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GDPR and Marketing: One Year On

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As we approach the first anniversary of the regulation’s staging date we uncover the (surprising) impact of GDPR on marketing.

This time last year, marketers were waiting with bated breath to learn the impact of GDPR on marketing as it came into effect on 25th May 2018 across the EU. But while the weeks pre-GDPR saw 1000s of column inches dedicated to worst-case scenarios, the story since then has been less clear. One year on, we decided to investigate – and the results were a little surprising.

To understand the impact of GDPR on marketing, we surveyed 250 UK marketers in the lead-up to the first anniversary of the regulation’s staging date.

Overall, the story that emerged is a pleasant surprise – marketing databases have successfully recovered to 93% of their pre-GDPR levels.

But within the data lies more stories of struggle and areas for improvement – recovery has been hard work because the losses were at first pretty substantial. Read on to learn which industries were the biggest losers, which recovery tactics proved most popular (and successful!) and who still has work to do when it comes to mitigating against the impact of GDPR.

GDPR and marketing databases: the biggest losers

Perhaps the most surprising takeaway here was that more than one-fifth of marketers surveyed (21.6%) claim that they did not lose any of their email databases due to the impact of GDPR  (including, unsurprisingly, all the legal businesses surveyed).

The picture wasn’t so rosy for everyone else. The average marketer lost 23% of their database, and more than one-third lost more than 30%.

GDPR and Marketing Databases

The majority of marketers saw losses due to taking a proactive approach toward consent, such as deleting contacts to ensure compliance. However, consumer action, such as choosing to opt out, also had a sizeable impact, with over 40% of marketers citing this as the main reason for database depletion post-GDPR:

GDPR and Marketing: compliance or consent?

What types of businesses were most impacted by GDPR?

The sectors who lost out the most were Travel & Transport, IT & Telecoms and Finance.

GDPR and Marketing: impact by size and by industry

But the good news is that they fought back. Within this group of hard-hit businesses, a trend toward greater database recovery emerged. For example, the media industry and IT/telecoms industry saw +27% and +29% regrowth respectively.

For some sectors, the picture is now better than ever: retail saw some of the best database regrowth since last year, reaching 101% of its pre-GDPR database size. Travel & Transport is the one industry that has the longest way to go, with travel marketing databases at 74% of last year’s levels.

GDPR and Marketing: database regrowth by industry

This pattern of the hardest-hit being the best-recovered continued as a trend in business sizes. Larger businesses generally lost a greater proportion of data last year, on average losing 29% of their contacts, but have recovered at a rate of 24%. In comparison, businesses with less than 100 employees have only recovered by 18%.

GDPR and Marketing: regrowth by size

How have marketers recovered from GDPR?

While recovery is not yet complete for many, efforts to date have yielded positive results. Particularly evident from the study is the diversity of data-capture tactics utilized. The high regrowth rate achieved by some of the hardest-hit, such as larger businesses, was driven by the usage of a wide range of strategies, from loyalty programs to content optimization, as well as more traditional approaches such as competitions and incentivized newsletter sign-ups.

GDPR and Marketing: database regrowth tactics

Romain Sestier, VP Product and Data at Yieldify, said: “The results of the study really confirm the trends that we’ve been seeing amongst many of our clients over the last year: recovery from GDPR is completely achievable if you employ a smart and diverse range of strategies.

“We’ve created nearly 3,000 lead capture journeys in the last year, resulting in over 2.6 million new email leads for our clients’ CRMs – and even better, these contacts are usually far more engaged than those that were lost in May last year.”

Thomas Cook Airlines was one of the first of Yieldify’s clients to prepare for GDPR by incorporating explicit opt-in into its Save My Booking functionality. This was designed to mitigate against booking abandonment by offering exiting users the option to save their booking for later by entering their email address and explicitly opting-in to re-engagement:

Thomas Cook Airlines: a GDPR compliant lead generation strategy

The business had previously sent booking recovery emails without explicit opt-in – a strategy that would no longer have been valid under GDPR.

This strategy succeeded in re-engaging visitors at high risk of being lost from the booking funnel, putting them on a journey towards conversion. The GDPR-friendly approach also surfaced key learnings: whilst send volumes were smaller, the open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates were significantly higher.

Did the impact of GDPR meet with marketers’ expectations?

Before GDPR came into effect, while there was a lot of speculation, there was no definitive answer as to what the impact on marketing would be. This lack of clarity was reflected in the expectations marketers had around the impact of GDPR…which turned out to be pretty inaccurate.

Despite the scaremongering around email marketing and ad personalization in particular, many marketers were still unpleasantly surprised: one-third (32.40%) and a quarter (24.4%) respectively said the impact was worse than predicted.

In contrast to this, the impact on other areas was better than expected, on average 25.5% of marketers said that the impact on overall acquisition, website personalization and single customer view was better – or much better – than expected.

GDPR and Marketing: how expectations were met

The impact of GDPR: in conclusion

This time last year, marketers were heading into the unknown – but our data shows largely positive results when it comes to the efforts being made to rebuild email databases in a post-GDPR world. While the strategies to date have worked well for some, there are still areas for improvement when it comes to the GDPR and marketing.

The focus now should be on making up for lost time by employing a smart range of data collection tactics to ensure you’re performing in line with the industry benchmarks outlined above. And if you need a hand with that, we’re here to help. We’re offering one month of free email capture to new clients, click here to request your free demo today.


This research was conducted by Censuswide, an independent market research consultancy, with 250 UK marketers who have access to an email database. Fieldwork was carried out between 09.05.2019 – 13.05.2019.

Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society. All survey panellists are double opted in, which is in line with MRS code of conduct and ESOMAR standards.

The Pitfalls of Website Personalization: What IT leaders should know

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Website personalization is now essential in today’s e-commerce landscape, but when it comes to success, marketing isn’t the only team involved.

Much has been written about how personalized marketing, and within this website personalization, can help marketers and drive commercial gains. But in today’s competitive landscape, the truth is that marketing is rarely the only team involved in getting personalization up and running, never-mind making a success of it. And nor should it be – personalization is more than just a marketing challenge, it’s an organizational challenge, and a complex one at that:

Website personalization organizational challenges

Source: BCG Global Survey on Personalization

Resources, roadmap, cross-functional co-ordination, and an inability to test and learn rapidly are just some of the barriers to personalization facing organizations today. Fortunately, IT teams are well placed to help marketing, and the wider business, overcome many of these issues. So how can IT teams get involved in rising to these challenges, and why should they care?

How does personalization benefit IT?

While personalization has long been seen as the preserve of the marketing team, attitudes are changing. In fact, 30% of IT professionals rank delivering real-time personalization as one of the most exciting opportunities of the next three years.

IT and personalization
Source: Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing 2018 Digital Trends in IT

If we take a look at some of the top challenges to achieving personalization, then it becomes clearer as to why IT leaders are so excited. First up, resources – a tool that enables marketers to easily make front end changes to the website frees up resource in IT, freeing up time to focus on other priorities. Provided implementation is light, this ability to easily make changes to website also helps solve the issue of testing velocity. While traditional A/B tests might take a long time to set up, reach significance (and at the end of the day not actually reveal that much of value), testing changes via a website personalization tool can validate hypotheses and help prioritise a testing and development roadmap, increasing the time spent on meaningful experiments and site changes.

What role should IT take in a website personalization project?

Again, lets come back to the challenges within implementing personalization successfully. Aside from organizational barriers, one of the most oft-cited is data:

Barriers to website personalization goals for IT teams and the wider organization
Source: eMarketer

IT are often the gatekeepers of an organizations data, and while marketers may  have the technology they need to build and launch successful personalization programs, IT are the team that can help improve performance better by ensuring that all divisions of the organization, from personalization in marketing to customer support and product development are all on the same page when it comes to data.

From a more practical perspective, IT are also well versed in assessing technology and how it will integrate with the existing stack. According to Gartner, 35% of organisations’ technology budget will be spent outside of the IT department by 2020. IT is now pivotal across the organization in helping select the right tools, as well as driving value from those tools once implemented.

What are some personalization pitfalls to avoid?

As we’ve seen so far, personalization can get complicated, especially as it can involve so many stakeholders. So what are some pitfalls that IT in particular should be looking out for?

One of the top concerns for any IT professional is safety. Issues such as data breaches, technology failures and downtime have risen to the fore as the technology landscape has become more complicated. For e-commerce businesses in particular, downtime means revenue lost, and depending on the size of the business this can potentially run into the millions. At the extreme end, it’s estimated that one hour of downtime on prime day last year cost Amazon between $72 and $99 million dollars. Ensuring that your website and any integrated technologies such as personalization tools can cope with challenges such as large volumes of traffic during peak trading periods is an important consideration for IT.

Connected with this idea of safety is the importance of assessing the implementation and integrations involved with any personalization project. How long will it take to get up and running (and when will this start to drive value?), as well as the resource it will take to actually start your website personalization journey, are all questions that IT should have involvement in.

We’ve outlined more on the particular pitfalls IT should look out for in this short guide. Click below to download your copy, and learn more about the top three pitfalls IT can help your organization avoid, and what they should look for within each.

Free download: avoiding the pitfalls of personalization

Play along: does your e-commerce website deserve ‘douze points’?

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Take our quiz to find out whether your e-commerce website should be taking home a trophy (or disappearing into obscurity)

In honor of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, we’re offering you the opportunity to find out whether your e-commerce site deserves the coveted ‘douze points’ or the infamous ‘nul points’.

Click to download the quiz below – inspired by your favorite magazine quizzes that told you whether you were more of a Carrie or a Miranda – and find out. While you’re here, don’t forget to read our blogpost on how you can use Eurovision to boost your e-commerce sales

Eurovision e-commerce quiz

Download Quiz

Website Personalization Tools: 5 factors to consider when choosing yours

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Website personalization tools are becoming an essential part of the e-commerce marketer’s technology stack. Here’s what to look for when choosing yours…

Website personalization tools have been the hot topic now in marketing for a few years, and the interest shows no signs of waning any time soon. At the end of last year we spoke to 200 marketers about their plans for 2019, and despite the fact many marketers rated website personalization as among the most difficult strategies to implement, it topped the list of priorities for the year ahead, just behind customer feedback and customer journey mapping. 

And it’s not just marketers who are demanding website personalization. When users visit your website, they expect content that is engaging and relevant to their needs. In short, they’re looking for a personalized experience that delivers just the right message, at just the right time. 

One of the biggest challenges when implementing a website personalization strategy is selecting the right tool for the job. Not only do you have to consider what you want to achieve with website personalization, but new privacy regulations, such as the GDPR are adding to the challenge of which datasets you can actually use.

If you’re choosing a website personalization tool for the first time, or looking to upgrade your existing stack, this blog will cover what what you need to know.

What’s Website Personalization?

Before we delve into the must-have features of a website personalization tool, it’s helpful to define exactly what we mean by personalization. There are a lot of different definitions out there, and these have evolved over time as technology has advanced.

Today, we can define personalization as follows: aiming to deliver a tailored message to a user at a particular point in their journey. This is usually achieved with two things: your data and your website personalization tool.

Here at Yieldify, we see personalization as an evolution of conversion rate optimization (CRO), but not the end of the story. A good website personalization tool will allow you to optimize multiple parts of the onsite experience, applying the concept of personalization to the whole customer journey, rather than just one or two touchpoints.  

Now let’s take a look at how to evaluate website personalization tools, before jumping into more on the factors to consider when choosing yours.

How to Evaluate Website Personalization Tools

Personalization has come a long way since the classic Amazon personalized product recommendations, and website personalization tools come in many flavors – which is why it can be so difficult to select the right one for your site! Content Management (CMS) and Marketing Automation tools are also starting to offer some simple forms of personalization, adding further complexity. Here we’ll focus on website personalization software designed specifically for the job.  

Before investing in a website personalization tool, you should know what you you’re seeking to accomplish. Do you want to show product recommendations? Collect email addresses? Use contextual data to show social proof? Or segment, and select data to pinpoint the right messaging for the right customer?

Knowing what’s needed prior to purchasing a platform or software saves money, minimizes frustration and maximizes marketing benefits. At this point, your first step should be to make a list:

  1. Your goals for investing in a website personalization tool
  2. The tool’s ‘must-have’ features
  3. What are you prepared to compromise on?

With your specifications in hand, you’re ready to start searching the marketplace. There are few good ways to see what your options might be:

  • Use a tag-monitoring plug-in such as BuiltWith to visit sites similar to yours to see which tools they’re using
  • Talk to your stack: ask your existing partners which website personalization they integrate with 
  • Visit third party review platforms such as G2Crowd and Capterra to check out which tools have the best write-ups

Ready to start your search? To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled our top 5 factors to consider when it comes to website personalization tools…

Resources

Before you even start looking at website personalization tools, evaluate your internal resources. Marketers cite lack of internal knowledge and expertise as one of the biggest challenges in implementing a successful personalization program. Not only that, but as different tools come with different service models you’ll need to find one that aligns with your needs.

Any technology investment is only as good as the use you’re able to make of it, so having the right people in place is really the key to a successful implementation. You have a few options here…

1. Managing personalization in-house

Having someone internally who will take on the responsibility of driving your website optimization and personalization roadmap is the ideal, but finding this person can be a challenge both from a skills and budget perspective. In fact, 61% of companies report that resources for personalization are limited or not available due to lack of time or budget.

“Marketing’s lack of digital, technology and data analytics skills is often cited as a major impediment to personalization efforts.”

Gartner, 2019

Really consider whether your team not only have the insight and expertise to run a personalization project, but the capacity! If it’s going to be a challenge then consider the following option…

2. A managed service from website personalization tools

A partial, or fully managed service can help fill the skills gap often seen with personalization. Additionally, this option opens up the possibility of gaining insights and best practices from across the vendors client-base.

Ensure you’re clear on how much support you think you’ll need – it’s a good idea to ask your vendor for examples of how they service other clients of your size, with similar goals, if you’re unsure, or take a look at case studies showcasing how they’ve worked with other clients, and what they’ve achieved.

This option is probably one of the safest if you’re unsure you’ll be able to manage a personalization project fully internally, as both you and your vendor will be invested in ensuring you get the best value from the technology.

3. Working with an external agency

The third option, and somewhat of a ‘middle ground’ when it comes to the level of expertise it brings to the table, is to work with an agency. Traditionally agencies have been more focused on conversion rate optimization than personalization, so you probably won’t find the level of knowledge you’d get with a vendor services team.

They often have established relationships with preferred providers – so this may also narrow the field, and is of course an additional cost to factor in. As the agency model becomes increasingly complex across marketing as whole, how to select the right agency partner for personalization could fill another blog post entirely!

Whatever option you go with, being honest about your capacity to deliver on the implementation of whatever website personalization tools you choose is an important factor to consider from the outset.

Data

Aside from resources, one of the biggest obstacles to personalization is data. Just take a look at this chart form eMarketer:

Website personalization tools: most effective tactics
Source: eMarketer

Nearly two thirds of marketers in 2019 rate data-driven personalization as difficult to achieve, more-so than any other marketing tactic. But does it have to be so difficult?

Many marketers are hung up on ‘1-to-1’ personalization, but with the vast quantity of data now available, achieving this can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. The important thing then to consider is being able to access the right data that you need to achieve the desired result.

This is where you need to evaluate a few things:

  • How accessible is your data – it it siloed across the business or all in one place?
  • What’s the quality of the data like?
  • Can you use it for the purposes of personalization?

Bringing together data that is siloed across your business, and may not be of the best quality, or even legally usable may not actually be the best option if you’re looking to get a personalization project up and running quickly.

For website personalization, luckily you have other options! You’re able to take advantage of a rich data source (your website) so ensure that the tool you choose has the ability to segment, target and trigger your campaigns based on visitor behaviour. Which brings us nicely on to the next thing to look out for…features and integrations.

Features and Integrations

As we discussed earlier in this blog, personalization means a lot of different things to different people. This is where you again need to go back to your goals for your website personalization project, and think about the functionality you will need to achieve them.

Here are a few features you might want to consider adding to your checklist when it comes to selecting a website personalization tool:

Depending on your goals you might want to look for other options too, for example if acquisition if a big deal for you, is there a lead capture function? This also raises the question of integrations i.e. how does the tool fit and share data with your existing stack such as:

  • Your Email Service Provider (ESP)
  • Your CRM
  • Your CMS
  • Your customer reviews platform
  • Payment providers
  • And more!

ROI and Time to Value

There has been a lot written on the business case for personalization:

“Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent, lift revenues by 5 to 15 percent, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30 percent.”

McKinsey, Marketing’s Holy Grail: Digital Personalization at scale

But what about when it comes to proving value for your business?

One of the biggest challenges in demonstrating the success of a personalization project, is not only showing a positive return on investment, but showing this impact in a timely fashion. When speaking with website personalization tools ensure you’re asking how long it takes to get up and running from a technical perspective, but also how long it will take to start seeing value.

This is where working directly with your website personalization tool, rather than an agency or in-house can have huge benefits. The best website personalization tools will come with a tried and tested methodology and should be able to provide you roadmap for success.

For example, here at Yieldfy we are lucky to have data from over 200,000 visitor journeys, and so our services team can apply insights from this data to our new clients, helping ensure they prioritise the right campaigns (we’re so confident in this that we guarantee you’ll have your first journey live within 14 days!). Having a partner that can offer a solid plan for success will save your time and money in the long-run, typically we see an 80% reduction in time clients are spending developing and running personalization tests.

Customer Journey Driven

Finally, we couldn’t finish without mentioning the customer. At the heart of it, personalization is all about putting your visitors and customers at the centre of what you do. Here at Yieldify we believe that successful personalization is part of the wider discipline of Customer Journey Optimization (CJO).

CJO is all about using a data-driven approach to improve the whole customer journey rather than personalizing just one touchpoint. When evaluating website personalization tools, choosing one that can help you do this means finding a partner that can offer:

  • Customer journey mapping or analysis: understanding the touchpoints you need to optimize is the first step toward creating a personalization plan that will have real impact
  • Benchmark data: so, not only looking at your own customer journeys, but comparing to your peers and competitors to give you a guide to what you can achieve and expect
  • Strategic guidance: based on your objectives and goals (long-term and short-term) what are the best tactics to prioritize?
  • Continuous optimization: the ability to evolve and improve your personalization strategy over time, based on data

And that’s it! Your 5 factors to consider when choosing a website personalization tool. We hope you’ve found it useful, but if you still have questions then we recommend you check out our free guide to Personalizing the Customer Journey, or take advantage of our free consultation service.

Meet the Team: Romain Sestier, Head of Product and Data

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In this new series, we’re sitting down with Yieldifiers across the business to find out more about what they do all day.

Next up: Romain Sestier, Head of Product and Data

What’s your role at Yieldify?

I’m Head of Product and Data, which basically means looking after new product and feature development, as well as the data and analytics team (the two are very closely related).

What did you do before you joined the team here?

I have a background in web analytics – I was previously Head of Professional Services at Content Square and also working in A/B testing at Maxymiser. I also had my own company doing Artificial Intelligence-driven data and analytics work. 

The main thing that comes from that experience is that I’ve always been client-facing, which is incredibly useful in the kind of product role I have now. In an industry where the volume of data can be overwhelming, it’s really important to keep an eye trained on where the real value is: the recommendations and actions that it delivers for a client.

Product and Data sound like pretty separate things – tell us a bit more about the two teams

Well, the Product team is mostly Product Managers (like Moses, who writes stuff like this), who work directly with our Engineering team to scope, prioritize and deliver features such as our recent Campaign History Targeting release. They also continually look for new ways of doing things to keep us as market leaders in CJO.

Most of their job is talking to clients, engineers and our sales and services teams to collect as much feedback as possible about use cases. the role of the Product Manager is really to maintain that stream of feedback, summarize it and determine what deliveries will make the biggest impact, taking into account what’s feasible, where there are gaps in the market and how we can provide innovative solutions.

On the other side, there’s the Data team – they do two main things. Firstly, they answer client requests and prepare bespoke analysis and recommendations. Secondly, they work directly with Product to prioritize pieces of insight in order to productize them and make them available to other clients.

For example, we recently worked on custom insights. We’re always running campaigns on client sites and the biggest questions are usually about the kinds of interactions and responses they generate, such as how long it takes between interaction and email submit. We initially generated this insight bespoke from client to client, but the proximity of the Data team to Product meant that we were able to productize it and deliver it at scale.

It’s this kind of tight feedback loop that means that the two teams are actually much closer as functions than in other companies, ultimately meaning that our clients get much more value.

How has this interaction evolved in the last year?

It’s actually been evolving for much longer than that. Yieldify started in the affiliate space, running bespoke work for clients on a CPA basis. This all changed when we built the Yieldify Conversion Platform, which launched last year. This was Yieldify’s transition into a productized offering, meaning that the Product team became pivotal to delivering and optimizing at scale for all of our clients.

Where is it going to go in 2019?

2019 is going to be the year of Yieldify becoming even more tightly integrated with other parts of the e-commerce marketer’s stack. We already have a number of integrations built for the likes of Magento and dotmailer, but next year we’ll be looking at more marketing tools such as CRMs. The latter means that we’ll be able to leverage offline and historical data in real-time on the site, which is hugely powerful for targeting. 

In addition to that, you’ll see much more in terms of new formats and new triggers for campaigns. We added features such as scroll and inactivity triggering in the last few months, and we’ve got lots more exciting things in the pipeline to come. One of these is in-page campaigns, which allow us to deliver contextualized content with less intrusion, making the customer journey smoother.

How do you think these companies to what other companies in the space are doing? 

Other companies take a very ad hoc approach to dealing with clients, whereas we want to learn as much as possible about our whole client base and re-apply that knowledge universally. We surface industry-leading insights by vertical and have consultants for each one who can rely on benchmarking and the learnings from other campaigns to meet their challenges in different verticals. 

I’d add that what’s also different at Yieldify is the tightly-integrated Product and Services teams. This means that building campaigns takes much less time, allowing us to be more reactive as well as spend more time working on improving the overall user experience.

Why do you think our clients need the kind of data analytics support that we deliver?

I think there are two key things here.

Firstly, there’s time. A lot of our clients don’t have the time or resource to process the sheer volumes of data that they generate onsite. It can be intimidating to even deal with the tools to do so, but our team work so tightly with data that it’s easy for them to extract the valuable insights from these volumes.

Secondly, data’s only useful if it’s actionable. This comes back to time and resource again, and is another key reason for marketers to look to outside help. 

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about data and analytics for marketing? 

The biggest is that more data means more value. Like we mentioned earlier, you have to ensure that you can analyse that data in order for it to be worth something. In addition to that, it’s worth pointing out that not all data is the right data – you have to be able to process and extract what’s valuable.

Secondly, I think it’s a common misconception that you can import a data-driven culture. It really has to come from the inside – and from the top, at that. A lot of companies think that new tools and services bring a data-driven culture with them, but what I’ve seen is that the most successful clients are the ones where the C-level understands and buys into the idea of data use across the whole company.

What advice would you give to someone who’s trying to create that kind of data-driven culture? 

The best thing to do is to start small – one key defined use case is better than trying to do everything at once.

For example, let’s take personalization: it’s good enough to start by differentiating your approach for new visitors and returning visitors. This way, you’ll have enough traffic to measure to statistical significance and prove your concept quicker than if you tried to do something too granular. 

How have you seen the appetite for analytics in marketing change over recent years?

It’s definitely increased, but the quality of requirements has increased too. It’s not just about making dashboards and reporting on key metrics anymore!

Instead, it’s about understanding the big questions like ‘who are our customers?’, ‘why do they visit our site?’ and ‘why do they leave?’. You can see this being reflected by the increasing number of UX-focused analytics platforms and tools on the market.

Where do you think it’s going to go next?

Real-time reactivity is really key. Marketers are trying to maintain a close eye on the performance of every stage of their funnel and react to shifts in it. Black Friday is a great example of this, where marketers were trying to understand behavior over a very short period of time in order to win against their competitors.

The other thing we’ll see is machine learning. We’ve seen this in Google Analytics and in some early out-of-the-box machine learning solutions, so it’s already started. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that complicated – it can be as simple as predicting the users you ‘should’ have so that you can compare that number against what you actually get. The important thing is that you need to be able to react to those insights – machine learning can be an expensive mistake if you can’t.

Overall, I think we’re transitioning from viewing users as transactions to viewing them as long-term relationships. We saw this happen in brick-and-mortar many years ago and now that shift is happening in e-commerce as we view building relationships and delivering value as more and more important.

