Make the most of the long winter sale with personalization

As soon as the end of year celebrations were over, the winter sales began - which is now a period equally as anticipated by consumers as ecommerce teams. The winter sale (which lasts until the 19th February), attracts huge influxes of visitors and can be a great way to start your year with a bang! 

During this period, consumers are on the hunt for good deals, and don't hesitate to jump between your site and your competitors. To stop this, we've identified the personalization techniques to retain your visitors, convert them faster and generate the highest order values.

Create a sense of urgency and rarity

Customers often find it difficult to make a decision and complete their purchase, especially when shopping online. Normally, a visitor may take the time to compare your offers with those of your competitors and find the best value for money.

However, during sales their behavior is different. Despite price still being a factor, it can often be urgency messaging that motivates the purchase. A visitor won't want to miss a sale offer by abandoning the site, so urgency messaging can be used. 

Examples include using a countdown timer indicating the time left in the sale period. Displaying the number of days, hours or minutes remaining before the end of the promotion can create that necessary impetus for visitors. Perhaps deploy this as a banner on all pages of the site during the sale period?Create a sense of urgency and rarity, such as 'low in stock' sizes

For the product pages, showcase the stock levels of a product when it's getting low. This can also be effective on the basket page, to encourage abandoning customers not to bounce and complete their purchase. As the customer begins to abandon, push an abandonment message highlighting that the items they have in their basket are low in stock (assuming that they are). By showing this personalized experience, an individual should make a decision faster and be less compelled to view the competition.  

Encourage cross-sell to increase average order values

We all recognize that acquiring new customers is much more difficult, and expensive, than retaining and cross-selling to an existing customer. With this in mind, the sale period proves to be a really good time to encourage cross-sell to an already acquired customer, and perhaps move them into a higher spend segment. 

In this instance, personalization can be particularly effective. For example, when a visitor puts an item in their basket, recommend similar or complementary products that might be of interest to them. For example, if a customer places a dress in her basket, recommend a pair of shoes, a jacket or a purse to complete the look.

Customers won't spend less during sales; they'll use the same budget as other times in the year, but will have the opportunity to purchase more products. To increase average order values, don't hesitate to offer your visitors promotional products that are similar to those in their basket. Remember, during sales, visitors are motivated to make purchases and are on the lookout for all good deals.

Promote upsell to generate more revenue

We call upselling the technique of selling more expensive items to the same customer.  

Where cross-sell has presented more products to be sold to a particular customer, the upsell will try to move them to a higher value segment. For example, in the cosmetics sector, show a larger bottle of a shampoo or a moisturizer. For airlines, show more premium / VIP services.

Promote upsell through product recommendations

Reduce returns with predictive sizing

Sales periods increase the number of items sold, but will also increase the number of returns, perhaps at a higher average than normal. Since most offer free shipping and returns to encourage customers, having too many returned items can really impact margins. Limiting this is, obviously, imperative. 

To help mitigate returns, help your customers find the size that suits them. Size prediction is based on the customer's browsing data and purchase history, as well as the data relating to the returns already made in store and online.

This technique can also contribute to the sense of urgency with personalized messages, such as "Based on your previous purchases, we recommend this size. Hurry, there are only a few items left in stock!"

Use predictive sizing to reduce returns

Summary of how to boost winter sales with personalization

The sales period is an ideal opportunity to create a sense of urgency and increase conversions. However, you need to be careful that the experiences you deploy don't diminish visitor trust in you as a brand. At the same time, you need to limit the number of returns you're likely to increase during a sale. 

During this period of reduced prices, cross-sell and upsell to existing customers can also be effective. Consumers are in the purchase mindset during a period like this and can perhaps even make unexpected purchases into a new category they've never bought before. 

By applying these different strategies, you can boost conversions and start the year with a bang!


Abi Wendt

Read More

Subscribe to stay up to date.

Receive the personalization newsletter directly to your inbox.