For consumers and retailers alike the holiday season is just around the corner, and with it comes the opportunity for retailers to grow their customer base and drive sales. The importance of the holiday season speaks for itself, with retailers potentially acquiring between 29% and 59% more customers compared to out of holiday months. More than just targeting current or loyal customers, merchants actually have the opportunity to acquire new customers and potentially grow sales beyond the holiday season, all year round.
Achieving lasting success and exploiting holiday opportunities arguably relies on decisions informed by meaningful data insights. Fortunately this year we can all look to Magento’s Holiday Dashboard, a Magento Analytics offering aimed to give retailers the insights they need to take advantage of holiday opportunities; but what will it offer and how can merchants best utilise these insights?
What are the holiday issues faced by retailers?
The core issue for retailers is the difficulties in profiling and segmenting holiday customers, which makes targeting them an even bigger challenge. With the bulk of holiday customers purchasing products as gifts intended for an entirely different kind of consumer, the usual customer insights based on purchase history and behaviour can be unreliable.
The problem of a potentially diverse customer base and unpredictable buying behaviour over the holidays often results in a usually ineffective solution: blanket promotional campaigns. Like the name suggests these blanket campaigns do little to capture and retain customers.
Surrounding this central problem are the usual purchase behaviours that can start to claw away at profits. With consumers increasingly looking for free delivery and special offers before committing to a purchase, AOV’s can start to fall short of acquisition costs and eat away at margins.
What is the Magento Holiday Dashboard?
If unreliable insights are the problem, the Magento Holiday Dashboard is the solution.
The Holiday Dashboard is powered by Magento Analytics, a Magento product that was made available when Magento acquired RJ Metrics in August. The huge benefit of Magento Analytics, and subsequently the dashboard, is its quick and easy integration with merchant data that can provide insights into customers, channels, merchandising and more. The dashboard has of course been optimised for Magento users, but is also available to merchants using other platforms.
The main aim of the dashboard? To give ecommerce merchants the opportunity to gain deeper customer insights over the holiday season using their live ecommerce data. Superior and more immediate insights mean retailers can finally take full advantage of holiday opportunities by creating targeted promotional campaigns, aimed at capturing and retaining holiday customers.
Insights are also benchmarked against other retailers within the industry for informative comparisons, and retailers can compare against wider holiday trends with The Ecommerce Holiday Customer Benchmark Report.
What are the key capabilities of the dashboard?
Important metrics such as average order value, customer lifetime value and acquisition costs are all accounted for in real time. Merchants are able to track and compare metrics against KPI’s and insights that are important to them.
During the fast paced holiday season retailers need to stay agile, making decisions and changing strategy when the data dictates. The Holiday Dashboard uses live data so merchants can rely on immediate insights to help them keep up with customers and keep ahead of the competition.
Retailers can use the dashboard to identify the acquisition channels that are driving those all-important metrics. The right budget and strategy can then be allocated to each channel, prioritising the most profitable ones so that every pound spent is optimised for a return.
Key customer metrics such as AOV and CLV help to identify the most profitable customers and their purchase behaviour. Merchants can use this data to target customers with personalised campaigns that reward high value customers or encourage repeat purchases.
Right content, right time
The ability to act immediately and stay agile is more important than ever with 39% of holiday shoppers making a 2nd purchase within the same holiday season. With the dashboard retailers can identify the best times to reach their customers. Combined with customer metrics and purchase data, content can be customised for specific customers, giving merchants the power to start influencing customer loyalty almost instantaneously.
Compare metrics for your holiday customers against existing customers acquired during other times of the year. Understanding these differences gives retailers the chance to throw out the blanket campaigns and create a targeted strategy with distinctive customer segments. This means campaigns to re-engage dormant customers, encourage repeat purchases for newly acquired ones and campaigns to turn one-off holiday customers into regular and loyal ones.
What are the key insights to be gained?
With key customer metrics merchants should look to identify the value of their holiday. First and foremost retailers need to understand whether these customers are of any value to their business when weighed against all acquisition costs and profit margin demands. While holiday customers may only exhibit a 13% drop in life time value compared to other customers, that difference can have a substantial impact on smaller profit margins. Some merchants may not be able to recover enough profit from over investing in acquiring and keeping holiday customers.
Whether your budget is big or small this holiday season, all merchants need to allocate it to the right activities in the right channels to maximise returns. With the ability to identify the most profitable channels and drill down into important consumer insights such as the best time to reach them, investing in the top performers shouldn’t be a problem for retailers. Additionally merchants can compare against their CAC metrics to ensure they always make a profit during the holiday season, with less risk of under or over investing.
Finally merchants will be able to create more personalised and targeted campaigns no matter how diverse customer segments might become. These insights can help turn one-off holiday customers into loyal ones, with follow up campaigns that are ready to go within the same holiday season rather than the next one thanks to live data.
The Holiday Dashboard has the potential to empower merchants to take advantage of every opportunity over the holidays. Data driven insights make for informed business decisions and focused spending that could lead to success far beyond the holidays.
If you think you could benefit from some extra guidance to help drive sales over the holidays, talk to one of our team on 01344 266 844.