeds a certain amount.

Take extra care of top customers

Well-known conventional wisdom says that 20% of customers account for 80% of your revenues. The numbers can look a bit different depending on your particular industry, but you get the point. In my experience, the top 10% of customers with the most frequent and the most valuable purchases account for most of revenue in most cases. They are curious about what comes next, want to be surprised and feel special. Knowing this, you should always have special offers designed specially for this top segment.

Observe habits and adapt

It’s natural that a portfolio of hundreds of thousands of customers will be made up of smaller segments, each with distinctive habits. Some people shop only over weekends, some read emails in the morning, some in the evening, some are price sensitive, and some want just the coolest things from your inventory. Adapting content and frequency of outbound campaigns yields amazing results. Companies that do this right don’t lose their contacts and dramatically outperform the market. For example, one of our telco clients decided to use segmentation to differentiate offers on its website. The result was stunning with over 500% conversion growth in the target segment.

Let peers know about your success

A cute business dashboard with all your activities and their impact on user happiness can work miracles in your organization. Suddenly your peers start to understand your work and see the impact on business results. Your success can become the trigger for your colleagues to take initiative too. A marketing executive working for one of our clients struggled to get the CEO to pay attention to analytics. But once he was able to present a comprehensive dashboard showing (under)performance of various campaigns the company was running, CEO started to pay attention and earmarked more resources for the department to improve the results.

Jozo Kovac is the founder and head of product at Exponea. As an entrepreneur with extensive experience in customer intelligence in e-commerce, he works to help companies around the world to understand and interact with their customers better.