I In "An expert’s guide to running a successful browse abandonment email campaign" we outlined the reasons that shoppers stop browsing, and tactics to get those straying customers back. Now let’s talk about the value of browse data whether you plan a specific shopping recovery campaign around it, or not.
For email marketers, the obvious reason to capture browse data is to send browse abandonment emails. But browse data can provide a personalized touch to your other emails - including newsletters and general promotional emails - and to your website. If you aren’t ready to send browse emails, or even if you already are, consider the other ways you can use the data.
Opening a window into customers’ desires
How a customer browses tells retailers so much more than just what products to include in a triggered email. It tips you off to the brands they are interested in, the segments of your site that most appeal to them. It shows if they are budget conscious (only looking at the sales items) or keenly interested in the latest releases.
Physical stores (especially those in the boutique space) have always known this. Imagine a female shopper visiting your physical shoe store, trying on black heels from a few different designers and leaving the shop without making a purchase. Would it make sense to send her a direct mail piece touting the introduction of men’s boots? Or would it make more sense to send her an exclusive invite to an in-store ladies night with a personal stylist?
If we can all agree on the most sensible approach for the physical world, why handle it any differently online? A disconnect between the products a shopper showed an interest in and the promoted merchandise will result in a bad customer experience and no uptick in sales.
Three ways to use browsing data
The simple act of browsing offers you a wealth of data that can be used to enrich the customer experience and better inform your marketing strategy. Don’t let that data go to waste. Here’s three ideas for incorporating browse data into marketing campaigns.
Personalize your promotional newsletters
In the rush to set up triggered email campaigns, we sometimes forget how impactful the standard promotional email can be. Browse data can make those messages even more successful.
That’s because browse data can augment, or replace, the traditional segmentation strategies that work off information the customer has shared with you (gender, category interests etc.). Instead, browse data is capturing what the customer does when they are on your site. They might have identified as female, but they buy clothing for the guy in their life from your site, so sending them promotional emails only highlighting the women’s clothes would be a missed opportunity.
Customize your website
Browsing behavior should play a role in what your customers see when they visit your site. If they search for specific brands you’ll want to highlight those brands on the homepage. Another option would be to include the most recently discounted items for customers that tend to buy bargains. Or you could give those same customers early access to new products as a perk for their loyalty.
Incorporate browse behavior in product recommendations
You can craft product recommendations in a number of different ways including bestsellers and “Customers that bought this also liked this”. Those are valid options that deliver revenue.
But you can also use your browse data to help you make product recommendations more personal. Customers browsing on power tools are more likely to respond to web or email recommendations showing other power tools, even if customers that bought power tools also bought chainsaws.
Browse data isn’t just for recovery emails
If you have been hesitant to capture browse data because you thought the only reason to do so is to deploy a browse abandonment email program, think again. Whether you have a shopping recovery program in place or not, consider using browse data to enrich other aspects of your marketing program, particularly your personalization efforts.