The ones who will win are the companies who can learn more about their customers than their competitors. This is why Amazon experiments all the time, like it’s done with introducing lots of different elements to its Prime service: being able to experiment fast and continually at low-cost is so important. This is why at Yieldify we focus on being able to work quickly and react to the promotional calendar as well as plan for the long-term. 

Quickfire questions

What do you like best about working at Yieldify?

The culture – even though it’s grown quickly, it has a start-up mindset with lots of opportunities for people who really want to do better and find new solutions to problems.

What’s your proudest achievement since joining?

Closing the feedback loop by building the data team to have a dual role between clients and products.

What was your biggest learning?

My ongoing learning is in the differences between markets (Yieldify has clients in over 10 countries).

Being French and having worked with French clients before, I’ve always seen that every market reacts differently to trends and technologies, but the nuances of this is what’s continually interesting.

It applies as much to marketing cultures as well as consumer behavior. For example, in the US, you have more of a builder culture which looks internally for solutions instead of leveraging partners. In Europe, we’re generally more comfortable with outsourcing. 

Want to know more about what Yieldify can do with your data? Apply for a free demo and we’ll tell you more about the analysis, benchmarking and strategies we can apply to your customer journey. 

#AskYieldify: Google Shopping

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In this series, we put the big e-commerce questions to our team of expert consultants. 

This month, we’re focusing in on acquisition, specifically Google Shopping with Théo Devred, one of our Senior Consultants.

Last month’s edition of #AskYieldify was all about loyalty and lifetime value. This time we’re going back to the start of the customer journey, tackling one of the most popular acquisition channels, Google Shopping.

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping as we know it today has come a long way. When it launched back in 2002, it was known as Froogle and since then has been through various iterations. 2012 saw the shift toward a paid advertising model, and from then on it became a part of Google Ads, and another way for retailers and e-commerce brands to advertise their wares.

Google Shopping has come a long way since it’s early days as Froogle and Google Product Search!

Why use Google Shopping?

There are plenty of good reasons to use Google shopping, not least that a visitor who clicks on a product ad is showing high purchase intent,  and many of our clients invest significantly in it. But here’s some data, if you’re not convinced!

Product listing ads (PLAs) have been around for quite a while, but according to performance marketing agency Merkle, these, and other formats such as Showcase Shopping Ads, are the single biggest growth opportunity for online retailers in 2019. In 2018, Adthena reported that Product Listing Ads now drive over 76% of retail search ad spend, but win 85% of clicks:

Source: Adthena Search Advertising Report 2018

Other than the clear opportunity, here are some other reasons Google Shopping has become so popular with e-commerce retailers:

  • Google shopping brings a visual aspect to a text heavy searching and shopping experience. This visual aspect is so key that Google is even testing combining Google Shopping with its image search functionality.
  • The conversion rates are pretty, pretty good compared to text ads – 30% higher!
  • You can show up multiple times in Google SERPs – as a website result, text only PPC and a Google Shopping result.
  • You can start to utilize additional information that you know boosts engagement, such as reviews, prices and promotions

What happens when Google Shopping traffic arrives on-site?

While the click-through rate for Google Shopping PLAs might be pretty compelling, that’s not the end of the story. You need to also be paying close attention to the on-site journey that happens after a user clicks on an ad. Here’s a few trends that we’ve noticed, that you should take into consideration.

  • Mobile: while traffic has continued to grow on mobile, conversions haven’t always seen the same success. Google Shopping Product Listing Ads could hold the key – traffic from mobile product listing ads converts at a higher rate than other mobile traffic, and a higher rate than the e-commerce standard of around 2%, at 3.48%.
  • Landing pages: around three quarters of Google Shopping searches are broad, category searches, yet they land on product pages – this can create a disconnect,  between a broad display of intent, which is met with quite narrow and specific content. This creates an issue for shoppers wanting to continue their journey, making a high bounce rate probable.
  • Conversions: data shows that over 75% of sales via Google Shopping are from users who navigated upwards to the category level away from the product page.

How can I get a better ROI from Google Shopping?

Many retailers worry about getting the most from their paid channels, and Google Shopping is no different. With the above knowledge, and our own benchmark data we’re well positioned to create a strategy to improve the ROI retailers get on Google Shopping.

First things first, you need to segment these visitors by traffic source. Then it’s all about making sure the journey from there is as smooth, seamless and personalized as possible.

A good approach is to focus on creating a more effective landing page that will engage these users as soon as they hit the site, reassuring them they are in the right place, as well as providing them with a clear path to purchase if where they’ve landed doesn’t quite align with what brought them there in the first place.

Shaping traffic using these various approaches can have a big impact on bounce rate. For example, sending Google Shopping customers to a filtered category page can reduce bounce rate significantly, from 75% to 40%.

What are some examples of optimized landing pages?

Below you can see an example of how to optimize a Google Shopping landing page that we created for one of our beauty clients. The visitor has arrived onto a product page, and if they show behavior that indicates they might leave, or become inactive we can re-engage them with a helpful message to help them find their perfect foundation i.e. redirecting them to the category level where they can discover more products and (hopefully) go on to convert.

Google Shopping: beauty example

As well as aiding product discovery, another consideration is the fact that many visitors land on product pages and then bounce. Understanding the reasons for this will help you combat this behaviour. For example, highlighting the USPs of your brand or products is another way you might look to optimize your product page:

Google Shopping example: highlighting USPs

In the same vein, showcasing the fact that a product is a bestseller can induce urgency, and also direct users to discover more products in the bestseller category:

Google shopping example: highlighting bestsellers

Finally you might also want to think about how you can leverage customer reviews. On Google Shopping, customer reviews are displayed when a product has at least three reviews and Google has determined that the information is accurate and relevant.

Reviews can have a big impact on conversion – up to 94% of online purchases are made on products with an average rating of 4 or 5 stars. Carrying this strong message through to your website is a good way to ensure that visitors continue toward conversion based on what brought them there in the first place.

Google Shopping example: highlighting reviews



If you’ve got an e-commerce question you need help with why not #AskYieldify? Tweet us or email us on info@yieldify.com, for a chance to have your question answered by our e-commerce experts.


How these Six Travel Trends are Impacting the Customer Journey

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Learn how these 6 technology, demographic and behavioural travel trends are impacting the online customer journey.

Understanding travel trends is essential to improving the customer journey in an increasingly competitive, but booming market. In the United States alone, domestic and inbound travelers generated almost $2.5 trillion in economic output in 2018. Internationally, the travel industry has seen remarkable growth over the last few years, much of which has been driven by the rise in online travel sales. Yet the rise of the online travel market has transformed the landscape completely, altering the traditional value chain forever. For marketers looking to capitalize on the growth of travel online, understanding consumer behaviour and the customer journey toward booking is imperative.

Six Online Travel Trends Worth Following

For travel marketers today understanding the current travel trends and customer journey is essential, but with so much change it can be hard to know what to focus on. If you want to build a travel customer journey that converts, the below technology, demographic and behavioural trends are worth noting.

Travel technology trends

Technology has always been a big part of the travel industry. From the first airline computer reservation system launched back in the early 1960s by IBM and American Airlines, travel has grown to be one of the most significant e-commerce verticals. Yet, like others, it hasn’t always stayed on top of the technology trends impacting the customer journey. So what are the need-to-know travel trends driven by todays technology?

Mobile optimization

Smartphones have become an essential part of traveling. For Americans, more than 70% of all travelers claim to “always” use their smartphone while on travel. Why? Smartphones give travelers easy access to researching activities, attractions, restaurants, shopping centers and directions in areas they are unfamiliar with. What does this mean for you? Your website absolutely must be optimized for mobile devices. Some businesses have even focused totally on mobile, such as HotelTonight, an accommodation booking app that takes advantage of the location-based nature of mobile browsers, as well as tapping into the rise in last minute booking behavior (but more on that later!). Recently acquired by Airbnb, it’s clearly doing something right.

HotelTonight capitalizes on the travel trend toward mobile and last minute booking
Source: HotelTonight mobile app

Website personalization

As the digital marketing world continues to evolve, the opportunities to personalize your website and marketing are unlimited. According to Infosys, customer surveys indicate that roughly 31% of all shoppers wish their visit was much more personalized. In fact, 71% of all consumers express some frustration regarding impersonal experiences while buying online.

In-destination context, data points and other insights can be utilized to help trigger targeted messages at exactly the right moments in the travel customer journey. For example, online travel agent TravelUp used behavioural data to target new visitors in research mode with a personalized ‘Fly Now Pay Later’ payment offer. This personalized experience drove a +5.24% uplift in conversion (read the full case study here!)

Travel trends: website personalization
TravelUp In-Page Personalization

Voice & Digital Assistants

Voice and digital assistants, also known as Artificial Intelligence (AI), are another rising travel trend to take note of. In fact, 1 in 3 travelers now utilize AI to research, book, and explore travel options before and after they arrive at their intended destination. As a customer journey tool, these features help provide customers with perfectly integrated automated support that gives their experience a personal touch.

Demographic Travel Trends

Understanding the demographic trends impacting travel is another key tool when developing your customer journey strategy. How different generations behave, and their preferences will determine how you market to them, so let’s take a look at 2 key groups.

Baby boomer behavior

Baby boomers continue to focus on leisure travel. Boomers travel primarily to spend time with family and friends (57%), relax (49%) and to get away from everyday life (47%). In the US, up to 49% of boomer travelers look to stay domestically, with Florida and California being the most common destinations. Those who look to visit both domestic and international locations (47%) tend to favor the Caribbean/Latin America and Europe. Boomers, while no longer the largest traveling demographic, are among the highest spenders; on average spending $6,395 on travel. So how can ensure your website caters to this lucrative group of travelers?

Reducing abandonment, and securing the booking with this group relies on understanding why they are choosing to exit. For specialist travel insurance provider StaySure this meant recognising when their visitors were struggling during the purchase funnel. They were then able to serve a click to call option for visitors who preferred to complete the quote with an advisor:

travel trends: reduce abandonment

Millennials and Generation Z

Millennials, and increasingly Generation Z are becoming the new target audience when it comes to online travel trends. These younger travelers are more likely to combine a leisure trip with a purpose in an attempt to increase the value of their expenditures. Not only do these generations rely on social media for travel inspiration, they also post their reviews on the same platforms – learn how you can leverage this on your website to build trust in this blog post.

Thanks to a “living for the moment” mentality (think: YOLO), roughly 49% of these travelers take last-minute vacations, often influenced by pop-up deals and flash sales. Given the price sensitive nature of these travelers, loyalty can be difficult to come by. Sam Willan, General Manager at youth travel company StudentUniverse, makes a compelling argument as to why it’s still worth focusing on building loyalty with millennials and Gen Z travelers, despite their fickle nature.

A repeat booker costs half as much to acquire and returns 2.5 times in income”

Sam Willan, General Manager, StudentUniverse UK

See more insights and travel trends form Sam in the presentation below:

Behavioral Travel Trends

Finally, let’s take a look at some changes in travel research and booking behaviour that are key to the customer journey.

Last-minute booking

In total, roughly 60% of travelers are prone to last minute travel plans. In 2019, more than half plan to take more last-minute weekend trips to maximise their free time. A solid website personalization strategy will enable you to take advantage of this trend, allowing for tactical promotion of sales and offers that help capitalize on these impulse buys.

Inspirational content focused on short-haul, last minute trips can help capture interest at this early stage in the customer journey. Not only that, but with 80% of travelers saying that this kind of informative content actually influences their final decision, it sets you up for success down the line. As visitors show strong intent to buy, showcasing reviews from similar types of travelers is another great way to secure the booking with these micro-trip travelers.

And that’s our top 6 travel trends to take note of in 2019! Wan’t more ideas on personalizing the travel customer journey? Get our bitesize guide featuring 3 examples of personalization in action.

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics

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What’s the story so far for e-commerce?  Check out our Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics to find out!

2018 saw retail and travel e-commerce go through a dramatic period of change. Challenges such as Brexit and GDPR hit the UK market, while Amazon continued its dominance in the US.

Now that we’re a few months into 2019, we decided to look back at the data to understand what e-commerce brands need to know when it comes to traffic, conversions and adjusting their strategy for the rest of the year.

We’ve crunched the numbers from more than 400 million website visits to 180+ e-commerce websites to bring you the story so far via our Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics round-up!

Q1 2019 vs. Q4 2018

First things first – how has 2019 performed so far versus 2018? We compared Q1 2019 to our Q4 2018 e-commerce statistics.

