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Mobile remarketing tips for retailers for the holiday season

Published on November 10, 2017  •  Digital Commerce 360

As more chief marketing officers are being held accountable for driving growth, customer retention is becoming more important than ever. While the focus has traditionally been on customer acquisition, CMOs are being tasked with driving more value from existing customers to increase lifetime value. According to eMarketer, holiday e-commerce sales are estimated to jump 16.6% to a record $923.15 billion in 2017, primarily led by mobile, creating a can’t-miss opportunity for CMO’s to drive growth via a well rounded mobile strategy focused on customer retention.

More specifically, mobile commerce is expected to rise by 57.8% at the end of 2017, while overall foot traffic continues to drop. Not surprisingly, mobile continues to transform the e-commerce landscape and represents a large portion of the retail industry; understanding how to drive more revenue, retain customers, where and when to reach them, and in which format, is imperative for any CMO to drive growth from mobile.

Retail is not dead, far from it in fact. Instead, retail is going through a monumental transformation in the way that customers interact with brands and purchase products. Push notifications alone are no longer a viable option with more than 60% of users choosing to opt out, while consumers are also becoming increasingly overwhelmed with so many emails. Retailers only have a small window of time to catch consumers on their mobile device and to convert mid- and lower-funnel prospects to purchase.

By implementing the following retargeting strategies, retail marketers can capture more mobile revenue from those newly acquired customers and increase overall lifetime value until the next Holiday season.

1. Timing is everything: While September and October are considered the prime time to acquire new customers, November and December are key for retargeting to new customers. While competition is higher during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s generally more expensive to convert during the month of December since it’s the peak shopping time of year and marketers perceive a greater value in reaching last-minute holiday shoppers.

2. Dynamic Creative Optimization is critical: DCO uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine the right product to show your customer, in the right creative format. As customers are demanding more from retailers, knowing which products consumers have recently searched or viewed, helps personalize their experience and makes them feel valued. In addition, understanding which creative format to show them will affect conversion, allowing retailers to further maximize revenue. For example, some consumers will respond better to a native ad format over a banner ad within the mobile environment, or vertical video for a pure branding effort.

3. Tracking Events: Tracking post-install events within a retailer’s mobile app allows for a better determination of a customer’s overall lifetime value. That enables a more accurate projection of return on ad spend (ROAS) and is crucial for optimizing a retargeting campaign. To achieve this, it‘s crucial for retail marketers to work with the right attribution partner who understands their business and can better position them for success. Experts revealed that retail and e-commerce apps should expect to generate between $5-$8 per transaction for every dollar of ad spend, according to eMarketer.

4. Capture micro-moments: The most personal advertising vehicle available today is the smartphone. The average U.S. consumer checks their phone on average 150 times per day, spending a total of 5 hours a day on their mobile device, according to Flurry. Capturing consumers during these micro-moments with a well-rounded mobile strategy that includes upper-funnel brand messaging and then deploying user acquisition and retargeting efforts to pull the mid- and lower-funnel consumers to convert to a purchase, is imperative to engage them with any retail brand.

5. Use the right incentives: Impulse shopping peaks after Thanksgiving and it’s a perfect time to offer discounts to consumers, whereas the second and third week of December are more important for free shipping rather than discounts. Understanding where and when to offer these incentives will impact the success of a retargeting campaign.

6. Cyber Week is a peak retargeting opportunity: After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the next big thing is Cyber Week, the period around Thanksgiving, which is a great time to re-engage those high-intent shoppers who didn’t make or complete a purchase. However, it’s no longer just about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Rather, consumers are shopping over a longer shopping period. This change in consumer behavior must be leveraged by marketers to make the most out of this holiday shopping season.

7. Invest in retargeting: Many retailers are not investing nearly enough in retargeting customers who download their apps. That’s important because retention rates drop quickly after a shopper downloads an app. A 2016 study by Appboy found that 27% of consumers with Android phones use an app within the first day of downloading it, but that goes down to 13% by day 7 and 4% by day 90. For Apple users the one-day rate was 23% going down to 11% on the seventh day and 4% on day 90. If marketers don’t invest in customer retention they risk losing them quickly, and since it costs 7 to 8 times more to acquire a new user than to retain a loyal user, it’s crucial to engage users with retargeting early to pull them into the customer journey.

8. You have no omnichannel strategy without the right mobile partner:It’s critical marketers work with a mobile partner that has the reach they need and offers unique (non-templated) creative solutions that will also offer the best protection from fraud for your brand. Maximizing revenue from each channel in a retail strategy is important, but with consumers migrating to mobile faster than ever, missing the mark with the wrong mobile partner can really make or break an omni-channel strategy this holiday.

While the holidays can be a stressful time for retail CMOs and marketers, having the right mobile retargeting strategy can provide a meaningful impact and lift revenue through the end of the year. Consumer expectations continue to evolve and change rapidly, making it difficult to engage with them. Implementing the above mobile retargeting strategies this holiday season will reassure key stakeholders that you understand the personalized customer journey and are able to drive more revenue from customers.