Sruthi Narayanan
Sruthi Narayanan 1 November 2016

4 Reasons Why Real-Time Triggers Are Important This Holiday Season

Real-time triggers are critical for delivering the right message at the right time to your customers, no matter where they are in their individual shopping journeys. But during the fast-paced holiday season, marketers need to work with double the agility for maximum contextual-relevance.

Every retailer today looks forward to holiday season - the time of year when customers are most likely to make their first purchases with new brands, when overall shopping activity is at its highest, and when merchandise flies off the shelves at a much faster rate. According to ChannelAdvisor, 74% of surveyed brands say they see over one-fifth of their annual revenue coming exclusively from holiday sales.

Working in real-time is critical year-round, but the sheer increase in customer traffic during the holidays, as well as the rapid fluctuation in inventory, means that marketers need to be extra agile with regards to reaching customers on the right channel at the right time. If you double-down on responding to real-time customer behaviors with increased speed, you’ll be able to capture and respond to more of those moments where customers need your help and where there’s an opportunity to drive more of the actions that are critical to maximizing lifetime value and impacting ROI.

4 key reasons why real-time triggers are important during the holidays?

1) Marketers have less time to influence cart abandonment...

It’s true that roughly 75% of customers who abandon a shopping cart plan to return to it later, but during the rush of holiday season, the window of time in which customers are likely to allow an item to sit in a cart while they mull over the decision to purchase decreases significantly. That means marketers need to deliver abandonment campaigns within moments of merchandise being left in a cart, in order to reach customers at the moment when they’ll want to respond.

2) ...and even less time to respond to browse abandonment.

Few marketers take the time to follow-up on items that a customer looks at, and maybe changes the color or size of, but doesn’t put in a shopping cart. Consider shortening the timeframe in which you deliver triggered campaigns for browse abandonment - if you’re not already delivering these campaigns as quickly as possible, it’s critical to do so during these months of increased engagement.

3) Inventory changes much more quickly during the holidays.

The rate at which store inventory fluctuates increases significantly in the days leading up to a key holiday (with December 21st and 23rd being the most popular days for holiday shopping). Marketers not only need to send notifications on things like “Low Inventory”, “Now Back In Stock”, and “On Sale!” as quickly as possible, but they need to be observing these signals in real-time to ensure that every campaign is contextually relevant and accurate.

4) Personalization preferences reveal what the gift recipient - as well as the gift-giver - wants.

There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t sneak in a little personal browsing while shopping for gifts for other people. This means that data gathered from things like browse abandonment, cart abandonment, or engaging with an item by changing color/size reveals preferences of both the person receiving the gift and the person purchasing it. It’s this latter relationship that marketers need to spend more time nurturing, and collecting real-time signals about what the gift-buyer wants - beyond a gift for someone else - is a great place to start.

The volume of new customers most retailers will garner this holiday season should drive much more than a 2-3 month spike in revenue. By focusing on the right tactics, marketers can grow revenue exponentially by turning holiday shoppers into repeat, loyal customers.

(This post originally appeared on the Zaius Blog - visit us to learn more about how you can drive customer loyalty during the holiday season.)

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