At the end of every holiday shopping season, infographics and statistics are trotted out to illustrate how successful marketing campaigns were in netting new customers or pushing receipt totals higher. From my point of view, these two data points are not only connected, but easily built by fostering a relationship with consumers based on personalized communication. 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.
While that’s 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 stop 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 2015’s shopping season, you can be confident that last year’s new shoppers are this year’s existing customers.