Woman sitting by fireplace and christmas tree holding tablet cozy concept

Listrak, the retail digital marketing automation platform provider, released a holiday shopping season consumer survey that showed a strong penchant for making online purchases while also using mobile devices for connecting to a brand or retailer. As a result, the company expects mobile marketing to play a more critical role this year as well as offering a more personalized shopping experience.

The company also said it expects Black Friday/Cyber Monday to see softer sales due to the lingering impact of COVID-19.

The company noted that “Black Friday/Cyber Monday is getting a makeover. With limited in-store capacity, Black Friday/Cyber Monday will still be the biggest days this holiday season, but the traditional spikes in revenue won’t be as dramatic as previous years.” Regarding mobile devices, Listrak said in its report that a “surefire way to reach consumers this year is through their smartphones — from e-mail to SMS, to social media, retailers and brands need to kickstart their mobile strategies ASAP.”

The company said it is expecting “SMS to be a big player in brands’ ability to cut through the holiday marketing noise.”

“More consumers than ever before will turn to their screens instead of in-store crowds to order gifts online,” authors of the report said. “With less travel and in-person events, shoppers are spending their money online instead.” Ninety-four percent of respondents said they “plan to shop online for a portion of holiday gifts” while 64 percent of shoppers said they “plan to purchase at least half of their gifts online.”

When asked about how much they were planning to spend, 58 percent of those polled expect to “spend the same amount that they did last year.”

Regarding smartphone use, 60 percent of respondents said they provide their mobile numbers to retailers and brands. The poll also found that 67 percent of respondents “rely on e-mail as the most common channel to find deals and promotions — followed by retailer and brand web sites (50 percent), direct mail coupons (47 percent), social media posts (45 percent) and text messages (30 percent).”

When asked what retailers and brands need to do to maximize conversions and keep shoppers loyal this year, Listrak’s chief executive officer, Ross Kramer, said they need to “embrace mobile as much as their customers already have.”

“Every customer has their mobile device in their hand literally around the clock — retailers must leverage that fact to drive engagement and revenue,” Kramer told WWD. “Doing this means significantly increasing focus on mobile marketing and, this is extremely important, doing so in an integrated cross-channel fashion.”

Kramer said having a robust mobile marketing program, “from acquisition to segmentation to transactional messaging,” is a good place to start and the “results speak for themselves.”

“But that can’t be done in a silo,” he explained. “Instead, these mobile interactions need to be integrated and coordinated with other channels from a point that allows for a single view of the customer. Sending an SMS message to a consumer who just abandoned something in their shopping cart is a good idea — sending one deliberately before, with, or after a reinforcing trigger email is better.”

The ceo said sending an SMS message is about 25 times more expensive than sending an email, so “wouldn’t it make sense to send those only to high LTV or high-probability LTV consumers?” Kramer said there is “enormous potential for retailers and brands to enhance engagement, revenue and loyalty with their customers via mobile. They should move quickly and do so from the outset in an integrated way.”

In a larger context, connecting with consumers via mobile devices aligns with shoppers who want a more personalized, tailored experience with the brands and retailers they patronize. “There has been myriad consumer research over the past 15 years that show consumers’ appetites and expectations for personalized experiences consistently growing,” Kramer told WWD. “Delivering personalized experiences is now table stakes, the question is to what degree can that personalization be maximized.”

Ross Kramer


The ceo said retailers should be leveraging an arsenal of tools, “including artificial intelligence, machine learning, dynamic content, predictive analytics and behavioral listening, to name a few — to deliver these hyper-curated interactions.”

“The results are clear,” Kramer said. “Onsite personalization tactics easily increase same-session conversions by more than 35 percent. Adding personalized product recommendations to an order/ship confirmation e-mail will increase revenue instantly by almost 30 percent. A personalized e-mail triggered by a customer’s behavior drives on average 43 times what a typical, non-personalized broadcast e-mail does.”

Kramer said shoppers are accustomed to “getting highly personalized search results, news and social media feeds every day — shouldn’t they expect the same level of personalization from their favorite retailer or brand?”

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus