Monetate Retrospective: Holiday Season 2019 (and What to Do Next)

The holiday magic was in the air this peak shopping season. Despite industry worries about sluggish sales, more people than ever shopped over the holiday week that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. NRF reports that 189.9 million Americans shopped during this time, 14% more than in 2018 (165.8 million). And this year also…

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The holiday magic was in the air this peak shopping season. Despite industry worries about sluggish sales, more people than ever shopped over the holiday week that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. NRF reports that 189.9 million Americans shopped during this time, 14% more than in 2018 (165.8 million).

And this year also proved that holiday shopping has gone cyber. While Black Friday commanded headlines for decades, online sales are taking over. Early tallies show that the US had the biggest Cyber Monday ever with $9.4 billion in sales. About $3 billion of that spending came from smartphones. 

The shopping journey is obviously more complicated than a few days and two channels. Brick-and-mortar store sales on Black Friday dropped 6.2% compared to 2018, according to data from ShopperTrak. However, the firm also notes that foot traffic in stores increased 2.3% on Thanksgiving Day compared with last year. So, while people prefer to buy online, they still like to shop. Similarly, “buy online pickup in store” (aka BOPIS and click-to-collect) also increased for the holiday weekend by 43% over last year, and delivered 64% more value in store than sales from non-BOPIS shoppers.

With so many elements to connect, it’s important for retailers to understand what works and how to give customers a positive experience in the process. Personalization can be a cornerstone of a successful holiday weekend. With a 2x increase in session volume for this year’s holiday shopping weekend over last year, we had plenty of our own data to analyze in order to provide some insights. 

There’s a lot of good news for brands. We found a big increase in the use of personalization overall, and as a result, Monetate clients saw improved YoY conversion rates and order values. 

Here are a few highlights from our clients’ holiday seasons:

  • US Conversion Rates were 5.6 times higher for pages with Monetate personalization compared to non-personalized pages.
  • UK Conversion Rates were 3.2 times higher for pages with Monetate personalization compared to non-personalized pages.
  • Average Order Value increased 54% for US shoppers exposed to Monetate personalization
  • Average Order Value increased 11% for UK shoppers exposed to Monetate personalization
  • Monetate also found that retailers grew the use of personalization by more than 200% from 2018 to 2019 across the US and the UK. This includes growth across segmented experiences, Individual Fit Experiences (one-to-one personalization) and Majority Fit Experiences (dynamic testing).

We also looked at cross-device and customer identification rates (aka the “cold start problem”). Monetate did find that over the Thanksgiving weekend, our clients identified just over one-third (35%) of their visitors across desktop and mobile compared to only 23% visitor identification last year, which is a great improvement. But do the math in reverse and that means 64% of visitors weren’t identified. Our UK clients increased their ID rates but tend to have slightly lower match rates overall due to a different approach to privacy protections. 

As we’ve highlighted in the past (see the full post here), using AI-enhanced personalization allows brands to create unique strategies for “small slice” audiences. For example, we found that retained holiday shoppers from a year ago are very loyal and actually spend more even than regular shoppers come next holiday season. This relatively small group are a perfect example of a group that deserves a marketing strategy to identify and personalize a campaign that will keep them coming back next year, growing the group over time.

[Looking for more holiday shopper research? Download this report from the Monetate data team.]

The good news is that clients can increase their match rates with Monetate and identify more of these small but valuable audiences that are likely to come through over the holiday season. You can collect your Person ID (unique identifier assigned to an individual) either onsite, or through clickthrough. The onsite method can be utilised by using a JS variable or a cookie triggered on sign-up or users log in and / or at checkout. 

The clickthrough method uses the query parameter that includes an identifier, set up by your ESP. The value in this parameter is unique and tied directly to a person which means that you can stitch this ID to the Monetate cookie. This will give you the connection you need to bring match rates up and create more one-to-one personalization using IFEs.

We know that holiday planning for 2020 starts now, and it’s the insights we get that help us chart a successful season next year. Now’s the time to analyze what works and chart a course for an even bigger holiday shopping season in 12 months.

Phil Lee is a senior strategist on Monetate’s client success team.

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A Step-By-Step Guide to Increasing Revenue at Every Stage in Your Buyer Journey

Last year, ecommerce accounted for 10 percent of retail sales in the U.S., according to Statista. By 2021, it’s expected to rise to nearly 14 percent.  More and more, U.S. shoppers are turning to the internet to make their purchases. An optimized …

Last year, ecommerce accounted for 10 percent of retail sales in the U.S., according to Statista. By 2021, it’s expected to rise to nearly 14 percent.  More and more, U.S. shoppers are turning to the internet to make their purchases. An optimized ecommerce site is your opportunity to get as much of the market share […]

The post A Step-By-Step Guide to Increasing Revenue at Every Stage in Your Buyer Journey appeared first on The Daily Egg.

