The air is getting crisper, pumpkin spice is ubiquitous—and retailers are preparing for the holiday season. This time of year, the holiday shopper reigns supreme. And historically that has meant a major push towards two key dates: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In the lead up to these make-or-break shopping days, retailers are often unaware of the risk just around the corner: Churn Wednesday.
This is the day when all your newly acquired customers, faced with the deluge of holiday-focused email marketing, notifications, pings and pushes—hit unsubscribe, delete or cancel. It’s the opportunity you’ve just lost to pull that sale shopper deeper into your world.
We all know it’s cheaper and easier to retain a customer than to find a new one—in fact, a 5% increase in customer retention can translate to 25%–95% increase in profits, so it’s in your best interest to reduce the churn. And with a little time, energy and pre-planning, you can keep this new customer happy and active in your ecosystem. But with Churn Wednesday, just around the corner, now’s the time to start planning.
Why Churn Happens
Churn comes in many forms: unsubscribes, unfollows and deleted apps to name a few. Stakes are high this time of year for a few good reasons; retailers are pushing out more messaging across all of their channels—and it’s not always relevant for new customers. This is also the time of year when people get new devices—if your branded mobile app isn’t sticky enough, it may not find real estate on a new homescreen.
There are a few usual suspects that cause turnover: poor customer onboarding, failure to nurture relationships, pushy marketing and poor customer service are all surefire ways to alienate your customers. Conversely, a lack of communication and marketing can also cause attrition, so it’s important that you aim for that sweet spot that keeps customers engaged.
Tactics to Cut Your Churn
Customers who have just made a purchase are in your ecosystem for the first time. Your job now is to keep them there—for the rest of the holiday season and well beyond. In order to do this, you need to respect their time, their money and their inbox.
Shift your mindset from acquisition to retention
On average it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Seven times. With this in mind, shift your perspective; your job doesn’t end after a first conversion—it’s just beginning. You don’t want your new customers plummeting out the bottom of your funnel into a digital purgatory. Make sure you’re thinking about ways to keep your first-time holiday shoppers in the ecosystem.
Lead with customer experience
This is the era of the customer. Excellent service is table stakes at this point, so you need to think about going a step beyond—especially during the holiday season. Aim to delight the customer at every stage, because 50% of customers will use a company more frequently after a positive experience. Put yourself in their shoes—not just when they’re trying to make a purchase. Think of ways to reach them in the moments in between as well.
Offer robust onboarding
Make sure you don’t hit customers with a tidal wave of communication just because it’s the holiday season. While you focus on your holiday communications, take this opportunity to get your drip campaigns dialed and tailor every step of the journey to user preferences and behaviors.
Cart abandonment emails, personal remarketing and recommendations—use the right tools to turn customer insights and data into content that’s highly relevant to your users. Not only is personalization a massive opportunity to increase overall revenue, it also helps you reduce the unsubscribes that happen when you serve your audience irrelevant content, especially at this time of year.
The holiday season can bring an abundance of new and returning customers into your ecosystem—likely more than any other time of year. With the right tactics, you have the opportunity to delight them like never before. Looking to keep positive momentum from the holiday season?
Learn how to detect churn risk sooner and more accurately, increasing the likelihood of a save.
Lynn Batson is an analytics and marketing leader specializing in mobilizing data to drive transformational KPIs at the enterprise level.
With a background spanning CRM and analytics leadership positions across gaming, financial services, and media industries, Lynn helps drive enterprise-level artificial intelligence marketing initiatives for major brands. She works with marketing teams to map strategic business objectives, existing data ecosystems, and customer engagement channels with the Amplero AIM Platform to maximize revenue and retention metrics.
She’s also a Reiki master.
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