Collecting consumer data seems like a straightforward proposition. Place a pop-up or a banner on your website inviting shoppers to enter email information, grow the subscriber list, move on to a more exciting project.
But data capture isn't that simple. The “set and forget” mentality is hurting eCommerce companies, especially at a time when many have had to purge their email lists to meet GDPR requirements.
At some point, the popover that comes up the minute someone lands on your website (with the obligatory 10% off offer), stops collecting customer data and stops delivering the email addresses that you need - if it ever did to begin with. It might even be deterring customers from offering customer data at all. And if the customer can't easily close the popover, you could be chasing them off your site completely.
Lost in the quest for the email address is a deeper effort to gather customer data other than email address from the customer that is a subscriber - whether it is their shoe size or the reason they don't buy what is in their cart.
To gain more subscribers for your marketing campaigns, and a deeper understanding of the subscribers you have using personal data, you need an approach that focuses on timing, location, and customization.
Why you need those email addresses
The key is to be savvy about how you request that information.
Don’t rely exclusively on pop-ups
We've all been assaulted with the pop-up that takes over the eCommerce website 10 seconds after we get on the site to try to collect customer data. We haven't had a chance to learn anything about the products before the merchant wants our email address. Imagine if you walked into a store and the first thing the clerk asked for is your phone number.
One way to increase effectiveness whilst capturing customer data is to add a data capture device to the website that doesn't pop-up over the content. A banner sits attractively at the top of the page waiting for someone to say "Hmm, I think I like what I see and I want to learn more." This avoids the problem that shoppers often encounter: the moment they are willing to share their email address (perhaps to get a discount, or just because they like what they are seeing), they can't find the spot to sign-up for the newsletter.
Another option that is underutilized is a pop-up to banner approach. When the customer closes the pop-up, the information stays on the page in a banner or footer position and travels, discreetly, with the customer as they shop.
Focus on timing
Another approach to consumer data collection is to time when the data capture pop-up or banner appears. Each of these suggestions hinges on your ability to recognize that a customer is leaving based off the cursor moving off the top edge of the page.
Show a browse abandonment popover to visitors who are leaving and have viewed one or more product pages.
Show a cart abandonment popover to visitors who are leaving and have added items to their shopping cart.
Focus on content
Do you carry a brand that is particularly popular? Place your banner or popup when someone looks at those specific products with copy that tells them they can be the first to learn when new products from that brand are released. Do you have a category of products that is red hot? Do the same when customers are shopping in that category. This should help capture customer data.
Think about critical periods for email capture
There might be certain times of the year when you need a different approach when it comes to collecting data. For gift retailers, the lead up to the holidays is one such time. For a Nordic travel company, we identified Black Friday week as critical as many families finalized winter holidays around that time. We added bars and banners that stayed with customers as they shopped for vacation packages, which resulted in an increase in sign-ups.
Capture more than the email address
Asking for additional information can be tricky. You don't want to deter someone from offering their email address by demanding additional demographic data. And you might not even need that extra information right away.
It’s best to time your request precisely.
For instance, you could have an email subscriber who doesn't ever buy even when they cart the product and you send a cart abandonment message. Consider a quick survey to collect data at the point when they are abandoning the cart. You might discover they are leaving because of price or shipping costs. And maybe that means you send them promotional emails focused on sales or free shipping offers.
Whenever existing customers who are your subscribers show intent to leave the site, a super easy survey could provide you with valuable information. Ask not just about price, but also about product or color preferences. You might also ask about size. Just keep it simple.
Feeling overwhelmed? Get help!
If you understand the possibilities for using pop-ups and banners more effectively, but wonder what the right approach is for your company, consider engaging us for a data capture optimization package. We're marketers, not consultants. We'll listen, study your existing data, offer strategy and help you implement it.