September 6, 2023

Boosting Sales this Holiday Season with Customer Data

minute read

As the holiday shopping season approaches, retailers worldwide prepare for the most lucrative period of the year.

Southeast Asia, in particular, is becoming a hotspot for retail opportunities. Recent statistics indicate that retail e-commerce sales in Southeast Asia are predicted to burgeon by 18.6% in 2023, outpacing the global growth rate of 8.9%. 

This surge underscores the region's rapid ascent as a global retail powerhouse. But given the economic climate, how can businesses ensure they capitalize on this growth, especially when consumers are anticipated to be judicious with their spending?

“Consumers are likely more careful with their spending this holiday season. This does not necessarily mean that they will choose the most inexpensive present; rather, they will look for products that are within their price range and have a story behind them.” - Daniel Hagmeijer, former CMO of Bodyshop Indonesia

Daniel’s observation captures the sentiments of many Southeast Asian consumers. They seek value, not just in terms of price but in the narrative and essence of the products.

Furthermore, recent research from McKinsey & Company has indicated that 71% of consumers now expect companies to provide personalized interactions, indicative of a global trend. But what's even more revealing is the stark disappointment faced by these consumers when businesses fall short: 76% express frustration when companies fail to meet this expectation.

In a recent series of webinars, I highlighted the urgent need for retailers to understand and resonate with these consumer expectations. By tapping into personalized strategies, businesses can align with consumer sentiments, provide value, and foster a sense of connection. 

Here are my top-five strategies around utilizing customer data to uplift sales this holiday season:

1. Start early and be strategic

The key to holiday sales success? Begin early and stay ahead of the curve. As shoppers kick off their holiday buying well in advance, businesses need to be two steps ahead. Start by building and targeting your prospect database without delay. 

Entice new prospects through savvy strategies like sweepstakes on paid social platforms, ensuring a dual win: engagement and valuable email capture. Delve into your past data and create lookalike audiences based on previous holiday shoppers, and don't overlook the goldmine that is high-value loyalty program members and enthusiastic advocates who have penned positive reviews. 

Furthermore, harness the power of 'hero' product analysis. Identify prospects who haven't yet dipped into your product pool and entice them with exclusive offers on your star products linked to repeat purchases and high value customers, turning their consideration into a coveted purchase. In essence, this holiday season, it's all about proactive outreach and smart targeting.

2. Keep last year's buyers engaged

One of the most potent tools in a marketer's arsenal is the art of retargeting, especially when gearing up for the bustling holiday season. Begin by pinpointing those invaluable buyers from the previous year; these are individuals who have already shown an affinity for your products. But the key lies not just in remembering them during the festive season but in maintaining their engagement year-round. Regular interactions and tailored content can ensure they remain active and invested in your brand. So, when the festive bells start ringing again, these seasoned buyers, already warmed up by your year-long efforts, are not just ready but eager to dive back into their shopping spree.

3. Decoding buying behaviors: 'Gifters' vs. 'Self-Rewarders'

In the complex world of consumer behavior, grasping the unique drivers behind buying decisions is pivotal. A particularly interesting distinction emerges between 'Gifters' and 'Self-Rewarders'. To successfully identify these segments, dive into your database and look for clues. Some 'Gifters' can be inferred based on past purchases or even gender-specific trends. Alternatively, use direct methods like surveys, allowing customers to self-segment.

Once categorized, the magic lies in tailoring your marketing strategies. For the 'Self-Rewarders', pitch personalized "treat yourself" messages, capitalizing on the allure of self-indulgence. Enhance their shopping experience with predictive analytics, ensuring product recommendations that resonate. On the flip side, when targeting 'Gifters', don't just stop at their primary gift purchase; entice them to add something extra for themselves. Remember, it's not just about selling; it's about the art of cross-selling and upselling, tailored precisely to the buyer's intent.

4. Discerning 'Core Customers' from 'Discount Junkies'

Understanding customer motivations is paramount. A vital distinction arises between 'Core Customers'—those loyal patrons who value your brand for its inherent qualities—and the 'Discount Junkies', who flit from brand to brand, lured primarily by price cuts and deals. This differentiation is essential for crafting tailored marketing strategies. 

While promotions and discounts are integral to attracting a wide range of consumers, it's crucial to shield your core customers from becoming overly reliant on the "discount drug". These are patrons who appreciate your brand's essence and should be engaged with value-driven content, exclusive previews, and loyalty rewards. By protecting them from constant discount temptations, you not only maintain the brand's value perception but also foster a deeper, more genuine brand-customer relationship, ensuring long-term loyalty rather than just transactional engagements.

5. Maximizing engagement with post-holiday newbies

The holiday season, with its influx of new customers, presents a lucrative opportunity for brands, but the real challenge begins post-festivities. How do you transform these seasonal shoppers into year-round patrons? Start by delving deep into their purchase behavior post-holidays. Identifying patterns can hint at the 'next best product' they might be inclined towards. Automated post-purchase campaigns can be an invaluable tool in nudging them towards that second sale. Yet, it's not just about pushing a product; the creative should be contextual, resonating with their previous interactions with your brand.

Zero party data, the willingly provided information by customers, can be a goldmine to enhance their lifetime value (LTV) post-holiday season. By understanding these new shoppers better, brands can refine and personalize future campaigns. A proactive step could be sending follow-up surveys post-purchase. These not only provide insights into the customer's experience and preferences but also pave the way for further engagement. Sweeten the deal with exclusive discounts or special offers, serving dual purposes: incentivizing them to share feedback and subtly nudging them back into the purchase cycle. In essence, the post-holiday period isn't just about retention; it's about fostering a relationship, ensuring that the festive first purchase transforms into consistent brand loyalty.

The holiday season, despite its potential, can be a challenging time for retailers, especially with the changing spending habits of consumers. However, the solution lies in harnessing customer data effectively. To learn more about how you can utilize data to make the most out of this holiday season, book a demo below! 

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Ben Moreau
Ben is expanding Lexer’s global footprint by building out the Southeast Asia presence - growing the client base and establishing all working operations. He has lived in Singapore since 2017 and prior to Lexer he was with Experian for 10 years, establishing their APAC innovation centre and taking products from idea to market. Outside of work, he used to be a semi-professional marathon runner, but now he prefers chasing his toddler.