Here are the headline stats:

As you might expect, there was a drop in traffic and conversions after the peak shopping season. Conversion rates were down too, the average conversion rate in Q1 was 1.78%. On the bright side, average order values increased. This is likely due to the fact that Q1 2019 is less discount focused than Q4.

A key takeaway for e-commerce marketers is the need to make the most of the traffic you do get during less busy periods. When you don’t have seasonal offers or discounts to tempt visitors to convert you need to ensure your abandonment recovery strategy is en pointe. Read our guide on 5 simple steps to save an abandoned cart to get some tips on improving yours!

When it comes to conversions, timing is everything

When it comes to successful e-commerce marketing time of day and  day of week can have a huge impact on the outcome of your efforts to optimize the customer journey and drive conversions. We decided to take a look at average traffic and conversions to get a better understanding of consumer behaviour. Here’s what traffic and conversion rate looks like by hour of day:

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: time of day data

Notice that traffic grows from 8am onwards, peaking between 5pm and 8pm as consumers finish the working day. Conversions peak at two key times – 12pm, so lunch time, and at 6pm.

What does this mean for marketers? Well, it presents an opportunity to personalize throughout the day to reflect the different stages in the journey your customers might be at. For example, employing social proof at lunchtimes or in the evening works well to convert shoppers as they’re already in this high-intent frame of mind.

This is exactly what soak.com did with a campaign utilizing time of day targeting. It used Dynamic Social Proof to create a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) among mobile users who would otherwise have been casually browsing at lunchtime. The notification showed how many other users had browsed the product in the last 24 hours, indicating popularity:

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: soak.com social proof example

With bathrooms being a high-consideration product with a long purchase cycle, this moved a high-funnel browser further down the path of purchase. As a result, the campaign generated an 11.2% conversion rate uplift in the target group.

Another day, another dollar (if it’s a Saturday)

As well as the time of day, it’s important to track customer behaviour across different days of the week. Our Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics show that Saturdays (followed by Fridays) see the most conversions, but Sundays actually see the most traffic.

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: day of week data

What does this mean for e-commerce marketers? Think about what else you can do to nudge your visitors toward purchase – on a Saturday this might involve creating urgency, while on a Sunday, when visitors are in browsing mode, you might need to help them discover the products that are right for them via personalization and recommendations.

Week by week, when were the peaks?

While Q1 is not as busy as Q4 when it comes to e-commerce shopping holidays, there are a few to take note of. Here are a few of the key dates to keep in mind:

  • Weeks 1-2: we saw increased traffic and conversions across the first two weeks of the quarter, likely thanks to the January sales!
  • Week 5: we saw conversions spike at the beginning of February and hold pretty strong until week 7 (the week of Valentine’s day!). This shows the importance of getting ready for this first peak of the year.
  • Weeks 11-13: Toward the end of Q1 traffic increases, but conversions didn’t tell the same story. What else can you do to convince visitors to become customers?

The key takeaways from these Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics

The statistics and trends we’ve examined here highlight a few opportunities for marketers to improve the customer journey going into Q2 and beyond. Here are a few things to try:

  • Test and learn what works during peak while traffic is high, so you can apply this during quieter periods
  • Ensure you’re collecting as much data as possible from these visitors so you can remarket to them, and personalize next time they visit
  • Delve into the data behind performance based on time and date – you could learn valuable lessons to improve your strategy!

Meet the Team: Lana Kropyvna, Head of Design

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In this series, we sit down with Yieldifiers across the business to find out more about what they do all day.

Next up: Lana Kropyvna, Head of Design

What’s your role at Yieldify?

I lead the Design team, which is made up of four fantastic designers in London and Portugal.

Together with our Client Services team, we develop customer journeys for a variety of brands – from Domino’s through to Megabus. These innovative user journey strategies help increase conversion rates and sales.

As a team we’re passionate about interaction, behavioral science and technology. We apply research and creative thinking to a human-centered approach, finding ways to improve user experiences via design and delivering intuitive digital experiences.

What did you do before you joined the team here?

I have over 8 years’ experience working on a wide variety of projects with a pretty eclectic collection of brands covering e-commerce, media and finance.

My previous role before joining Yieldify was with a digital design team in a start-up, creating branding and identity projects, web assets and email campaigns. I was heavily involved in developing brand guidelines and communicating them to the teams in EMEA, US, and UAE. This came in very handy when we were rebranding in Yieldify!

Tell us about the part the Design function plays at Yieldify

What we do within the Design team is to create the catalyst between the user’s needs and the technology. We do this by creating a seamless digital experience between the client’s brand and our technical solutions.

How do you think it’s different to what other companies like us do?

All campaigns for our global clients are designed internally by our team, the design of which is usually turned extremely quickly.

I would say we’re different from other companies in the space because of the level of experience that each designer has within the team. Almost everyone in the design team has passed a 3-year milestone at Yieldify – as such we’ve all learned the best practices and ways to apply them in order. It means that we can deliver incredibly quickly, which allows our teams to be reactive to new insights and trends and therefore get faster results for our clients. 

What do you think our clients value most about what you do?

From the feedback we get, I’d say they value our attention to detail and how we translate their brand guidelines into campaigns that integrate really well into their wider marketing. 

As a team, we make it our business to know the client’s brand inside-out, paying close attention to their trends and the message they’re communicating so that we can apply it in our design thinking. Any marketer will tell you just how critical and sensitive it can be to capture the nuances of individual brands at every touchpoint, so it’s so important to have an experienced who can get it right without dozens of iterations. 

How important is the role of design in e-commerce?

People buy with their eyes. If something doesn’t look good, users won’t be interested in it – end of story. There’s a furious competition online for everything, so good design is the key to a successful user journey.

Does the structure of an e-commerce site bring any particular design challenges?

Shopping online can be a frustrating experience bought on through many factors. The decision-making process, as well as the checkout flow,  needs to be clean, clear and straightforward. Every one of our design solutions has to be on-brand, stand out and give the user a seamless, enjoyable experience. 

What design trends have you seen emerging in e-commerce recently?

There are quite a few. Personalization is obviously key, but so are easier checkouts and payment solutions, seamless integration with mobile. What really unites all of these is delivering a more user-focused approach rather than just a technical solution to a problem.

What trends do you expect to see become more popular?

Digital experiences are evolving and becoming more deeply integrated in the physical world – we’re already starting to see a blurred line between the digital and physical, helping make shopping experiences richer.

Quickfire questions

What do you like best about working at Yieldify?

I love that I get to work with a variety of really great brands. Our work reaches large, diverse audiences and I feel that through what we do, we’re helping to influence the way people behave online.

What’s your proudest achievement since joining?

We recently went through a rebranding exercise where we repositioned Yieldify with a more confident visual identity. Working collaboratively with different teams and launching this to our clients was a very proud moment for both myself and everyone at Yieldify.

What was your biggest learning?

I’d say my biggest learning is that I can’t be everywhere at the same time! I’ve since learned to delegate tasks more, giving further responsibility to other team members and getting more time to focus on my tasks and do them well.

5 Ways Eurovision Can Increase Your E-Commerce Sales

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Eurovision 2019 will be the world’s biggest live music event of the year – here’s how to use it in your digital marketing to increase your sales

42 countries competing for the prize. Hundreds of millions of viewers watching around the world. High probability of at least one ironic metal band, several torchsongs and the over-use of dozens of wind machines. It’s Eurovision 2019.

Whatever you think of this festival of kitsch and soft politics, it’s one of the biggest TV events in the world. On May 18th, nearly 200 million TV viewers across the world (yes, even in the US) will be tuning in to watch the final – so what’s the opportunity for the e-commerce marketer to use it to boost sales?

Conchita Wurst goes low-key as Eurovision's 2014 winner
Conchita Wurst goes low-key as Eurovision’s 2014 winner

What’s the goal?

First things first, let’s unpack why you’re looking to get involved in this charivari of camp in the first place. There are 3 distinct kinds of opportunity here:

  1. Finding customers in new markets – since over 42 countries participate in the contest, audiences are drawn from Austria to Australia.
  2. Mass-market brand awareness – it’s a major event and it gets coverage, even if it’s not to everyone’s taste. You can see this in the kind of brand partner the contest is getting.
  3. Building a witty brand – if you have a tone-of-voice that fits a wry sense of humour or a target market rich on LGBTQ+ consumers, the brand association with Eurovision could be a great one for you to make.

Goal decided? Douze points for you – you can now direct your resources effectively among the below options.

Also, we’re going to assume you’re not an official sponsor of the event (skip to the end if you are). That’ll preclude you from doing a fair few things, so you’ll need to get a little creative. We’re about to go channel-by-channel to explore your opportunities, so grab your national flag and buckle up…

1. On social media

As one of the biggest events in the TV calendar, it’s unsurprising that Eurovision generates a Twitterstorm to match:

According to Brandwatch, there were 1,353,393 mentions of Eurovision online during the first day of the 2018 competition. And the crying-laughing emoji was the most popular Eurovision-associated emoji.

The approach to social media marketing around Eurovision is much the same as any other big event (except significantly more bizarre and with a marginally higher chance of seeing milkmaids appear).

If the goal you chose above was best aligned with the idea of showing off your brand’s charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, then this may well be the low-budget execution of your choice. But here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Make your commentary worthwhile. If you intend to live-tweet the event, know that everyone else is going to be doing it too. You therefore need to bring something better to the party than a tub of hummus and a few RTs. Be prepared with differentiated angles to stand out in a very, very crowded conversation.
  2. Be agile with content. Have your designers and content marketers on standby to be able to take advantage of opportunities in real-time – the Oreos Superbowl Blackout tweet is the shining example of what good content made fast can do.
  3. Listen to the hashtags. Remember that there are going to be multiple hashtags floating around – this year’s official hashtag is #DaretoDream – keep an eye out for the ones that your audience is more likely to be using.
  4. Pay attention to the pre-Eurovision tours and semi-finals. You’ll see every act and get a steer of who’ll be the highlights on the night so that you can prepare your best one-liners in advance and couple it with some pre-prepared content.
  5. Work the build-up. You don’t have to live-tweet the actual final in order to jump on the social media bandwagon – while the conversation pre-event might not have the speculative intensity of the Superbowl, there’s still opportunity to run competitions or pre-event predictions tied back to your brand.

2. On the website

Here’s a good one for those of you seeking to use Eurovision as a means to get more international traffic to your e-commerce site.

If you’ve run your campaigns to garner interest from international consumers, your site is going to need to be ready – and fast. Whipping up local versions of your site in time for May probably isn’t an option, so the best way to react to a spike in international interest is by using website personalization.

This gives you the opportunity to not only identify international traffic arriving on your website, but also offer them different messages to encourage them to continue and complete their online journeys.

A good example comes from French beauty brand Lancôme, who wanted to react to an uptick in visits from Chinese consumers. Using our flexible targeting capability, the brand was able to serve an overlay welcoming visitors using a Chinese language browser with a message that would resonate with them:

A simple execution, but effective and extremely quick – exactly the kind of thing you could use if you’re suddenly seeing a spike in visitors from FYR Macedonia. For more on catering to global e-commerce audiences check out our guide, How to win in global e-commerce.

If it’s less about international customers and more about broad-brush awareness, you could create a special Eurovision-themed homepage or highlight products that might appeal to fans.

However, not everyone turning up on your site is going to be interested in the weirder styling of Austrian popstars, so it may be worth thinking about personalizing your site. The easiest way to do this is with a tool that allows you to read the traffic source of your visitor, delivering Eurovision-themed content to visitors from Eurovision-related campaigns.

A number of our clients have used Yieldify to achieve this sort of experience. For example, recipe box company Simply Cook targeted Facebook traffic using our referral source targeting to deliver a message completely in line with that audience’s needs:

3. In your content

The principle is here is pretty similar to the considerations you’d make in your social media – if you’re going to do it, do it well. Content for content’s sake will easily be lost in a wave of other talking points (like this one):

Ukraine's legendary 2007 Eurovision Song Contest act
Ukraine’s legendary 2007 act (the country will be absent from this year’s contest)
Source: AFP

If you’re going for it, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Go back to your goal. This is where you should start thinking about the specific audience or tone-of-voice you want to strike with your content. This probably isn’t the time for your big international audience unless you’re keen to translate your content into 20+ languages.
  • Data stories work well. Got a story about a spike in Estonian food sales ahead of the final? Spin it – you can be certain that few others will.
  • Think multimedia. This audience is here for a TV competition – break out of the box of static and move to the interactive. Games and quizzes? Absolutely. Videos? The more glitter, the better. Assets that support some kind of drinking game? Yes please.