How to Use Personalization and Automation for Small Business Growth

New technologies are radically changing the way businesses interact with customers. As a result, customer expectations are constantly changing. Businesses should innovate and evolve in order to meet those expectations and build relationships that custo…

New technologies are radically changing the way businesses interact with customers. As a result, customer expectations are constantly changing. Businesses should innovate and evolve in order to meet those expectations and build relationships that customers value. To do this, businesses should rethink their approach to customer experiences and engagement. 84% of consumers consider the experiences […]

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Getting Started with Homepage Personalization

Some retail brand leaders (particularly towards the more luxury end of the spectrum) have traditionally viewed their site homepages as highly curated canvases — much like the front window display of a store. I’m an artist myself, so I’m very sympathetic to the concept of a unified brand aesthetic. However, these brands are limiting their…

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Some retail brand leaders (particularly towards the more luxury end of the spectrum) have traditionally viewed their site homepages as highly curated canvases — much like the front window display of a store. I’m an artist myself, so I’m very sympathetic to the concept of a unified brand aesthetic. However, these brands are limiting their ability to convert more customers and increase revenue by not personalizing the homepage experience.

Personalization really is the key to unlocking the most revenue from your homepage. I know that every marketer (and technology partner) seems to have a different definition for personalization… and that’s a topic for a future blog post. It can mean dynamically updating a homepage banner based on previous purchases, or serving a recommendation slider with products relevant to a specific visitor. For marketers still building the case for homepage personalization here, let’s focus on 1-to-1, AI-driven personalization and how retailers are using Monetate to increase revenue.

Why homepage personalization works + a case study

Monetate customers use what we call “Individual Fit Experiences” to deliver personalized homepages to their site visitors. This method uses both first- and third-party data to inform individualized content decisions — meaning that each site visitor receives a unique combination of the variants determined to be most likely relevant to them. 

This is different from something like an A/B test, where it’s certain that a random section of your target will see a less relevant experience. In fact, Monetate examined data from over 2 billion personalized experiences in order to learn how manual methods perform compared with their AI counterparts. Our finding? Individual Fit Experiences succeed 4X as often as A/B tests.  

[Read more about AI-enabled testing here]

To illustrate why, let’s look at a real-world example where I’ve only removed identifying features about the brand. A current Monetate customer and well-known retail and ecommerce brand (with a top-down culture of viewing the homepage as a work of art) decided to launch a personalization pilot to compare personalized performance with the one-size-fits-all approach.

With executive buy-in achieved and a goal metric (click-through) set, the next step was establishing how to personalize the homepage. Should they create variants specific for genders or product lines or something else? We ultimately decided to create variants across four of these, including the traditional curated homepage as a “control”, and let the Monetate Personalization Engine decide what visitors would see. 

Key results? After 14 days, the Individual Fit Experience drove a cumulative +26.42% lift in click-through from the homepage. Using Monetate, the marketing team was also able to get insight into which categories our AI-powered engine determined were most influential to assign traffic to our goal metric, and this will help them plan future strategies.

How to start with homepage personalization

As you can see, running a successful homepage personalization pilot can be done with minimal variants and the data you already have. If you’re ready to get started, here are some additional tips from my work with leading retailers:

  1. Start small. Most homepages already include a wide range of persona-specific products. Using an Individual Fit Experience to update what content is above the fold can be incredibly effective, and it doesn’t require any additional resources.
  2. Trust the engine. This isn’t the typical “If you bought this, show this” type of experience, and we have proven results. With a clear goal, you just need to let the engine learn and make the right decisions. Remember that you’re still in control of all the variants.
  3. Bring data. Monetate’s Individual Fit Experiences can make decisions out-of-the-box based on context it can “see” but your first-party data can also ensure visitors are getting the perfect experience.

Greg Giletto is a Senior Platform Consultant at Monetate. Austin Rochford, Monetate’s SVP of Data Science, also contributed insights to this article.

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Practical Advice for Keeping Your Holiday Marketing Campaigns Streamlined

Automation is the key to making sure that your business runs smoothly and that you can concentrate your time on meaningful (rather than mundane) tasks. As we approach the holiday season, automating customer outreach becomes that much more important to …

Automation is the key to making sure that your business runs smoothly and that you can concentrate your time on meaningful (rather than mundane) tasks. As we approach the holiday season, automating customer outreach becomes that much more important to ensuring that no one falls through the cracks and that you’re hitting your customers with […]

The post Practical Advice for Keeping Your Holiday Marketing Campaigns Streamlined appeared first on The Daily Egg.

