Beyond Basics : Advanced Personalization strategies for Re-marketing Triggers

Re-marketing based on behavioral triggers like abandoned cart, abandoned search and abandoned view are must do’s for any digital marketer to engage customers and bring them back to your site or app. More often than not it’s very tempting to do just the basics, may be your e-commerce platform vendor gives few out of box “widgets” to replay the content or products and you can tick a box and call it done. But that would be waste of a great opportunity to engage with your users fully at the moment they are most interested in your offerings and showcase the full depth and breadth of your catalog.

Imagine your self in the shoes of your customer – They were on your site or app for a reason. Why did they abandon their visit? Are they looking for better price? Are they looking for affordable alternatives? Are they looking for quality recommendations? Are they looking for things that go along with their previous purchases? Are they looking for hot new products they heard about? Or are they just window shopping? May be it’s mix or all of them and you can’t tell. But you can tell a better story than replaying what they have seen. Multi-touch campaigns over their preferred channel with content personalized to each user are a great way to showcase and up sell your offerings.

Here are few advanced personalization strategies to try, going beyond replaying the products your customer has viewed or added to cart.

  1. Related Products : “What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?” Based on the product that was abandoned you should consider including these in your messages. Very often this is helpful as a first touch in moving your customer down the conversion funnel helping them make informed choices.
  2. Up-sell Products : “What are the top sellers in the category of the item viewed”? Based on the category of the product that was abandoned you can showcase your best sellers from those categories and optionally you can restrict it to specific brands.
  3. Trending Products : May be some of your products are not best sellers yet but they have been recently added to your catalog and are already selling out. Consider including them in your messaging with appropriate call outs.
  4. Affordable Alternatives : Your catalog likely has a breadth of products that are in the same category but are more affordable. Add them as alternative recommendations.
  5. Most Discounted Products : Your customers will likely want “quality” products but want them to be affordable getting most value for their money. And may be you are doing seasonal promotions or roll backs. Consider tying them together to the product and category of the abandoned product.

Depending upon your catalog and the number of touch points you have with your customers you can do all of the above or a mix of them. At Blueshift we have built a DIY Personalization Studio to do all of the above and more without needing to go through development or IT cycles. Re-marketing based on behavior triggers is the most effective messaging you can do as a digital marketer. Do not waste a great opportunity to win over the customer by doing just the basics. Learn more about behavioral triggers with our comprehensive e-book. Learn how our clients like UrbanLadder are using advanced personalization strategies to improve their conversion rates by 400%. If you are ready to take your triggered marketing to the next level say hello.

5 Tips to Reignite Referral Marketing

Referral marketing, or also known as word-of-mouth marketing, happens organically by enthusiastic or satisfied customers, but it can also be influenced by companies with the right strategy. You would naturally trust a friend’s opinion more than a basic ad you see on the web. And statistics also say that “53% of users who clicked through a link shared by a friend of Facebook went on to make a purchase” (SociableLabs). So if you have been on this bandwagon for a while or just starting to realize its power, here are a few tips to boost your referral program.

  1. Find users who have experienced a high-five moment: From the time a customer makes a purchase to the time they are excited to use it and eventually forget about it, there is a small window of opportunity when you can high-five a customer and influence them to refer your product to their friends. Its important to ask and ask at the peak of their enthusiasm, because it could be the difference between sharing your product with 20 friends and ignoring your request. Blueshift’s segmentation engine and API makes it easy to find customers who share out to friends from your website and reach out to them with a personalized message.
  2. Think about app referrals: Mobile browsing has now overtaken desktop users and mobile marketing can no longer be ignored. Rethink your app referral strategy to make it flow better for the end user. Companies like help you track referrals from apps to check your progress and the impact it is making on your sales number. Testing your efforts and measuring the outcome continuously will give you a good idea of your success rate and what steps can be taken to improve your numbers.
  3. Visibility is everything: Make sure your referral option is very visible when you do ask for it. Not only that, it can be included on a product page, or in the signature of a transaction email. It can even be as simple as a check box on the checkout page. The more visible you make it, the more likely a customer is to use it.
  4. Easy peasy: Make sure your referral option is easy to share across the main social networks and email so your customer doesn’t have to jump through hoops to tell their friends about your product. Also create some attractive looking messaging around your product or brand so it makes you look your best to first time customers.
  5. Make an offer: Offering incentives for referrals is a sure way of getting a customers attention and keeping their business. A time sensitive offer creates a sense of urgency for the customer to act now rather than later. Store credit or a discount on a purchase attracts them to share your product and keeps them coming back to your store to redeem their rewards. Either way its a win win situation for your company.

    Naturebox referral

    Example of a time sensitive offer by NatureBox that doesn’t cost your customer anything, it is time sensitive, and makes them look good in front of friends.

There is no one recipe that works for every kind of business. It is an ongoing interaction with your customers that has to be monitored and adjusted with time. Changing up your content and offers from time to time keeps things interesting in the relationship, and keeps your customers engaged.


