Great Advice From Some Crack Ecommerce Retailers

Waynette Tubbs

During the “The Whys and Hows to Building Better and Bigger Retail Successes” panel at Bronto City Tour’s New York stop, we had the opportunity to listen to three marketers who are doing innovative email work that is driving revenue.

By blending analytics, automation and creativity to boost revenue, the three speakers had great tips and advice, no matter what stage of the ecommerce journey your company is on, or what type of retailer you are.

Don’t Fear the Pop-Up

Frank Vigliarolo, Director of Advertising at ABC Carpet & Home, received a tremendous amount of pushback when he suggested a pop-up sign-up to encourage visitors to subscribe to receive emails. “We can’t have a pop-up, it’s a luxury brand,’’ Vigliarolo recalls being told. Results of pop-up campaign: 60,000 visitors signed up to receive emails. In two years, the company grew its email list from 22,000 to 100,000.

Find Your Sweet Spot

It takes two orders to turn visitors into consistent, repeat customers of Ujjwal Dhoot, Chief Marketing Officer, says studying shopping data to find that figure convinced the company to be much more aggressive in sending out emails after the first order. “The thought was they wouldn’t buy again for a month or two, but engaging them to make a second order helps them stay for life.’’

Don’t Follow the Herd

Magnuss Gustafsson started Adrianna Papell Group’s first ecommerce program this year. The venerable women’s design house has longstanding relationships with established retailers. It wasn’t looking to end those relationships but rather build its brand and augment its success. With strong open and click-through rates, the company’s email strategy is not discount-driven. “We want to be a full-priced brand online, so we don’t condition the buyer to expect sales,’’ says Gustafsson, Vice President of eCommerce and Digital Marketing.

The panelists discussed how creativity is augmented by data and vice versa. ABC Carpet & Home tested out a new editorial plan in May ahead of its traditional June sale. The tested email was much longer than its traditional marketing efforts and featured large images. “The results weren’t what we expected,’’ explains Vigliarolo. “Customers stayed with the email longer.’’ Result: July was the largest revenue month for email after December. Vigliarolo has counseled patience. His staff found a group of potential customers that are very interested in the store’s antique rugs. You send them an email about antique rugs and they open it 22% of the time and click through 14%. Although it is not yet leading to a lot of sales, the retailer is sticking with this segmented group.

Dhoot’s group keyed in on marketing to customers whose FSA accounts are about to expire (the money is set aside tax-free to pay for medical bills and supplies but expires if not used in a certain amount of time). And while the company has done the obvious – make recommendations based on what people buy ­– he suggests using control groups to experiment with those recommendations. Foot inserts and knee braces are bought by the same people, same with infant thermometers and other baby products. “But we also incent to buy something else,” Dhoot says.

And don’t forget to execute on the basics. ABC uses a welcome series that is consistently returning 10% of its email revenue. And while only 3% of customers fill out the email preference form, Vigliarolo thinks it is worthwhile “because it introduces customers to our other categories.’’

Want to learn more about the best and brightest in commerce marketing? The Bronto City Tour wraps up its 2015 tour in Sydney Australia on November 16. Join us to hear from Bronto experts and Australian companies succeeding with ecommerce. And read more from our City Tour speakers here on the blog.


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