Explore 4 B2C lead generation case studies showing how real companies drive more leads.
1. Improving B2C lead generation by addressing privacy anxiety – Scribbler’s plan
Data privacy scandals pose a growing problem to B2C lead generation. Last year, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) led companies around the world to redesign their privacy policies. Multiple privacy scandals at Facebook and incoming legislation from California reflect that privacy is a top-of-mind concern for consumers.
That’s the elephant in the room when you ask a website visitor to opt-in as a lead. However, there’s a simple way of getting around this challenge. Many visitors are often willing to exchange their data in return for something tangible (see our research here) – usually money off or enhanced service. So take a page from Scribbler, which offers a 10% off coupon in return for a subscription:
Remember that if you ask for more sensitive details like a birthday, you’ll need to provide more assurance on how you’ll protect and use that data. Read Scribbler’s full customer journey optimization case study here.
2. Get ahead through personalization like Marks and Spencer
When a marketing tactic is easy to use, it becomes more expensive. Just think about how much Google and Facebook Ads have increased in cost in the past five years. If you’re looking for a new opportunity, pursue marketing tactics that are still considered difficult – like data-driven personalization.
According to our research, most marketers consider personalization one of the most difficult challenges facing them. If you can make it work, you’ll have an advantage in delivering relevant messages that are more likely to convert.
The easier approach is to personalize based on persona rather than attempting to personalize to a 1-on-1 level. If you have high-quality data, go for full personalization.
This is where leading British retailer Marks and Spencer executed effectively. In launching their new website, the team worked with Yieldify to differentiate between new visitors and returning visitors, showing different CTAs in order to make sure that visitors engaged:
By personalizing to the visitor’s sign-in status, this resulted in a 5.4% conversion rate uplift in new visitor registration (read more here).
3. Re-position your newsletter – the Kiehl’s model
Getting your visitor to sign up to a newsletter simply for the sake of ‘staying in touch’ is no longer a good enough reason for someone to share their data with you. To convince today’s consumers to hand over their sought-after information, take the time to enhance and clarify the value that they’ll receive in exchange.
Beauty brand Kiehl’s generated leads through effective positioning of its newsletter as a VIP club, detailing three clear benefits of signing up ahead of the CTA:
This applies even if you can’t offer monetary incentives as Scribbler did in the first section – value lies as much in elements like exclusivity or early access, so explore what can work for you.
4. Recruit your customers to gain more leads – an online eyewear retailer’s way
One of your best lead generation channels is your existing customer base. Nielsen research in 2015 found that over 80% of people trust recommendations from friends and family – it’s a huge opportunity that when leveraged effectively, can generate masses of leads.
The results speak for themselves: a 22:1 return on investment. If you have a smaller budget, make the reward for referrals offer to a small segment of your customer base. Find out more about how to leverage your existing customer to acquire new ones in our free ebook.
Want to grow your lead generation program?
If you’re keen to emulate the B2C lead generation success that you’ve seen here, check out our free ebook, packed with examples and detailed advice:
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%.
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:
What types of businesses were most impacted by GDPR?
The sectors who lost out the most were Travel & Transport, IT & Telecoms and Finance.
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.
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%.
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:
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.
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, marketing, and future data governance strategies.
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 freeemail 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.
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:
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?
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:
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.
In this series, we put the big e-commerce questions to our team of expert consultants.
This month, we’re focusing 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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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 behavior 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 behavioral 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 today’s technology?
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.
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 behavioral 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!)
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. On the other hand, you can use AI to automate various customer care tasks. In this case, you will need to focus on good image segmentation techniques so that your model can learn its tasks more effectively
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 recognizing 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:
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 behavior that are key to the customer journey.
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 maximize 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.
Travel Customer Journey FAQs
?️ How micro moments are reshaping the travel customer journey?
Travel micro-moments start as soon as people have the idea of a holiday. There are 4 main categories dreaming, planning, booking, and experiencing. This means that travel brands need to be present for each micro-moment to earn and re-earn each user’s consideration, in each micro-moment they have.
? How many touch points are there in the travel customer journey?