5 Last Minute Conversion Tips Before the Holiday Season

How to Quickly Boost Conversion Rates for Your Online Store If you’re an ecommerce owner, you’re probably looking forward to the upcoming holiday season.  You’re planning your marketing campaigns carefully, maybe hiring new people to help, and wai…

How to Quickly Boost Conversion Rates for Your Online Store If you’re an ecommerce owner, you’re probably looking forward to the upcoming holiday season.  You’re planning your marketing campaigns carefully, maybe hiring new people to help, and waiting for more traffic to come. But you may also think it’s too late to do anything with […]

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How to Increase your Shopify Store Conversion Rate

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: How to Increase your Shopify Store Conversion Rate
A must-read guide to increase your Shopify store conversion rate – better yet, conversion optimization rates – with step …

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: How to Increase your Shopify Store Conversion Rate

A must-read guide to increase your Shopify store conversion rate – better yet, conversion optimization rates – with step by step instructions. Check it out. There is no denying that increasing your Shopify store conversion rate will lead to a growth in sales and revenue, assuming your traffic remains constant. That is why we crafted […]

The post How to Increase your Shopify Store Conversion Rate appeared first on Conversion Sciences.

40+ Ecommerce Marketing Stats for 2020 Planning

In order to create strategies to maximize sales and drive impact, your team needs an understanding of ecommerce trends and data. Below are important metrics as they relate to conversion rates, add-to-cart rates, and personalization. Utilize this information to help craft your 2020 marketing plan and personalization tactics.  Let’s take a look at the 50…

The post 40+ Ecommerce Marketing Stats for 2020 Planning appeared first on Monetate.

In order to create strategies to maximize sales and drive impact, your team needs an understanding of ecommerce trends and data. Below are important metrics as they relate to conversion rates, add-to-cart rates, and personalization. Utilize this information to help craft your 2020 marketing plan and personalization tactics. 

Let’s take a look at the 50 ecommerce marketing stats you need to know now.

Customer Acquisition

  • Ninety-five percent of all purchases in the UK are projected to come via ecommerce by the year 2040. 
  • Mary Meeker’s most recent trend report cites phenomenal 22 percent YoY growth in digital advertising spend for 2019.
  • Email is a valuable tool for ecommerce sites. About 70 percent of users who visit a site for the first time from an email will return within a 60 day timeframe. Forty-eight percent will return within six days.
  • Eighty-three percent of all email visitors make a return visit, while those who enter via social media channels have a likelihood of returning that is below 75 percent.
  • A lack of content relevancy generates 83 percent lower response rates in the average marketing campaign. 
  • 43 percent of ecommerce traffic comes from Google organic searches. 

Add-to-Cart Rates 

  • In Great Britain, add-to-cart rates are 15.98 percent and in the US add-to-cart rates are 10.21 percent.
  • Tablets have the highest add-to-cart rates globally (11.87 percent) and in the US (12.20 percent). However, in Great Britain, add-to-cart rates are higher on desktop (16.55 percent).
  • Add-to-cart rates are higher for those who use multiple devices – 73 percent compared to 12 percent.
  • 61 percent of shoppers say they have left a transaction behind due to added costs such as shipping fees. 
  • Another 34 percent say they’ve abandoned their carts because it was too difficult to create an account. 

Conversion Rates & Purchase Rates

  • In the US, conversion rates are 2.57 percent and in Great Britain, conversion rates are 3.81 percent.
  • Conversion rates are performing best on desktops (3.90 percent) globally. 
  • 61 percent of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. 
  • In the US, desktop conversion rates are 4.14 percent and in Great Britain, desktop conversion rates are 4.97 percent.
  • Relevant product recommendations can play an important role in conversions. Clients who click on a recommended product are 70 percent more likely to make a purchase than those who see a product recommendations, but do not interact with it.
  • Return sessions for those who left a recommended product in their cart are 45 percent more likely to convert.
  • Almost half of survey respondents noted that they had made an impulse purchase as a result of a recommended product. 85 percent of these were happy to have made that purchase.
  • Loyal customers are more valuable to retailers than first time customers. They convert at rates 4x higher.

Average Order Value

  • Average order values are $107.36 globally, $118.17 in the US, and $71.86 in Great Britain.
  • Average order value from organic searches is $79.01, while AOV from direct website visits averages at $112.01.
  • Desktop users have a higher average order value with $128.08 globally, $135.07 in the US, and $86.47 in Great Britain.
  • AOV increases by as much as 33 percent when customers buy or add recommended products to their carts (compared to those who see the product recommendations and do not interact with them).
  • Average order value is $86.47 on mobile globally.
  • AOV is 38 percent higher for those who return to a site after making a purchase from a recommended product than those who did not.
  • Cross device customer journeys are more valuable to organizations. Average order value increases from $115 to $130 when customers shop across devices.