4. In PR

This is actually one of the easiest ways to generate quick-and-dirty interest off the back of the event, provided your story is strong enough.

In recent years, we’ve seen British bookmaker Ladbrokes garner plenty of earned media through a simple story that combined Eurovision with that other big Europe story: Brexit.

The survey story asked the public – amongst other things – whether they thought Britain should leave Eurovision altogether. The story picked up coverage across national media, promoting the bookmaker’s Eurovision odds:

Ladbrokes Eurovision PR campaign
Ladbrokes’ Eurovision PR campaign

If your goal is broad brand visibility, then this could be the strategy for you. Better still, integrate your content and social media activity into your PR strategy for a multi-channel approach that develops in the lead-up to the event.

5. On email

If you’re using a decent ESP or marketing automation tool, you can target email campaigns at customers who have visited your site before and either made a purchase or gotten close to one.

But is this right for a Eurovision strategy? Maybe. Email marketing can boost your Eurovision campaign activity if one of the following applies:

  • If you have a promotional offer related to the contest. Target this strategically on email and use the time-limited nature of the offer to generate FOMO in the way you would for any other special promotion.
  • If you’re running a competition. Similar principle to running a promo – it’s time-sensitive and can therefore be a good message to push through email.
  • If your ESP lets you segment effectively. If you know that Eurovision would go down like a lead balloon with some of your customers, you need to have this in play. If you have key Eurovision content pages, use email to retarget users who have engaged with them.

…and the winner is

You, hopefully (although our money is on The Netherlands for the actual show). Regardless of what budget and channels you have at your disposal to leverage Eurovision, just remember two things:

  1. What are you trying to achieve with this? If you don’t have a specific goal, you run the risk of not being targeted enough to get cut-through.
  2. What are you bringing to the table? This is one of the loudest, weirdest TV events in the world and it brings no shortage of content and stories – bring something worth it to the party or risk wasting your time.

Got through all of this and still don’t know what Eurovision is? We’re truly amazed you made it this far. We can’t promise that this will help, but we’ll leave you with this concise musical explanation:

Want even MORE Eurovision content? Take our quiz to find out whether your e-commerce website should be taking home a trophy (or disappearing into obscurity)

Why trust matters when marketing financial services

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Three take-aways from our webinar on building trust and marketing financial services

Marketing financial services has always relied on building trust and loyalty with consumers. And this is something that many financial institutions and banks used to be able to rely on, but today’s fintech revolution has seen established brands face a wave of disruption. New, innovative online and mobile-first services built around delighting customers have transformed financial services, and consumer expectations. How then can brands build trust with consumers in this new online, mobile-first world?

In order to understand more about why trust is so important when it comes to marketing financial services online we joined forces with Trustpilot, the worlds most powerful review platform. In a live webinar earlier this month Jessica Fisher, our EMEA Services Director, joined Trustpilot to dissect the findings of their recent research into how 1000+ global consumers find trust when it comes to financial services products.

Here we’ll share some of the key take-aways from the webinar, or you can scroll on down and watch it all for yourself!

Why is trust important when it comes to marketing financial services?

Success for financial services providers is no longer guaranteed by being a familiar name. Across every financial services niche, consumers are being offered a huge variety of products and services by disruptors focusing on a better customer experience and personalization of services. That’s why its vital that finance marketers now focus in on how they can build trust with consumers.

The decline in consumer trust in financial services is still evident, even a decade on from the financial crisis. Consumers are 50% more likely to say their level of trust in financial services has decreased rather than increased over the last three years (30% vs. 20%).

So if trust is on the decline, where do consumers find it? There are two key channels – your website, and word of mouth. The website was rated top among all channels when researching finance related products with 68% of consumers rating it ‘important’ or ‘very important’. Combined these two things become a powerful tool for marketing financial services products.

Marketing financial services via your website is key for 68% of consumers

How can financial services marketing incorporate trust?

We go into more detail in the webinar (which you can view at the end of this post!) with 6 key steps to building trust along the finance customer journey. But here is a sneak peek at a few of our top rated tips to build trust via your financial services marketing strategy.

1) Focus on the journey

The key to building trust is a better customer journey. Many financae brands focus heavily on acquiring new customers, while spending less time on creating a customer experience that builds trust once these customers arrive on-site. Building trust with new visitors who know little to nothing about your brand is a challenge, but with a data driven approach it’s possible.

In the below example from Argos Pet insurance the brand analyzed each step of the funnel to understand the stages that could be targeted. Through testing, it was able to identify the different actions that could improve engagement and encourage users to the next step.

2. Help consumers decide

Sometimes, when it comes to complex financial products, users might need a little help. Regocnise this based on behavioural data, and point them in the right direction. For example, a visitor might want to speak with an advisor to finish their quote or application, so if you can identify when they’re struggling you can serve them a notification or overlay with this option. Here, insurance company StaySure targeted exiting visitors with the option to click to call, and saw 23% of these visitors go on to complete the quote process via phone.

3. Unlock digital word of mouth

Social proof is a powerful psychological tactic that can be utilized in many ways online to improve the customer journey. But when and where should you use it?

Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all answer to this question. Focus on understanding the users and their motivations at the point in the journey you’re working to optimize.

For example, with upper funnel visitors on a finance site highlighting ease of completion can be a great way to move visitors further along. Once visitors are closer to the end of the funnel, then this messaging might change to focus more on reassurance, so here is a perfect place to test out the impact of reviews.

Finance customer journey
Use reviews at the lower end of the funnel

Want more tips? Watch the full webinar below, or check out our guide to optimizing the finance customer journey which features three ways to create a better customer experience for your online visitors.

Easter E-commerce Tips

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Easter e-commerce is expected to see 19% growth between 2018 and 2022. Capitalize on the opportunity with these tips to help make your spring marketing strategy a success.

2018 Easter E-Commerce Trends

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2018 made up 9.6% of all sales. In fact, March and April of 2018 saw e-commerce sales totalling more than $18 billion. Analyzing and understanding what these trends mean can help marketers understand the opportunity and pinpoint the best strategies for conversion rate optimization, so let’s take a look at some Easter economics.

Easter Economics

Experts predict shoppers to spend an average of $151 each on Easter-related items. In fact, 2018 showed us that roughly eight out of every ten adults make plans to celebrate Easter. (For those who are not planning to celebrate the holiday, Easter sales still help increase seasonal spending.)

Easter e-commerce trends for 2019
Source: NRF

Of those Easter consumers between 18 and 34 years of age, 85% are expected to celebrate Easter in 2019. (Additionally, 80% of 35- to 54-year olds and 74% of those 55-years and older are also expected to celebrate Easter based on previous stats.)

With consumers looking to personalize their traditions, e-commerce provides an easy way to research and retail the products they want. For many shopping for the holiday, Easter planning typically begins at least one week prior to the actual celebration. (In fact, Easter shopping has traditionally reversed downward trends previously observed around February each year.)

Easter-Specific Trends

Easter celebration trends help e-commerce marketers and business owners to identify the specific reasons consumers visit their sites. For example, 65% of consumers shop for Easter items based on traditions. However, 31% of Easter shoppers are inspired by seasonal sales or social activitiesStore displays attract 22% of Easter sales; exclusive products inspire another 21% of shoppers to buy. Finally, retailer events attract 11% of Easter shoppers.

What inspires easter shopping?
Source: NRF

Easter Marketing Strategies

It’s clear Easter e-commerce represents a huge opportunity for retail marketers, so here are three Easter marketing strategies that will help boost your e-commerce potential this year.

1. Organize an Easter Egg Hunt

An Easter Egg hunt brings out the inner child in everyone. What better way to increase traffic, boost sales, and cater to younger consumers looking to celebrate Easter?0

To create your own digital Easter egg hunt, start with thinking about what types of “eggs” you can hide throughout your site as well as the rewards when consumers find them. For example, hide egg photos in some of your less visited pages. Share hints on email and across your social media channels to encourage your subscribers and followers to visit your website.

The reward for locating each egg or a number of eggs could mean your visitors receive a promo code or discount on certain items found on your e-commerce site. This gamification element helps drive engagement with easter traffic, capitalizing on visitors who are Easter celebrants and those simply looking for seasonal sales.

And it doens’t have to stay online. Marks and Spencer were one of the first brands to utilize Instagram stories to host an egg hunt within it’s flagship Singapore store, brining together the online and offline worlds to drive engagement with their followers and visitors.

Easter e-commerce egg hunt example from M&S
M&S Singapore used Instagram to bring a digital egg-hunt to life in-store

2. Holiday personalization

Personalization comes in many flavors. Depending on the products you sell, your Easter marketing strategy may include various ways to personalize and customize consumer purchases. For example, personalized Easter eggs have long been a popular gift for spring. But how can you bring this idea of personalization to life on your e-commerce website?

Thorntons offer customizable, personalized eggs. How can you apply this to your website?

One of the easiest ways to deliver website personalization is via self-segmentation. Holidays tend to mean gifts, and from Easter baskets to a new spring wardrobe, Easter is no exception. Asking dwelling visitors if they’re shopping for themselves or someone else, re-engages them and makes it easy to personalize their journey.

Another tactic is to highight your unique personalization services to your visitors. This is something luxury brand Montblanc does successfully around key holiday periods – and year round!

Highlighting it’s free services such as engraving, embossing, gift wrapping and more helped the brand boost conversions significantly with different visitor segments. The campaign shown below generated a 41.4% uplift in conversions (read the full case study to learn more!)

Montblanc offers personalization and customization to visitors

3. Easter Urgency

Another powerful tactic to try as part of your Easter marketing strategy is to create a sense of urgency. This works well for any event with a natural deadline such as Black Friday, Christmas or your own sale periods.

Ensure you’re tying together your email campaigns with the experience the visitor gets when they arrive on-site. If you have a one-day sale happening, put this front and centre. Try a countdown timer to add to the feeling of urgency we get when we see time passing by. Adding an animated element to this is proven to drive more conversions, as we found with ticketing company We Are FSTVL.

Social proof is another great way to induce urgency. There are many ways this can be incorporated into your website to give consumers the confidence they need to buy (read this blog from Yieldify’s consultancy team to learn more!)

One proven conversion optimization tactic in this area is to use Dynamic Social Proof to show how many other people are looking at a particular product online. But even within this, it’s important to A/B test what works best for your audience. Bathroom retailer Soak.com found that social proof worked best when its visitors had time to browse and consider their purchase at lunchtime. As consumers look to partake in some spring DIY it’s worth trying out this tactic to see how it impacts your conversions.

Easter e-commerce: Social proof can drive urgency

Do Your Homework

E-commerce marketing can be a challenge, even for experts. If you’re struggling with developing an Easter marketing strategy that will help conversion rate optimization, help is at hand. Download our Easter E-commerce tipsheet today to get 5 more conversion rate optimization ideas for your customer journey this spring season.

#AskYieldify: loyalty and lifetime value

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In this series, we put the big e-commerce questions to our crack team of expert consultants. 

This month, we’re talking loyalty and lifetime value (LTV), with Mark Murray, Head of Travel.

In last month’s edition of #AskYieldify we learned all about the power of social proof. This time we’re looking at loyalty and lifetime value, so let’s get started…

Why care about customer loyalty?

There are lots of reasons to look at how you can create customer loyalty, as well as improve the journey for your loyal customers. Here are just a few:

  • “The success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%” – Marketing Metrics
  • “Existing Customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, when compared to new customers” – Modern Marketing

Yet, despite these oft-cited statistics, marketers are still pretty firmly focused on acquisition, with more than half in a recent survey stating that they spend 60% or more of their time and resources on acquisition.

But some marketers are coming around to the idea that it’s not all about acquisition, by digging into their own data to understand the value of ‘loyal’ visitor segments.

At our recent #Journey2019 event Sam Willan, General Manager at StudentUniverse shed some light on why the travel brand is looking to loyalty:

Source: Sam Willan, General Manager, StudentUniverse UK speaking at #Journey2019

Sam presented some pretty compelling numbers, demonstrating that for StudentUniverse at least, loyal customers are worth focusing on, summed up nicely by this quote:


A repeat booker costs half as much to acquire and returns 2.5 times in income”


Sam Willan, General Manager, StudentUniverse UK, speaking at #Journey2019

How can brands leverage loyalty to drive conversions?