There can be hundreds of different touchpoints in the travel customer journey due to the amount of research and the time it takes for customers to book their holiday. From finding the right location, flights, accommodation etc. there will be many touchpoints.
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!
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:
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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 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 activities. Store displays attract 22% of Easter sales; exclusive products inspire another 21% of shoppers to buy. Finally, retailer events attract 11% of Easter shoppers.
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.
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?
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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%.
Existing Customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more when compared to new customers.
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:
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 customer loyalty to drive conversions?
When it comes to loyalty, one of the first techniques that come to mind is customer 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 customer 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 its 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:
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 depending on the loyalty level of a consumer.
The brand created campaigns to re-engage lapsing users and reward top customers, driving a high level of engagement, boosting customer loyalty and improving retention. 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 customer loyalty as a luxury brand?
Luxury brands can have a bit more of a challenge when it comes to customer 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 center 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.
How I can optimize the post-purchase experience for customer loyalty?
Building customer loyalty and improving retention aren’t just about customer 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 incentivize 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.
What part does customer feedback play when it comes to loyalty?
Customer feedback is an important tool to both create and build loyalty and improve retention 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!
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).
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:
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.
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.
Sticky campaigns allowed TravelUp to situate a ‘Fly Now Pay Later’ message seamlessly and in context across all devices – anchored to the ‘book now’ button on the booking page. This was initially shown to all visitors who reached the booking page, based on the hypothesis that this behavior demonstrated high intent and that conversion would, therefore, be likely.
However, the results told a different story, and so TravelUp sought to learn from this. With the flexibility of the Yieldify Platform, the targeting for the campaign was quickly adjusted to include only new users, this time with the hypothesis that the ‘Fly Now Pay Later’ message would be more attractive to those visitors in research mode, who had perhaps not yet saved up to book their flights. With the adjusted targeting, TravelUp proved its hypothesis correct – new visitors in research mode were more likely to convert when shown this sticky campaign. The message drove a +5.24% uplift in conversions among this target group.
How does In-Page Personalization work?
It works in two very simple ways:
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.”
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.
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 rely on data. Not only that but knowing which visitor segments represent the biggest opportunity will help you prioritize 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:
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.
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):
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
“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.
“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
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!
Check out our campaigns of the month: January 2019
How Leger Holidays reduces booking abandonment
Leger Holidays is a leading tour operator offering more than 180 trips to choose from across Europe. Seeking to provide ‘amazing experiences’ to its customers, starting from the moment a visitor begins booking their trip, Leger Holidays worked with Yieldify to optimize the booking process.
“Travel has one of the highest abandonment rates of any industry at around 81%. Part of this is due to the expectation users have around the length of the booking process. In order to combat this, Leger utilized sticky campaigns throughout the booking journey highlighting exactly how many minutes the process usually takes from that point.”
“Using the sticky campaign format 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.”
Alex Martinsmith, Campaign Analyst, Customer Success
How Maximuscle leverages social proof to drive conversions
Maximuscle, a leading sports nutrition brand, know that trust is key when it comes to selling health and fitness related products. The brand wanted to leverage the power of social proof, at the right moment in the customer journey to drive conversions.
“Social proof is a powerful psychological principle that can be used in a variety of ways across an e-commerce site. For this campaign the goal was to drive visitors to add to cart at that moment of intent by creating urgency with social proof messaging.”
“The sticky campaign we used was a simple but effective way to do this, and we’re already seeing positive results. In the video you’ll also see that we follow this up with another message once the product is added to bag, notifying the user they’ve qualified for free delivery. This two-phase approach is a great way to move visitors from browsing to checkout”
Stephanie King, Head of UK Retail
Want more examples like this? Check out our Case Studies, and don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list.
What can eCommerce marketers learn from the beauty eCommerce trends driving a $750bn industry?
As a wide array of industries are disrupted or destroyed by e-commerce giants, the beauty industry has been remarkably resilient. In fact, many are saying it’s going through a massive reinvention — which has put the industry on pace to be valued at $750 billion by 2024. Key to this growth are a number of beauty e-commerce trends that have enabled a diverse range of brands to own the customer journey like never before.
