5 Tips to Turn Holiday Traffic Into Everyday Customers
Retail sales were solid this past holiday season, with traditional retailers seeing a 1 percent increase over 2008 according to the National Retail Federation, and online retail sales increasing 5 percent, according to comScore.
But with this positive news also comes some caution around retail expectations for 2010. Now that you’ve had a good holiday season and garnered a nice batch of new customers and first-time visitors, how do you keep them coming back and spending their money with you? Here are five data-driven tips that you can start using today to turn those holiday visitors into everyday shoppers.
1. Understand the behaviors of "new" customers. Don’t just look at first-time visitors; consider anyone as “new” who hasn’t visited your site in the past six months. By filtering out your loyal and frequent customers, you can more accurately focus on what new customers were interested in and how they approached your offerings. With that knowledge, you can further segment those new customers into easily targetable buckets, export them into your marketing automation system and start hitting them with campaigns.
2. Look at visit frequency and how that impacted purchase behavior. You can learn a lot from visit frequency and how that relates to purchases, basket sizes and category sales. Start to segment by researchers versus impulse buyers versus “new-but-frequent” shoppers, since a “new” customer may have had several buying sessions during the holidays. By segmenting your new customers based on frequency, you can better tailor how you approach and promote to them, and help increase your ability to get them to return.
3. Determine what brought them in and how that influenced their behaviors. Most new visitors were probably driven to your site by a campaign, promotion or ad, so consider both the vehicle that brought them in as well as the content (10 percent off versus free shipping). A deeper analysis based on the behaviors of these different segments — what they purchased, what they browsed, which days they visited, how much they spent, etc. — will help you better understand what they wanted and how to give them that again.
4. Don’t assume that customers who viewed DVDs are movie lovers. If your customers are typical humans, they probably browsed for gifts and personal purchases. Look at which products were purchased and browsed together for more insights into buyers' preferences. Was it a gift? Did the customer look at DVDs but end up purchasing a toaster? Were they buying gifts but browsing for themselves? Was the gift to an immediate family member or someone outside the home? To keep these new customers coming back, there might be more gold in what was browsed over what was finally purchased.
5. Compare everything to the known behaviors of your loyal customers. If a first-time visitor purchased a digital camera, what should you offer him next? Look at the vast amount of purchasing data you already have on your current customers to understand the product affinities that will help you generate your campaign to that new customer segment. Your existing customer data might show that customers who purchase cameras are highly likely to purchase digital photo frames within 25 days. Also, don’t ignore those new visitors who didn’t make purchases. You were able to grab their attention once, and now you have mindshare. If they browsed, you already know their interests. Even if they didn’t purchase from you, maybe they purchased the items somewhere else. Treat them as a specific segment, and get them back.
Just because the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean your customer traffic should go down — now is the time to leverage your customer knowledge and turn that holiday traffic into repeat visits. But don’t wait too long: The mindshare you gained in December might be starting to fade already.