The Case For Predictive Segmentation – Part 1 of 2

Philip Kotler Segmentation Quote

Retention & Growth marketers are often interested in taking action on a segmented base of users. Classic segmentation methods include

  • Lifecycle based segments: new, active, lapsed etc.
  • Behavioral segments based on user behavior on the website/app
  • Demographic: Age, gender, location, household income, education based
  • Traffic source based
  • First purchase product/category etc.

Given all these ways of segmenting, how should any marketer approach segmented marketing, for the purpose of improving their core retention metrics? Some of the metrics CRM or growth marketers might be interested in improving through a segmented marketing strategy may be around activation rates, repeat purchase rates, or churn/retention rates.

Here are 2 steps for how you can use segmented marketing to drive higher response rate on any metric, say, repeat purchase rate:

  1. Use criteria that lead to a big spread in response rates in the steady state: Researchers on segmentation, have pointed out the need for segments to be  identifiable, substantial, accessible, stable, differentiable and actionable.  In the digital world, the tests on identifiable, accessible, and actionable are often easy to meet with segments. However, what really separates useful segments from the rest is the differentiability of the segment especially in response rates, their stability (i.e. whether the same criteria continue to map to differentiated responses over time), and whether the segments are substantial in size. In other words, you need to identify large segments of users whose response rates are substantially (3-10X) different from the average
  2. Test what happens to the steady state when you introduce a message or an offer: Once you have identified your segments in a steady state, you want to be able to test how you could increase the response rates further by introducing new variables like product features, offers, or content.

We will focus this first post in a 2-part series on the 1st of these challenges:large segments of users whose response rates are substantially (3-10X) different from the average. While this sounds simple enough, in practice, quickly figuring out the criteria that lead to a big spread in response rates could take some work. For example, in a typical setting, your gender based response rates might not look very dissimilar for repeat purchase: Let’s say your average repeat rate is 50%, and that men have a repeat purchase rate of 45% and women 55%. Now, there is clearly a difference in repeat purchase rates, but not enough for you to build compelling campaigns around it. At the other end of the spectrum, you might be able to identify outlier users, whose response rates are very high – but these outlier users may not meet either the stability test (e.g. will they continue buying the same way), or may not be a substantial enough segment.

This is where predictive segmentation & machine learning have a role to play. Machine learning can quickly figure out variables that are important, and combine them to come up with models that give you a 3-10X separation on large buckets of users. At Blueshift, we make this easy by making predictive segmentation scores available “on tap” for you to use.

Blueshift Predictive Repeat Purchase Score

Visualization of predictive score percentile with corresponding repeat purchase rates

For instance, in this graph, you can see how multiple variables have been combined to generate a repeat purchase score that gives you a nice spread in predicted response rates. In this example, users in the top 10 percentile of scores have a 90% repeat rate, whereas users in the bottom 10 percentile of scores have a repeat purchase rate of only 9%.

Now that you have identified a way to find segments of users who have a much higher response rates than the average in the steady state, how do you test the actions that will help you improve these metrics? Our second post in this series will look at that.

5 Essentials For E-commerce Push Notifications

Mobile commerce is growing much faster than ecommerce. Mobile apps are not only extending commerce beyond the desktop, but also enabling new e-commerce use cases like  on-demand services.

However, e-commerce apps tend to have much lower retention than other categories like messaging apps. According to a study, e-commerce apps only have a 13% retention after 1 month. Push notifications are often used for increasing user retention and re-engagement within apps. While push notifications can be extremely effective when done well, they can also be annoying when done wrong. Compared to emails, the bar for relevancy that a push notification has to meet is unusually high: firstly, there’s far less that you can say in a push notification; and secondly, unlike emails that can be perused later, push notifications interrupt the user with the expectation of an immediate response.

Relevant rich push notification from Groupon

Relevant rich push notification from Groupon

Here are our 5 rules for driving superior e-commerce retention through relevant push notifications:

  1. Personalize based on the user’s history: There are many ways of personalizing your push notification based on the user’s past behavior in your app and on your website. You could tailor the content to the categories they have shown affinity with in their browsing and buying history. You could time the push notifications to go out at the times when the user has interacted with the notification in the past. Reacting to the user’s implicit preferences in these ways can make the push notification highly engaging.
  2. Target the user in-context: Another dimension for mobile personalization is the user’s context right now, or their recent behavior with your app. Has the user been highly engaged with the app recently? Have they abandoned certain activities ? Has their search behavior shown them to be in market for certain items? Targeting based on such context, especially around location or recent activity, is highly effective.
  3. Surface real-time and time-sensitive content: Since push notifications encourage immediate action, time-sensitive content like new product launches or time-bound promotions do extremely well. Flash-sale sites do this really well by notifying users of new events.
  4. Engage users with rich content: Rich push notifications enable you to send multimedia or app content to your users. By providing more information about the notification upfront, rich push helps increase the relevance of messaging.
  5. Deep link to make it a smoother experience: Deep linking into relevant content within your app enables users to act on the push notification instantly, and drive increased conversions. Instead of opening the home-screen, users perceive the push notification to be more relevant when it lands them directly onto the offer or product promised by the push notification.