So how are beauty brands owning the customer journey in 2019? Between social media, organic and paid search, and the rise of omnichannel, multi-brand retailers like Sephora and Ulta Beauty, the path to purchase is more complex than ever.
While this complex customer journey presents a challenge for brands, it’s also an opportunity to present unique omnichannel experiences. In short, the growth of the beauty sector isn’t random. New, exciting brands are popping up regularly and launching creative marketing efforts that are becoming the talk of the industry.
Here are a few beauty e-commerce trends to keep an eye on (and learn from) in 2019…
Insta-upstarts take on established brands
Social media has leveled the playing field for brands, making it easier for young challengers to quickly establish a foothold and take on more established industry players. These new direct-to-consumer kids on the block have risen to prominence off the back of unique brand stories.
Glossier, for instance, has grown dramatically over the past few years thanks to a simple but compelling ethos: “The individual should be celebrated.” Many of these new companies are leveraging their ‘newness’ to brand themselves as fresh alternatives to older industry giants.
In response, these same industry giants are evolving. Taking a page out of these new brands’ playbooks and investing in social media influencers who can provide an injection of freshness and authenticity. Or they’re altering their aesthetics, aligning with industry trends to offer more minimal, millennial-friendly, products and e-commerce sites.
Social shopping – is 2019 the year?
Linked with the rise of direct-to-consumer indie brands, is the continued dominance of social media. Monitoring of beauty e-commerce trends show that king among the platforms is Instagram, which many brands have mastered to gather useful user-generated content and compelling visual assets. Even as major social players such as Kylie Cosmetics have taken up a large share of the space, more and more brands continue to invest in building followings. It proves one thing: Social isn’t going anywhere, but will 2019 be the year it pays off, in terms of actual sales?
Beauty e-commerce trends are reflective of wider industry trends, but none more-so than personalization. One major reason beauty brands have grown amid e-commerce upheaval is their ability to leverage the inherently personal aspect of beauty shopping, to serve the growing consumer demand for personalization.
Each buyer is different and has different needs. Varied skin types and body shapes lead customers down different paths as they shop for beauty products. When Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty burst onto the scene, one of the major factors in itshuge success was a product range catering to a wide array of skin types previously underserved by the industry. Brands have taken notice of this demand, and are now celebrating these differences right through from the products they produce to the assistive, personalized customer experiences they create online.
Online shade selectors, like the above from Charlotte Tilbury, help customers find just the right foundation for their skin. Guided selling tactics such as this, mimic the in-store experience of conversing with a sales assistant, aiding product discovery, encouraging purchases and offer the added bonus of cutting down on returns.
New approaches to building loyalty
With a crowded field making acquisition in beauty harder than ever, building loyalty to retain customers is becoming more and more valuable. Loyalty schemes that encourage retention have long been a staple, for instance, Sephora has remained an industry heavyweight thanks to its effective points-based system. Subscription-based services, such as Birchbox and Cornerstone, have also seen sizeable growth, with consumer appetite for a regular beauty fix high.
But some methods for building loyalty are more abstract. Take, for instance, a newer entrant to beauty e-commerce trends – brands as communities. By leveraging social media to encourage interaction among customers, more brands are creating a tight-knit, communal feel to increase customer loyalty. In this way, a brand becomes part of the customer’s identity, building a more meaningful type of customer-brand interaction. Some are even bringing social to the supply chain, such as Glossier’s leveraging of its online community to crowd-source products, or ColourPop’s showcase of the process behind the products.
Beauty e-commerce trends: what’s next?
Beauty brands are in a unique position to build strong personal bonds with their customers, and there’s a lot that can be learned from how they’ve done this to date. From optimizing the journey between social and commerce to baking-in personalization across the business there are more ways than ever to connect with customers. E-commerce marketers in all industries have the chance to launch creative campaigns that improve the customer journey. These beauty e-commerce trends give us a taste of where the industry is headed – for ideas on how you can leverage them, check out our Beauty E-commerce Lookbook featuring three examples of customer journeys made personal.
Let’s put your big e-commerce questions to our team of expert consultants. First up – everything you ever wanted to #AskYieldify about using customer reviews on your e-commerce site, with Théo Devred, Senior Consultant.