When it comes to loyalty, one of the first techniques that come to mind is loyalty programs. But driving value from a loyalty program isn’t as easy as setting up a scheme and waiting for the conversions to roll in.
One of the biggest challenges is actually getting visitors to join the program in the first place.

We’ve found that emphasizing the benefits or unique selling points of your loyalty program is one successful tactic to try. A retail brand we work with tested this out by highlighting the benefits of its loyalty program with a corner notification when visitors were about to register as a user. The campaign worked so well that this has now been incorporated as part of it’s registration page.

Personalization is also really important when it comes to loyalty messages. Beauty brand Skyn ICELAND, personalized based on whether a user was new or returning to drive registrations for its newly launched loyalty program:

Skyn Iceland: building loyalty and lifetime value with personalization

Once you’ve registered your users, activating them is the next challenge. Reminding members of their rewards is another way personalization can help drive conversion. In another example from the world of beauty, haircare brand Ouidad serves different messages to depending on the loyalty level of a consumer.

Ouidad: building loyalty and lifetime value with personalization
Ouidad use different messages for subscribers vs. customers

The brand created campaigns to re-engage lapsing users and reward top customers, driving a high level of engagement and boosting loyalty and lifetime value. Last year, Ouidad loyalty members had an average repeat purchase rate of 54.4% (vs. 29.8% for non-members) and a higher annual purchase frequency.

How can I build loyalty and lifetime value as a luxury brand?

Luxury brands can have a bit more of a challenge when it comes to loyalty programs, as giving away discounts can be seen as detrimental to the brand. As always, it’s important to test and learn to find what works best for your audience.

For instance, a luxury department store tested out placing a points-led message front and centre, to drive uptake of its loyalty program. However, the analysis revealed that this ‘push’ style message was not having a positive impact. With this learning, the brand was able to quickly update the format of the messaging to act more as a reminder, giving users the choice to interact if interested, rather than forcing the message on them.

A more subtle ‘pull’ style message can be more effective for luxury brands

How I can optimize the post-purchase experience for loyalty?

Building loyalty and lifetime value isn’t just about loyalty programs, it’s about providing value and driving engagement, fortunately, there are lots of ways you can do this. Post-purchase is the perfect opportunity to point users toward other content or channels you want to highlight, such as social media platforms, as you can then build a much more regular rapport with them.

You might also want to push users toward your app, as it’s been shown mobile can be a powerful driver of customer loyalty. You could also take the opportunity to incentivise your users further, by offering a discount on subsequent purchases, or in exchange for a referral.

Interestingly, post-purchase can also be a great moment in which to secure loyalty scheme membership. At this point in the customer journey, you have enough data to make a pretty compelling and personalized offer to your audience. One technique we have used successfully is by dynamically populating messages with how many points visitors could earn, based on the purchase that has just been completed. A recent campaign with a travel brand drove uplifts of +5% in conversion rate by showing this alongside USPs.

Building loyalty and lifetime value in travel

What part does customer feedback play when it comes to loyalty?

Customer feedback is an important tool to both create and build loyalty and lifetime value along the customer journey. If you never ask your customers what drives their loyalty and satisfaction, it will be impossible to amplify and recreate this…or know where you’re going wrong.

But when should you ask customers for feedback? Think about this carefully – for example, if you’re a travel brand, asking a user to rate their experience after they have gone on holiday may not be the best time to get online feedback.

This is something that should potentially be done after the booking is complete and before they travel, that way you can be assured they’re rating the booking process and experience of your site, rather than the holiday itself! For more tips on customer feedback and reviews, check out our very first #AskYieldify blog.

If you’ve got an e-commerce question you need help with why not #AskYieldify? Tweet us, or email us on info@yieldify.com, for a chance have your question answered by our e-commerce experts. In the meantime check out our other blogs in the series: Google Shopping, customer reviews and social proof

Introducing In-Page Personalization from Yieldify

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In-Page Personalization

Our biggest launch this year will revolutionize your personalization strategies

Personalization has always been kind of a drag. Most platforms take months to get up-and-running and then demand hours upon hours of skilled time in order to execute. In fact, 30% of marketers rate personalization among their most difficult executions (it’s up there with machine learning).

New In-Page Personalization from Yieldify – announced worldwide today – sets out to change all that. Here’s how.

What is In-Page Personalization?

In-Page Personalization is – put simply – the ability to add personalization to your website pages without having to touch their code.

The new In-Page functionality pairs with Yieldify’s appropriately-named On-Page Personalization, which includes overlays, banners, Notifications and much more. Where On-Page Personalization is intentionally more prominent, In-Page Personalization is designed to be more subtle. Using the two together forms the backbone of any effective Customer Journey Optimization strategy.

Here’s an example of how it could look on a mobile site:

In-Page Personalization example on retail mobile device

Not sure which bit we’re talking about? That’s exactly the idea. The In-Page Personalization element here is the ‘120 people…’ flag in blue – it has been added in a matter of minutes and will only appear on the site’s most popular products, even then only materializing after the user has dwelled for a few seconds. To your user, it all looks seamlessly like part of your site.

All of this is hosted on the Yieldify Conversion Platform, which gets up-and-running in less than two weeks – a fraction of the time than the multiple months that most personalization platforms demand.

Who is it for?

In-Page Personalization is made for any e-commerce team that wants a fast and easy way to personalize their website – that means it’s great for everyone from retail to financial services.

A great example of the product in action comes from NEST Fragrances, who have used In-Page Personalization to deliver social proof messaging as part of the fabric of their site:

In-Page Personalization displayed on the NEST Fragrances website

The work so far has already led to a 30% uplift in conversion rates:

“With In-Page Personalization, we’re now able to make our website content reactive to our users’ behavior in real-time. With limited resources and bandwidth, it would have been very difficult for us to deliver this on our own. Based on initial results, we’re excited to see where we can take it next.”

Brian Crowley, Director, E-commerce and Digital Marketing at NEST Fragrances

Here’s another example from the award-winning tour operator Leger Holidays, who used in-page personalization to show a message at a late stage in the booking funnel, encouraging users to continue on their journey:

According to our team, using this format on the Leger website meant this message could be anchored right alongside the relevant sections of the form, without interrupting the visitor journey. To date, the results have been impressive, with conversion rates up by +15.7% versus the control group.

How does In-Page Personalization work?

It works in two very simple ways:

1.Sticky campaigns

These are creatives and messages that you can ‘stick’ to almost any element of your page. These will continue ‘sticking’ to that element, no matter where your user scrolls, making them appear completely seamless with the rest of your page content.

2. Embedded campaigns

Of course, not every page design allows that little piece of extra space that you might need for a Sticky campaign – this is where Embedded campaigns come in. These will add your message or creative directly into your page.

Both types of campaign look identical from a user perspective (in that they’ll have no idea this isn’t already a part of your website).

Why bother though?

Since launching this new functionality in beta, we’ve seen an overwhelming response from e-commerce companies across the world. Dozens of clients have told us that this offers an invaluable route out of time-consuming and complex personalization, making fast and agile personalization available to them for the first time:

“Changing elements of our website so that it can be properly personalized used to be one of our biggest challenges – it competed with other priorities and would take a considerable amount of time to get it live. Using Yieldify’s In-Page Personalization has been a game-changer: now it only takes minutes. It’s opened the door to a faster, more agile approach to ensuring our website performs at its best.”

David Gomez, Insurance Director at AllClear Travel

To prove just how easy it is, here’s a quick video that shows you how to put a campaign together:

Here’s where there’s another element that makes all of this pretty special: behavioral triggering. Where many personalization platforms will allow you to invest your time and resource into creating personalized pages depending on cohort segments, Yieldify allows you to take things to the next level by being able to change the appearance of that content depending on in-session behavior.

How do I get In-Page Personalization?

Both In-Page and On-Page Personalization form part of the Yieldify Conversion Platform. As an award-winning product, it specializes in its speed and ease-of-use – you’ll be able to get up-and-running within two weeks, with just a single tag to have your IT team integrate. We’ll take care of the rest.

To find out more, request a free demo.

As part of your demo, we’ll assess whether In-Page Personalization looks right for your website, and then use the time to walk you through our ideas for how it could achieve the best results.

Meet your visitors: ecommerce segmentation statistics

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When it comes to creating personalized customer journeys, understanding your visitors is key. One way to achieve that is via segmentation.

There are many different ways to segment your visitors, but your ability to create, and then personalize for these segments relies on data. Not only that but knowing which visitor segments represent the biggest opportunity will help you prioritise your personalization strategy, ensuring you’re not wasting time and resource on ‘personalization for personalization’s sake’. In this blog we’ll take a look at the type of data you might want to take a look at, sharing our benchmarks for 4 common visitor segments that should be familiar to every e-commerce marketer.

So, who are they?

We’ve aggregated these stats from over 30 billion data points to bring you insights on 4 crucial visitor segments for e-commerce:

  • New visitors
  • Returning visitors
  • Returning customers
  • Loyal customers

Personalizing for these four visitor segments is the first step toward an intelligent personalization strategy that focuses on the right data, to deliver the right message at the appropriate point in the customer journey. Let’s take a look at which segment has the highest conversion rate, and which drives the most revenue, and more, read on to see what we found…

Which visitor segment drives the most traffic?

When it comes to deciding on your perosnalization priorities, and segmentation strategy, is bigger, better? As we can see from the below chart, new visitors make up the largest percentage of traffic, and our data also shows that this holds true across both retail and travel.

Source: Yieldify data

What this means is that, on average, only around 8% of your visitors have bought from you before. So should discount them when it comes to your segmentation and website personalization strategy? Probably not, but we’ll explore why you might not want to miss out on them later in this blog. First, what else do we know about these new visitors?

“Only 8% of your visitors have bought from your website before”

Well, when it comes to devices, desktop visitors are the most likely to be new (62%). This falls to around 50% for mobile and tablet, where users might already be familiar with you, and driven back to your site via paid search, email or social (all of which drive more traffic on mobile than on desktop, as shown below):

Source: Yieldify data

Taking into account this data, and the fact that modern customer journeys are rarely linear when it comes to device usage demonstrates the importance of developing strategies that work across mobile, desktop and tablet, and continually testing what works best for each.

Another thing to think about here is the fact that most marketers are still strongly focused on acquisition. Our State of CJO report revealed that more than half of marketers are dedicating more than 60% of their time and resources on acquisition rather than retention, and this split is reflected in the visitors we see on the average e-commerce site.

How do different visitor segments compare when it comes to conversions?

Well, now we can reveal why you should never discount the loyal customer group, despite the fact they account for just 4% of traffic on the average e-commerce site. This group has the highest conversion rate of all your visitors, with a conversion rate of 31% in Retail and almost 34% in Travel.

Here’s how conversion rate stacks up across our 4 visitor segments:

Source: Yieldify data

What we can see is that a loyal retail customer, for example, is 8.5x more likely to convert than a new visitor.

“A loyal retail customer is 8.5x more likely to convert than a new visitor”

For travel, we can see that returning visitors and returning customers have a slightly higher propensity to convert than for retail. This is perhaps because this segement has invested more time in researching a more complex purchase or are being driven by urgency around the availability of inventory or their trip timelines.

And how about average order values?

Conversions lead us on to average order values, obviously, these can differ quite a lot between Travel and Retail, but we can see similar trends when it comes to our visitor segments.

Source: Yieldify data

Returning visitors spend the most on average ($62 for retail, and $309 for travel) and if you remember what we saw for conversion rate, this group had the lowest conversion rate for retail at 3.2%. This may indicate that repeat browsing and research leads returning visitors to purchase more, or higher value items.

“Returning visitors spend the most on average – $62 for retail, and $309 for travel.”

Loyal customers had the lowest AOV across retail and travel, but buy more regularly and have a higher chance of converting as we have seen. This might indicate that campaigns focused on increasing AOV, such as cross-sell or up-sell, should be a priority for this segment if you’re seeing the same trends in your own data.

Which visitor segments drive the most revenue?

There were a few differences when it came to revenue per segment across retail and travel. For example, in Travel less revenue came those who had purchased before (i.e. loyal customers and returning customers) compared with new and returning visitors, who were responsible for 82% of revenue.