The Compounding Effects of Personalization

  • Conversion rates doubled for consumers who are exposed to three personalized elements, compared to two personalized elements.
  • Companies see a 55 percent increase in leads when increasing their landing pages from 10 to 15. 
  • Add-to cart rates improved by 74 percent when comparing the second and third personalized pageviews.
  • By the 10th personalized webpage, conversion rates skyrocketed to 31.6 percent and add-to-cart rates increased to 65.2 percent.
  • Cart abandonment rates improved when users were exposed to personalized webpages. After two personalized webpages, it dropped to 82.6 percent and by the tenth personalized webpage, it dropped to 58 percent. By the 20th, it dropped to below half (40 percent)

  • Seventy-eight percent said that they will not even react to a retailer’s offer if their interaction is not personalized.
  • Eighty-eight percent of shoppers say that they are more likely to make a purchase from an organization who delivers a personalized experience across devices.

Personalization Strategies for Organizations

  • Eighty-six percent of companies who are seeing a high return on their investment (2x or more) are investing at least 21 percent of their budget into personalization efforts.
  • Companies that exceeded their revenue goals in 2018 were 25 percent more likely to have financial specific personalization initiatives in place.
  • About 60 percent of marketers struggle to personalize content in real time, but 77 percent believe real-time personalization is crucial. 
  • Seventy-nine percent of organizations that exceeded their revenue goals had a personalization strategy in place. 
  • Sixty-six percent of marketers say one of their biggest struggles with personalization is securing the internal resources needed to execute their strategy.
  • Ninety-three percent of organizations who had an advanced personalization program in place grew their revenue. 0 percent experienced a decline in revenue.

The Next Step for Businesses

The ecommerce industry has been affected by disruption with emerging technologies and trends. Despite all these changes, customers continue to look for a personalized experience across their platforms. Monetate and our personalization experts can help you deliver a best-in-class customer experience in 2020.

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The Complete Guide to Selling on the Walmart Marketplace in 2019

The Walmart Marketplace won’t ever be the new Amazon, but that’s doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for retailers. We’ve seen Walmart scale… > Read More
The post The Complete Guide to Selling on the Walmart Marketplace in 2019 …

The Walmart Marketplace won’t ever be the new Amazon, but that’s doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for retailers. We’ve seen Walmart scale... > Read More

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Thank You + Brooks Bell’s Best of 2018

It’s January 3, and if you’re like us, you’re already heads down at your desk and neck deep in emails. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a minute to reflect on the previous year. In November of 2018, we quietly celebrated 15 years of being in business. When Brooks Bell was founded, experimentation was in […]

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It’s January 3, and if you’re like us, you’re already heads down at your desk and neck deep in emails. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a minute to reflect on the previous year.

In November of 2018, we quietly celebrated 15 years of being in business. When Brooks Bell was founded, experimentation was in its infancy. But despite all the changes we’ve experienced since then, one thing remains true: it is the opportunity to connect with so many interesting people that are solving big problems for their business that makes our work worthwhile. Thanks for walking with us.

A look back at some of our big moments from 2018

Winning like Winona

In January, our Founder & CEO, Brooks Bell, was recognized as one of 25 women who rocked digital marketing in 2017. Later in the year, she was also announced as a Southeastern Finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. 

We also celebrated 2017’s record-breaking growth, were recognized as Optimizely’s North American Partner of the Year, and we garnered our local business journal’s Best Places to Work award.

Getting Lit with Illuminate

Fun fact: We originally built Illuminate to help us better manage and iterate upon our clients’ tests. Over time, we got so much great feedback, that we decided to make it available to everyone this year.

Now, with a successful beta launch under our belt and even more new features being added to the software, we’re excited to see where this new endeavor takes us in 2019.

F is for Friends, Fun and…Fear?

In October, things got a little spooky around the office and it had everything to do with Scott, our Director of Sales, who decided to channel his inner Ellen Degeneres for the day (much to our colleagues’ horror). Watch the video if you dare.

Making Bacon for our Clients

Back in 2014, we set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal to achieve $1 billion in projected revenue for our clients. By the end of 2017, we’d reached $500 million. And this past December, we hit $1 billion. (cue ::gong::)

But we’re not resting on our laurels. We’ve set some aggressive goals for 2019, with a focus on personalization, and we’re pumped to get to work.

Brooks Bell takes the Bay Area 

In September, we officially opened the doors to our San Fransisco office. This decision came after years of working with clients on the West Coast and our desire to work even more closely with them. And with the Bay Area’s rich history of innovation, we can’t think of a better place to help more companies push their boundaries through experimentation.

Still Clickin’ 

Last May, we hosted our annual Click Summit conference. We might be biased but this remains one of our favorite events as it’s filled with meaningful connections and seriously impactful takeaways. 2019 marks our 10th Click Summit, and we’ve got big plans. Request your invite today.

2018 on the blog

 


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