Q: What’s the best way to incorporate reviews into my e-commerce site?
A: First I’d recommend taking a structured approach to ensure you’re getting the most out of your reviews. We usually begin by running some tests to understand the review formats that work best to drive a positive impact. For example, you could start off showcasing the average star rating, or some selected quotes:
Then if you work with a third party reviews platform like Trustpilot, bring this into the mix to see how it impacts conversions across different devices and at different parts of the customer journey.
Finally, keep on iterating. There are so many ways you can present review information, so keep testing to understand what works best for your audience. Something we’ve found super effective is to show the number of 5-star reviews e.g:
Q: Does it matter if I don’t already work with a reviews platform?
A: No – get creative. While third-party platforms like Trustpilot, Feefo or Avis Vérifiés can provide a level of authenticity and help build consumers’ trust, everyone has to start somewhere.
You’re probably already sitting on a goldmine of user-generated content you can utilize. We’ve worked with clients to highlight reviews from platforms such as Facebook or Google Reviews, and seen a positive impact from this.
Q: What’s the best point in the customer journey to show reviews?
A: Again, 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 travel booking or finance site highlighting the 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.
Q: For star-based rating systems, is there a difference between showing say, a 3-star and 4-star review?
A: Short answer, yes. As we’ve mentioned, optimizing the customer journey is not a ‘one-size fits all’ approach, and this is also true for reviews. In order to understand which rating levels work best, you should test it out. Here’s an example of how we analyzed the data behind e-commerce customer reviews for a travel brand:
As you can see, the ‘breakeven’ point was just under 4 stars. At this point, showing the ratings actually had a negative impact. So we segmented the approach – for products with a lower rating showing an overlay that directed abandoning visitors to similar products with a higher rating, and continuing to show the star rating for 4 star and above products. This approach saw the conversion rate on lower-rated products increase positively.
Q: How can I get more customer reviews?
A: Of course, to use reviews on your e-commerce website it’s good to have a supply that is constantly refreshed. Getting reviews can sometimes be a challenge. Success is all about understanding the customer lifecycle, and the most appropriate stage of the customer journey to ask for reviews.
Beauty is an industry that is particularly reliant on consumer reviews for building trust. To this end, we worked with one of our beauty clients to support its reviews program.
Using Yieldify’s historical targeting feature we were able to encourage returning customers who had made a purchase between a particular time frame to review their recent purchases. As they navigated through the site returning visitors were targeted with a notification welcoming them back and asking if they’d like to leave a review:
Got an e-commerce question you need help with? #AskYieldify! Feel free to tweet us, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, for a chance to have your question answered by our e-commerce experts.
Expectations for e-commerce going into Q4 were mixed to say the least. See how it all turned out with these Q4 2018 e-commerce statistics.
The outlook for retail and e-commerce heading into Q4 2019 was cautious, with November the ‘worst on record’ for UK retailers, and similar ‘warning signs’ in the US.
Now it’s 2019 we decided to take a look back at the data to understand what happened during key shopping periods like Black Friday and the holiday season, and what e-commerce brands should know when it comes to traffic, conversions and more.
We analyzed over half a million visits across November and December to US and UK websites to understand consumers to understand peak performance. Here are a few of the key insights from our Q4 2018 e-commerce statistics:
It started early, with Black Friday driving the most traffic
December traffic peaked on the 1st, conversions peaked later
Mobile is the device of choice for discovery, and conversion rates are slowly growing
View the infographic below to see all the data and insights!
Did your peak performance measure up? If not, we’re on hand to help. Book a free Customer Journey Optimization consultation. Get more leads and ideas to get your 2019 off to a flying start!
In late 2018, we took a look at what we’d achieved as a business. Over 1,000 clients, an award-winning platform and 30 billion datapoints. We’d come a long way.
The problem was that the way we communicated ourselves was lagging a little bit behind. It was time for a refresh of our brand.
Starting the rebrand project
First things first, the message.
Over a year ago, Yieldify began talking about Customer Journey Optimization – we’re proud to be flying the flag for this exciting new practice. In writing extensively about it in that time, we’ve come to learn just how much it resonates with marketers in e-commerce and beyond.