Source: Yieldify data

This is not so surprising given what we’ve already learned about these visitor segments in regards to average order value, and the size of the segments themselves. Retail saw slightly more revenue from these visitor segments, with previous purchasers responsible for 28% of revenue

“New visitors represent the largest percentage of revenue, accounting for 40% within retail and 44% in travel”

Given the longer customer journey within travel, and the fact travel purchases are less frequent, this lack of revenue from previous customers is perhaps not so strange. However, remember that we saw much higher conversion rates for returning customers versus returning visitors for both retail and travel, indicating there is perhaps a missed opportunity here to tailor the customer journey better.

What are the average bounce rates for these visitor segments

So far we’ve look at how the different segments behave when it comes to purchase, but what about if they just leave? Looking at average bounce rates for the 4 visitor segments we noted a correlation between loyalty and bounce rate:

What this tells us, is that campaigns focused on reducing bounce rate should be focused primarily on new visitors, who are likely less familiar with your brand and so more likely to leave. Think about how you can highlight your USPs to re-engage them before they leave. Another consideration is device – bounce rates were lowest on desktop and highest on mobile, suggesting there is still some work to do optimizing the mobile customer journey.

Conclusion

Stats like these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning more about your visitors via segmentation. As you gather more data, map your customer journey, and benchmark your performance, you’ll be able to create a more detailed picture of how your visitors behave and spot the opportunities to improve their experience.

Want more data and insights like this? Check out our other resources.

Segmentation for e-commerce ebook

#Journey2019: An interview with James Boyle from Flight Centre

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With #Journey2019 just around the corner we’re going behind-the-scenes with our amazing speaker line-up. Today we talk with James Boyle from Flight Centre.

Hi James, thanks for speaking with us today! Can you tell us a bit more about you and your role at Flight Centre?

Yes sure. My role is Head of Performance Marketing for Flight Centre UK. I’m responsible for driving traffic and enquiry conversion through the site through our performance-based channels such as PPC, SEO, Display Retargeting, A/B Testing, and anything offline also that’s performance-based, so it’s a really varied and hands-on role. I’ve been working at the company since 2016, found my groove pretty early on, and work with a great team.

Essentially I am a digital marketer at heart, and although no two days are the same, my main focus is to ensure we get the best return on investment across our performance-based channels.

Nice, and how did you end up where you are today?

Primarily my background has mainly been in travel, I was working in the retail property market for a while prior to Flight Centre, but I quickly found that I really missed travel. Before that, I worked for an airline, Virgin Australia, in a similar role, so e-commerce focused, and prior to that, I lived in Edinburgh, working for the tourism board VisitScotland.

There’s a lot of similarities working at an airline, then in tourism, then where I am now at an online travel agent, but there’s also a lot of differences as you can imagine. At Flight Centre, we have 80+ retail stores, and we have a huge depth of product, we’re selling airline tickets, we’re selling hotel products.

In my past roles it was all about achieving a direct booking with the airline, or inspiring people to visit a particular location. It definitely helps with the learning curve being exposed to different organizations, and I can’t think of a more exciting industry to be in that travel.

And speaking of where you are today, can you tell us a bit about Flight Centre?

Flight Centre was founded in Australia, as part of the Flight Centre Travel Group, we’re a very large business – something that a lot of people usually find surprising if they’re not familiar with us.

We specialize in a variety of areas, but primarily in tailor-made holidays. As mentioned we’ve got 80+ stores in the UK, right across the country, so if there’s a busy high street we’re not too far away! We entered the UK market in the mid-90s and have expanded significantly over the last 20 years.

As a business a key differentiator for us is our people, we have a huge focus on driving customers in-store, so we can tailor make any holiday they need. There may be a view that travel agents are a thing of the past, but there’s so much choice now and everyone is so busy I think that’s changing. An example recently, I booked a trip to Oman, and it was somewhere I was not familiar with so having someone on hand to help me with the trip saved so much time when it came to research.

This really is a huge asset for our business, we get so many reviews from customers shouting out the individual consultants. The fact that in the last 12 months we’ve seen our Trustpilot score go from 8.8/10 to 9.7/10 is a testament to our people and is something we’re really proud of.

You’ve talked a bit about what differentiates Flight Centre as a business, what would you say are the key challenges in travel?

The thing that comes up the most for us, and particularly in the work we’ve done with Yieldify, is optimizing for the full customer journey. I think as consumers we now have such high standards when it comes to our experiences with brands, and this applies to travel but also to any industry.

This is especially true online, given how quickly technology develops, that as a business we need to ensure we’re giving the best experience of whatever touchpoint the customer has interacted with us via. And with Flight Centre this can be via live chat, phone, email, in-store, and more –  it’s a big challenge for any brand to ensure consistency across all those touchpoints.

This is particularly important for travel, as there’s not as much brand loyalty. Consumers have gotten used to booking flights and accommodation separately and will book activities either just before they leave or in-destination. Building loyalty is about really tapping into the customers’ needs at a deeper level, visitors can use metasearch, but we can provide a fully tailored trip, with personalized recommendations from someone who’s been to that destination multiple times.

And how are you going about understanding your customers and how their expectations are changing?

It’s really interesting, we kind of started this process last year, thinking about what we could do around the acronym CJO, Customer Journey Optimization, that Yieldify has popularized. So we’ve been working a lot more closely with our CRM teams, and making sure we’re analyzing the right data, as well as assessing every single touchpoint that a user can potentially come into contact with us both on our website and with our brand.

It’s been a lengthy process, but we want to ensure users are getting consistency, in terms of their brand experience, at every point in the journey. This ties back to the challenges a lot of brands have, particularly around organizational silos. We’re fortunate at Flight Centre that, for example, we have operations in the same meetings as marketing so we can quickly get a gauge and feedback on what’s working with the customers. This really helps in terms of the feedback loop and that we’re all thinking outside our own headspace, and more in line with the customer.

Are there any companies that you see as really meeting the level of experience that customers expect today in travel or other industries?

I think it’s the names that come up again and again at industry events, and also from my own experience, so the likes of Booking.com, where I usually have a seamless booking experience. I really like the convenience they offer and flexibility, they’ve nailed it.

Then for me, it’s really a lot of companies outside travel, particularly in retail. A really good example for me because they have that high street presence, as well as an online presence, is Argos. It again comes back to that level of customer expectation, people are ordering from the likes of Amazon so you need to compete with that. I think I ordered something from Argos recently, it wasn’t even next day delivery, it was same day delivery for something I ordered at midday. It’s that kind of level of service, as a brand that’s a huge advantage. I really like the way they give you the flexibility, either pick up your item via click and collect or get it delivered.

Finally, can you give us a bit of info about your session at Journey 2019 and what you’re looking forward to on the day?

Sure, so I’ll be joining the travel breakout panel session alongside Loco2 and Thomas Cook Airlines, so it should be a really good discussion. We’ll hopefully go a bit deeper into some of what we’ve discussed today actually and I’m looking forward to hearing what the other speakers have to say! These sessions are also great as a networking opportunity with like-minded professionals facing similar challenges.

I’m also looking forward to seeing Sam Willan from StudentUniverse as I’ve learnt a lot from his team while working on Yieldify so will be great to see his presentation. As for the rest of the line-up, it’ll be exciting also to see what we can learn from other brands not only in the travel space but in retail. I’m actually gutted I’ll be missing the retail breakout session with John Lewis and Oliver Bonas which is at the same time as my session, so hopefully, I’ll be able to get some notes on that!

Thanks James, looking forward to next week!

If you’re lucky enough to have nabbed a ticket to Journey2019 then check out the full line-up here to plan your visit, and we’ll see you there!

https://try.yieldify.com/travel-journeys

Campaigns of the Month: February 2019

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Check out the Campaigns of the Month for February 2019!

How NEST Fragrances helps visitors discover best-selling products

Leading fine and premium home fragrance brand NEST Fragrances wanted to help website visitors discover its world of luxurious yet approachable fragrance collections, here’s how they did that with Yieldify…

Alex Gold, Head of Beauty, Luxury & Lifestyle – Client Services & Strategy

“The sensory nature of fragrance means that visitors can be in need of further guidance when it comes to navigating and discovering products online.

Social proof is a powerful way to build trust with these consumers and can be utilized across the customer journey. NEST has already incorporated social proof into its site, for example, by allowing visitors to sort by best selling, and displaying customer reviews at the category level.

Utilizing Yieldify’s sticky campaigns functionality NEST Fragrances was able to take this further. A ‘Best Selling’ message was added to relevant product pages to ensure that this message was carried across the customer journey.

The campaign has already yielded positive results, driving a 30% uplift in conversion on mobile, and now the brand is A/B testing messaging to hone this further.”

Alexandra Gold, Head of Beauty, Luxury & Lifestyle at Yieldify


How Borough Kitchen drives awareness with returning visitors

Borough Kitchen sells everything the home chef needs for the kitchen and table. Not only that, but Borough Kitchen also offers London Cook School classes, which visitors can book via the website.

As an extremely popular option that sells out quickly, Borough Kitchen wanted to ensure returning visitors were aware of the new Cook School class calendar. Here’s how they did that with Yieldify.

Alice Ribton, Customer Success Manager, Yieldify

“We utilized a subtle floating button format to inform visitors of the new Cook School calendar. The campaign was targeted to particular pages on the site: the homepage, new-in and the gift guide, and displayed to returning visitors.

Appearing at the left-hand side of the screen, users had the choice to interact further – clicking the button opened a ‘Book Now’ CTA to drive users to the calendar.”

Alice Ribton, Customer Success Manager at Yieldify

Want more examples and inspiration? Check out our ebooks for insights on everything from personalization, to psychology, and more!

5 marketing testing methods to optimize the customer journey

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There are many marketing testing methods out there, but what should you try?

For the best results when optimizing the customer journey, marketers need to be analyzing and adjusting their methods and customer touchpoints constantly. Testing your marketing will help you achieve so much more with what you already have by assessing and continuously improving based on data. There are many marketing testing methods out there, but what should you try? Let’s go over some key types of marketing testing you can use on your e-commerce site.

A/B Testing

A/B testing compares two variations of the same item to determine which variation produces the best results. It can be used at a variety of points in the customer journey: calls to action, landing pages, email subject lines, web page layouts, length of copy and more.

For instance, if you wanted to test the click-through rate (CTR) of a call to action (CTA) button, you could vary the button colour, making it appear either blue or red for site visitors, to determine the colour that gets the highest CTR.

With a discount offer you could test what amount appeals to customers and results in a better conversion rate: £5 off or 10% off? Or you could even test if you need to be giving discounts at all, like beauty brand skyn ICELAND who tested a $5 discount verus brand USPs (click here to find out which won!)

Marketing testing for e-commerce
skyn ICELAND tested a discount versus USP message, guess which won?


Tip: Don’t change multiple elements of an item during an A/B test. If you’re testing a CTA button’s colour, don’t change its size or font as well. Keep it simple, otherwise you won’t know which change is producing the best results.

Multivariate Testing (MVT)

Multivariate testing applies a test to a number of elements at the same time to work out the best combination of elements or what specific elements are contributing to better results over others. Rather than testing two significant variations, you can make subtle changes to a variety of elements on one web page and test it against other versions of the same web page to see how these subtle changes interact with each other and the customer.

Marketing testing: MVT
Source: HubPages

In an email, you may test two slightly different templates, a simple version with one CTA and one hero image and a complex version with two CTAs, and a brief message and no images, to see which one produces the best CTR or conversion rate.

Tip: MVT is more advanced marketing testing and therefore useful for highly trafficked sites, as you can get meaningful results fast.

Content Testing

Evaluating your content in detail will help determine whether you’re getting the best out of it. When creating a landing page, email or social media post, it’s important to ask yourself if it works for your target audience. Question elements of the content such as clarity of intent, the layout’s white space, the logo’s prominence, the number of images, accessibility and purpose.

You can also test how you’re delivering the content to your audience – is it at the right time, via the right channel, at the appropriate moment in the customer journey? For example, on social media, a lot of engagement happens at the weekend, yet many brands focus on posting content during the week:

Marketing testing: social media

Tip: Keep a pitch, offer or headline the same when testing and just alter the copy, CTA, layout or image. This will illuminate what elements work well together for your customers. To measure success, look at traffic, and conversions from content, two basic things that should increase for a successful test.

Geotargeted Testing

Geotargeting delivers content to a customer based on their location, determined via their GPS, Wi-Fi or IP address. Using geotargeting you can test whether providing location or culturally specific content drives results using this particular personalization. You could experiment using geotargeted banners, providing local offers or redirecting customers to a translated page based on their IP address.

