While projections and outcomes for Black Friday and Cyber Monday took up many headlines, I found that the deeper part of those shopping dynamics told a far more interesting story. Sure, the shopping frenzy weekend was an overall positive result for retailers, but upon closer inspection, the numbers pointed to the successes of e-commerce rather than in-store sales.
That’s not necessarily news for today’s marketers, but what it should be is a reminder that changing behaviors are an entry point for fostering relationships with consumers. Smart, personalized communications are an engaging welcome mat for customers who are new to your brand, because getting a new customer is one thing – getting them back again is quite another.
Retention Science found that gross sales for 2014 Black Friday to Cyber Monday jumped 649 percent, on average, compared to a typical Friday-to-Monday period for its eCommerce customers. The same companies saw a 22 percent increase in average order value, indicating that holiday promotions and marketing campaigns were effective in getting people to spend.
So while that continuing trend is certainly reason to celebrate, it’s still just a jumping off point. The same study also found that existing customers spent 30 percent more than newer shoppers in the time period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Moreover, the existing shoppers were 16 percent more likely to make multiple purchases during that period.
That begs the question – are your holiday campaigns coming full circle and engaging a consumer with the foresight that they’ll be the latter data set next year?
Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication is the ideal first step for a new customer. By starting off on the right foot – learning what would make them a returning customer, engaging with them in the ways they self-identify – you have a better chance of converting that first-time customer into a long-term shopper. Come next year’s shopping season, you can be confident that last year’s new shoppers are this year’s existing customers.