For example, a report we published in late 2018 found that more than 70% of marketers understand the customer journey, but optimizing it still presents challenges. In 2019, we’re looking at a landscape where CJO rises further up through the agenda and starts to becoming an established practice for marketers.
Our challenge was to see whether we could push this further and bring CJO to the marketers who’d never heard of it. We wanted to do this by connecting it to another concept, one much more widely understood and recognised in the market: personalization.
To make CJO easier to understand, we decided to bring personalization directly into our messages. In a nutshell, we now described CJO as ‘personalization across the full customer journey’. In other words, if personalization is a tactic, CJO is a strategy that makes use of it from A-Z.
So in crystallizing our messaging in order to build a visual identity on top, we created a new tagline that would encapsulate this in a simple soundbite:
“customer journeys made personal”
With personalization and CJO now firmly knitted together, we had a solid verbal identity that orbited the idea of the journey. This spoke not just to the kinds of customer journeys that our clients’ customers would take, but the journeys that our teams take our clients on as we help them navigate the new challenges of e-commerce.
We knew that we were looking for amplification and enhancement rather than a complete revolution – our message was being taken to the next level, rather than changed.
Now we could start thinking about how we would translate this visually.
Once again, we started with the journey: we wanted our new logo and icon to convey the idea of progression and movement. The arrow element the formed part of our former logo had done this, but it needed a cleaner and more flexible execution.
We broke down what we were looking for into two constituent parts: an icon and a full logo. Following a few rounds of scoping, we’d arrived at what we were looking for:
The rationale was simple: the subtle arrow directions of the icon gave the journey-centric energy we wanted, creating a sense of movement and momentum. Building out into the rest of the logo, this offered us an important level of continuity while creating an outline that was bolder.
And the atom? We killed it. There are enough SaaS businesses out there with an atom for a logo so we just gave it a 21-gun salute and sent it off to the great icon graveyard in the sky.
Expanding the palette
Continuity being important, we didn’t want to change too much about our color palette. Instead, we wanted to expand our set of colors in order to give ourselves more flexibility as we diversified our marketing activities (and swag collection).
Then we came to what was arguably the most exciting part of the whole exercise: our new mascots and their world.
Before the big unveil, a little context. In recent years, the B2B marketing world has come to better understand that at the end of the day, we’re all still selling to humans. What that means is that the considerations around emotion, brand and engagement that were previously assumed to belong more squarely in the B2C camp have begun to be recognised as just as important for B2B.
For us, that meant that we wanted to build a creative landscape around Yieldify that was imaginative, playful and full of the kind of warmth and friendliness that we believe to be at the core of who we are as a business.
The development of this idea started with a new ambassador – a character that would embody our values, our ambitions and our attitude. After hundreds of Slack arguments over her name, Sky was born:
So, why a female astronaut to represent a marketing technology company? The answer goes back to our central message: journeys. Sky explores and charts new courses not just in this universe, but in others too. On top of that, she humanizes and personalizes the process and the experience the way we do as we work with our clients.
With Sky in place, the rest of our universe began to form around her. A colourful, multi-dimensional landscape of colours and iconography that provided us with a whole new playground of elements to translate across every Yieldify touchpoint. From the popsockets that adorn all of our phones to the 2019 e-commerce calendar that now features an LGBTQ+ alien, we built out a wide range of elements that mean every element of your interaction with Yieldify offers something new:
Launching our new brand
As a business operating in four countries with clients in dozens more, we decided to phase our new brand and messaging rollout in order to make the transition more manageable. With Sky and friends appearing in new materials since the end of 2018, the launch has culminated in today’s launch of our brand new website. We’re all-new for 2019.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions about our new branding. Check our events page to see where you can meet us in the coming year to see it all brought to life (and even take some of the new swag home with you).
In this new series, we’re sitting down with Yieldifiers across the business to find out more about what they do all day. First up: Mark Murray, Head of Travel.
What’s your role at Yieldify?
I head up the Travel vertical at Yieldify, making sure that clients are receiving value through their campaigns and maturing with us to deliver more personalized experiences to their customers.
What did you do before you joined the team here?