Beauty brand Lancôme Canada tested out a similar concept by creating a version of it’s lead gen campaign to serve different audiences based on language rather than location.

Using Yieldify’s flexible targeting capability the brand was able to serve an overlay welcoming visitors using a Chinese language browser with a message that would resonate with them.

For more on catering to global e-commerce audiences check out our guide, How to win in global e-commerce.

Tip: You should use a generic control that could apply to all locations when testing the conversion results of geotargeted content.

Usability Testing

Usability testing determines whether your website or app is clearly and efficiently usable by your target audience. There is little point in having a website with stylish design, striking images and balanced white space if information intended for your customer journey is not clear.

Marketing testing: UX and Usability
Source: MockPlus

This type of marketing testing requires you to evaluate user experience and there are numerous ways to carry it out. Researching what appeals to your target demographic could help with design. Paper prototype testing would allow you to assess an invited user completing a task on your website, initially constructed as a step-by-step process on paper, before you create it digitally to see how efficient part of your customer journey is. You could even interview users to receive feedback to show you what does or does not work for them.


Tip: Usability testing is useful when implemented prior to launching a new marketing asset, as it could save you time and money in the long run if you get it right first time.

Case Study: A/B Testing

Megabus used A/B testing to observe which tactics and messages produced the best results across their customer journey to drive urgency in-session, secure bookings and recapture abandoning visitors.

In one instance, highlighting benefits of ‘At-seat power’ or ‘Free Wi-fi’ was compared with a control to see if this had a positive impact on conversion rates. By adapting the format and triggering for mobile because of what they learned through A/B testing, Megabus achieved a 3.2% uplift in conversion rate versus the control group.

Megabus: e-commerce testing
Megabus: A/B tested the customer journey

Conclusion

In a highly competitive e-commerce environment, you need to keep evaluating all elements of your work to make sure they not only look good, but that they drive results. Huge rewards are to be gained by incorporating this kind of analysis into your customer journey optimization strategy, particularly when it comes to e-commerce. Get an overview of testing ideas for your customer journey to solve challenges like cart abandonment, lead capture and more in our free tipsheet: download yours here.


#AskYieldify: social proof for e-commerce

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In this series, we put the big e-commerce questions to our crack team of expert consultants.

This month, everything you ever wanted to #AskYieldify about using social proof for e-commerce, with Bruno Diogo, Consultant at Yieldify.

In last month’s edition of #AskYieldify we tackled the topic of customer reviews. This time we’re looking at how e-commerce brands can use the concept of social proof to improve the customer journey.

What is social proof?

When we’re unsure how to behave in a situation, we tend to follow the behaviour of others, which psychologists have called social proof. Social proof for e-commerce means leveraging this behaviour to build trust or urgency.

Here at Yieldify when we talk about social proof, we’re usually referring to the feature in our platform, Dynamic Social Proof, that allows our clients to leverage this psychological concept, by showing visitors a the popularity of a particular product.

Social Proof for e-commerce: Kickers example

Another way we use social proof is by surfacing reviews at the right moment in the customer journey (read last months #AskYieldify for more on that!)

Does social proof work?

Research from Harvard University shows that up to 95% of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. One of the most powerful ways to target the subconscious is via our tendency to use the wisdom of the crowd to influence our own decisions. In a world full of choice, our subconscious looks for ways to take shortcuts in this decision-making process, and so we trust the decisions of our peers and networks.

That’s great, but again…does it work? Well, according to our data, yes. Yieldify’s benchmark data from over 200,000 customer journey campaigns showed that brands using Dynamic social proof can drive conversion rate uplifts from 6.6%, up to as high as 48.3% per cent depending on the targeting criteria, with the average falling around an 8.5% increase. You can read how brands like Megabus and Kickers use social proof, and the results achieved, in our case studies.

Is social proof real?

There’s been some controversy around social proof recently, particularly within the travel industry where the CMA was concerned some brands were using the tactic to make hotel rooms seem more popular than they were in reality.

To avoid damaging trust with consumers (and indeed the whole premise that underlines the effectiveness of a tactic like social proof) brands need to ensure they are comparing like with like when using social proof. This means being clear about the availability of products within the context of the visitor’s situation. For example, if showing how many others are looking at a particular holiday, ensuring this is for the same dates.

How can I apply social proof to e-commerce?

There are a wide variety of ways to apply social proof to your e-commerce site. One use-case that might immediately come to mind is the use of social proof on travel sites, which have perishable inventory, and so are a natural fit for this tactic. But a word of caution – make sure the social proof tool you’re using is compliant with industry guidelines.

We carried out customer journey benchmarking for one of our travel clients and discovered that while it might seem simple at first glance, there’s actually a range of key moments in the customer journey that brands are targeting with social proof, each with different copy, designs and formats.

In terms of what we learned from this about best practice, social proof should be applied throughout the customer journey, both at the category level and on the product page to drive the best results.

This journey oriented approach, incorporating social proof, is something we’ve tested with Stansted Express, using social proof combined with USP and reassurance messaging throughout the booking funnel. Using multiple messages throughout the journey drove a 120% higher conversion rate than just showing one message.

Stansted Express: social proof for e-commerce
Stansted Express combine social proof with other tactics to optimize the customer journey

What is the best point in the customer journey to use social proof?

It depends. For example, if it’s a high value, considered purchase, then inducing urgency to those users who are simply browsing won’t necessarily work as well as if it’s a lower value, impulse buy. This underlines the importance of testing campaigns, and iterating on them, a negative result from a test isn’t always a bad thing if it can help you refine your strategy.

We saw the importance of this with one of our clients, soak.com, where we noticed that social proof was not performing in line with our benchmarks. We performed some analysis to understand why. Looking at the time of day, and device revealed that the key period when social proof drove a positive impact was around lunchtime, when visitors had time to take in information and make a decision.

soak.com: social proof for e-commerce
soak.com: social proof

From this insight we were then able to launch a version two of the campaign, utilizing Yieldify’s time of day targeting feature. With bathrooms being a high-consideration product with a long purchase cycle, this moved a high-funnel browser further down the path of purchase. As a result, the campaign generated an 11.2% conversion rate uplift in the target group.

If you’ve got an e-commerce question you need help with why not #AskYieldify? Next Month we’ll be tackling loyalty and lifetime value (LTV) so tweet us, or email us on info@yieldify.com, for a chance have your question answered by our e-commerce experts.

Can’t wait until then? Our complete guide to customer loyalty features 6 steps to build loyalty and lifetime value, check it out here.

#Journey2019: An interview with Sam Willan from StudentUniverse

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Ahead of #Journey2019, we’re going behind-the-scenes with our stellar line-up of speakers. First up, Sam Willan from StudentUniverse.

Hi Sam! First things first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and StudentUniverse?

I’m Sam Willan, and I’m General Manager of the U.K. business for StudentUniverse. I took on that role in October last year – previously I was Head of Marketing. As a marketer by trade, I still very much oversee the marketing strategy – that’s my primary focus alongside a general brand responsibility in the UK.

“At StudentUniverse, in a nutshell, we’re advocates for young people seeing the world.”

At StudentUniverse, in a nutshell, we’re advocates for young people seeing the world. We believe that travel is essential to modern day education. So the core of what we do is offer unique pricing terms on flights and global experiences to a closed user group of students via our proprietary verification technology.

We started out of Boston, Massachusetts in 2000 as a technology company in the travel industry. The aim was to create a simpler and more robust approach to student travel than the traditional Student ID discount system. It worked really well and we launched in the UK back in 2013.

Can you tell us more about your journey to get where you are today in travel?

So I’ve been with Flight Centre Travel Group coming up on 10 years, but I’ve essentially worked in travel all my life! Prior to getting a “real job”, I was doing ski seasons for 3 years, and then after that I joined the real world of travel.

I’ve worked across a variety of functions, from sales consultant on the front line for Round the World Experts, to content management around 7 years ago within Flight Centre. I then moved to be the Marketing Manager at Travel Club, and after that into youth travel with Gapyear.com. I made the move into e-commerce around 2 years ago with StudentUniverse and have been there ever since.

Based on your wealth of experience, it would be great to get your perspective on the key challenges the travel industry is facing now we’re in 2019.

Absolutely! I’m going to ignore the macro issue of Brexit because I think that’s probably at the top of the list for anyone working in travel, or even across other industries.

Product differentiation is always going to be key – we predominantly sell airline tickets and it’s an incredibly commoditized industry. It’s getting harder and harder to differentiate on product level alone, which is where operating in a niche sector is an advantage. There are also some changes in technology standards through IATA that will allow us to look at selling based on specific consumer’s requirements, so really personalizing based on each individual consumer, which is quite exciting.

Then, travel is an incredibly fragmented industry in terms of the user journey to purchase – I’ve read that any given person will visit 38 sites before committing to a travel purchase. Understanding visitors in the research phase versus those with intent to buy can be really difficult to pinpoint. Online, it’s a real challenge to know if they are just looking out of interest or whether they will go ahead and buy in that session.

“You have to contend with the fact that someone could spend 99% of their time researching with you, but if you’re not meeting their requirements at the right moment, there’s no guarantee they’ll transact with you.”

Brand loyalty is another thing that is really, really difficult. The volume of information that’s available for consumers to research is vast. Then you have to contend with the fact that someone could spend 99% of their time researching with you, but if you’re not meeting their requirements at the right moment, there’s no guarantee they’ll transact with you. It’s harder and harder to capture that loyalty as a brand, and specifically within a travel agency environment where you don’t directly “own” the commodity – and have less control over the physical product experience.

That leads on to our next question… how have you seen consumer expectations of online travel change and why?

It’s very similar to trends across every industry – it’s convenience and service that people are looking for. Ten years ago, we absolutely couldn’t tap a button and then have a taxi waiting two minutes later, but that is just the expectation now and everyone else lags behind, that’s no different with online travel. Travel is one of those huge industries that is lagging behind, certainly retail in that expectation around service, convenience and value.

“People are more willing to pay to have that peace of mind. For example, if they’ve booked with us, they want to know that we can support them throughout their whole experience.”

I think people actually value convenience and service over price point. People are more willing to pay to have that peace of mind. For example, if they’ve booked with us, they want to know that we can support them throughout their whole experience. We know, for example, an air ticket might be booked three to four months in advance to secure the best price, but an experience or hotel is something they’ll want to book much closer to the time. So being able to unbundle all these products so visitors can book at their convenience, but still have everything in one place for when they travel – this is where the expectation is going.

Personalization as well – demographic targeting isn’t enough any more. I think the travel industry is as guilty as anyone – it’s segmenting broadly by age and location and similar. And actually when you dig down into it, you can’t segment at that level and be successful: it’s real personalization that people are demanding now.

So who, in your view, is excelling at meeting these expectations?

There’s a couple. Quite a niche example of someone doing something smart is Delta Airlines. They have an airline baggage tracking functionality within their app. It’s a great product augmentation play: they’ve addressed something that’s a bugbear of so many people, a real pain point when travelling. You can track, in real time, where your luggage is, something that has a knock-on effect on the rest of your travel plans, or if you’re a business traveller what time you’ll arrive at your meeting. So it’s kind of a tiny point, but its ability to have an impact on the customer experience of Delta’s product is huge.

Then, it’s probably cliché to mention, but outside of travel, I think Amazon, where they are standardizing returns, refunds, customer service across a range of distributors and suppliers. It’s a really smart way to work and wouldn’t surprise me if we see someone make similar moves within the travel industry, where are so many disparate parts to pull together.

In the not too distant future we’ll see companies looking to standardize terms, cancellation policies, customer service etc., and so be able to address that fragmentation we talked about earlier.

Can you give us a bit of a sneak preview of what you’ll be speaking about at #Journey2019?

So I’m going to be looking at the hot topic of customer lifetime value in a time when loyalty is declining. Certainly, something we’re guilty of is focusing on that cost per acquisition on a single sale basis, and ignoring the lifetime value the customer still has to brands. How we can start to use data to address this, to personalize the customer journey and improve lifetime value?

And finally, aside from your presentation, what are you looking forward to on the day?

Well, the travel breakout session features James Boyle from Flight Centre, so definitely looking forward to that – he’s a really smart and switched-on guy!

Thanks Sam!

If you’re lucky enough to have nabbed a ticket to Journey2019 then check out the full line-up here to plan your visit, and we’ll see you on March 13th.

https://try.yieldify.com/travel-journeys