By Hayley Strang, Senior Marketing Manager, Mapp
Christmas has been a key calendar date for retailers for decades and its appeal continues to this day. In 2021, UK retail sales during the Christmas period are expected to increase to £84.7 billion from £79.7 billion in 2020.
According to analysis from Deloitte, consumers across Europe have accumulated over €450bn of savings during pandemic lockdowns. Even if they only spent a part of these savings it would provide a real increase in retail spending over the busier Christmas period. For retailers there is everything to play for this festive season – but how can they be sure they are maximising their chance of success?
Choosing the right ingredients: Target group and KPIs
Measurability is the basic prerequisite for successful Christmas campaigns because if KPIs are clearly kept in mind, new opportunities for campaign optimisation and potential savings are more likely to become apparent. Analysis of the repurchase rate, in particular, offers key insights in the run-up to year-end, which can help with future targeting. How many new customers order a second time within a defined period, for example? Advertising channels that deliver high-quality traffic resulting in a high repurchase rate are doubly valuable, as the profit for each marketing pound invested increases with each additional order.
Successful measures will be based on analysis of the previous year’s activities. Marketers should therefore evaluate which channels saw particularly high customer interactions and sales. Based on this, it is possible, for example, to identify at which time of day a newsletter mailing was worthwhile or which offers were popular. What were the top sellers for each category and customer segment? How did the different days of the week differ in their purchasing power? Are there any lessons that can be learned from the past year? What went particularly well, what could have been avoided?
With the right mix of ingredients, such as an innovative storyline, the selection of the target group and monitoring of the right KPIs, as well as an analysis of past measures, marketers are able to create a Christmas campaign that is effective and cost-efficient.
Activate customers and penetrate new target groups
In the last weeks of the year, web traffic and search queries increase significantly and marketers can take advantage of this in order to prepare for the Christmas period. For example, newsletter sign-ups can be increased with customised discount displays for first-time purchasers, to generate new contacts that will be valuable for the Christmas period. Newsletters are the ideal means to stay in contact with potential customers and to activate them along the customer journey in a targeted way.
Exit intent pop-ups are used in online shops and websites to prevent site abandonment. In order to trigger the exit-intent pop-up, the movements of the mouse on the display or screen must be tracked. As soon as the mouse pointer is moved near the top of the page, for example, a pop-up window opens in the browser. The pop-up should contain a voucher code to convince the user to complete their purchase. Exit-intent ads are also used to promote product samples or to prompt a newsletter sign-up.
Another tip to win over customers for the Christmas shopping season is to increase services. For example, if an item is out of stock, companies can offer a notification by email as soon as the product is available again. This is a soft introduction to further email communication and increases trust in the brand. In addition, the Christmas campaign should be moved into the “real world” to connect online and offline commerce. One way is to also offer in-store discounts in return for a newsletter subscription or membership card – ideally directly at the checkout, where discounts are most useful for customers.
When it comes to activation, timing has a direct influence on open, click and conversion rates. By 15 December, most Christmas business is already done. Those who launch their Christmas campaign quickly will enjoy a competitive advantage because end customers’ inboxes are not yet so full and there is likely to be more appreciation for offers. By mid-November, the first messages about Christmas gift opportunities should have been sent out. In addition, marketers should also link online and offline commerce here with a particular focus on timing. For example, it is usually more effective to send out location-based push notifications in the store environment than to send push notifications at random times.
To maximise the chance of advertising success, marketers need to know their customers and their individual needs. Based on the evaluation and analysis of first-party data as well as historical purchase data, marketing content can be personalised to increase the likelihood of conversion and to boost sales.
About the author
Vice President Product & Marketing, Mapp
Michael Diestelberg is VP Product & Marketing at the technology company Mapp. After studying computer science at Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, he worked as an editor at the IT news portal WinFuture.de before joining the digital agency Aperto as a web analytics consultant in 2012. Diestelberg joined Webtrekk in 2013 and has held the position of Vice President Product & Marketing since 2018, meanwhile, through the acquisition of Webtrekk, also for the digital marketing platform Mapp. He supports consumer brands and e-commerce providers in the realisation of individual, cross-channel marketing campaigns.
Marketers and data specialists should always be able to focus on their core business instead of spending their time taming the technology behind it. With the insight-based customer experience platform Mapp Cloud, marketing decision-makers have more time for the essentials and can place their brand messages in the best possible way. Through customer intelligence and marketing analytics, companies easily and effectively gain cross-channel customer insights from data, which in turn enable highly personalised marketing activities. Mapp’s customers benefit from customised and self-optimising cross-channel campaigns based on AI-powered predictive models. Automated messages can thus be sent in the ideal marketing channel, at the optimal time and with the right contact frequency. Thanks to powerful one-to-one personalisation, maximum engagement as well as long-term customer retention are achieved. More info here.
Mapp operates offices in seven countries. Mapp’s digital marketing platform helps over 3,000 businesses stand out from the crowd. Mapp’s clients include Bonprix, Expert, MyToys, Pepsico, Vivienne Westwood, Westwing and Witt Group. www.mapp.com/de