A large part of my background has been in working with MVT platforms and consultancy companies. Similar to how we work at Yieldify, this was all about delivering enhanced customer experiences enriched by data, making sure that we target users at the right parts of their journey.
Tell us about the kinds of travel brands that Yieldify works with
We work with a wide range of travel brands across almost every aspect of the industry.
From train companies like Virgin Trains, Stansted Express and Loco2, to holiday companies like Leger and GolfBreaks, to OTAs like Flight Centre, TravelUP and Student Universe.
For Yieldify, travel is one of our most exciting areas of growth. We’ve onboarded dozens on new travel clients over the last year alone as there’s so much appetite in the industry for a solution that can help companies adapt to the challenges of a complex customer journey.
They all seem pretty different – do you think these travel companies have anything in common?
Travel is quite a complicated industry: it’s not like retail where your purchases are smaller but more frequent.
When it comes to travel, users need time to think about their purchase – that’s the key challenge that I think most of the brands I’ve listed have in common. It’s about presenting the right message to the user at the right time, knowing whether they’re in research or purchasing mode.
What does Yieldify do for travel companies?
When we work with travel brands, we’re all about being able to show targeted messages in the customer journey at the right time.
Critically, this doesn’t always involve trying to convert that user in-session. As we’ve just discussed, the customer journey in travel is long and complex, but actually pretty well-defined into key phases. We ensure that our activity is mapped to those different stages and the respective softer conversions that happen along the way.
For example, the goal for one stage could be capturing an email address when a user looks to exit. This means that we can communicate with them at another point in time, or provide trip information to help them decide where to go. It’s once we have that later stage of engagement that we can then run campaigns like urgency messaging or social proof to really push the user and convert.
What are the key trends that travel marketers have on their radar right now?
You can’t talk about travel without raising Brexit.
It’s a massive topic within the UK travel industry, and a lot of our clients are feeling the pressure by consumers not wanting to book until they know where the UK will stand within the EU. Airlines, in particular, are struggling, but on the flipside, we’re seeing that local UK companies are doing quite well with the staycation side.
Looking to 2019, I think we’ll see the first half of the year and maybe beyond focusing on Brexit. We might see some travel companies pushing users to take the opportunity to go abroad before any restrictions, but I think that when (or if!) the UK has an agreement in place, we’ll see a spike in holidays. So where January is usually the key month for bookings, I anticipate there being another spike later on in the year.
Another key trend is responsible tourism. 70% of people now believe that travel companies should ensure help local people and the local economy. I think this kind of sentiment has been reflected in trends such as the huge popularity of shows such as David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet II’. A focus for 2019 will be how to communicate CSR to users on site, through their journey and at destinations as it becomes more important.
Looking at the onsite experience, personalization and mobile are still the two primary focus areas for travel. Mobile, in particular, is an interesting challenge for travel: users don’t like spending thousands of dollars on their phone, but the hours they need to spend researching their major trip means that inevitably many of these will be on mobile. For the marketer, the question remains is how to translate research into purchase in a mobile environment.
How have these trends evolved over the last couple of years?
In terms of personalization, travel is a little behind the retail sector, but it’s catching up fast. The next stage is being able to send information cross-device so you’re not treating the user as a brand new visitor.
Artificial intelligence will become a huge influence on users. Data is getting bigger and bigger each day, but harnessing it effectively to serve the right experiences to users with the right content is becoming key. Ultimately, the only way to deliver 100% 1-2-1 personalization is through machine learning – it may be some way off for many, but I think we’ll see more trailblazers in 2019.
What’s the best thing about working at Yieldify?
The people. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help, which makes it a great environment to work in and a place where we can really go above and beyond for our clients.
What’s been your biggest mistake?
[editor’s note: we pressed Mark on this for some time but he maintains he’s never made one]
What’s your proudest achievement since joining?
Believe it or not, not all of our campaigns work first time: we need to learn and adapt through optimization (that’s kind of the point). One of my proudest moments is taking a client through this journey where campaigns weren’t performing too well, conducting a deep review and analysis of their site and changing our approach with their campaigns. They are now flying high (pun intended) in terms of results and doing really well.