The holidays are a hectic time for most of us — deadlines to meet, the weather to fend off, and the general buzz of chaos that surrounds November and December. As consumers, we’re all trying to cross off each loved one from our shopping lists and as marketers, we’re trying to make sure our brand gets on those shopping lists. What’s more, the majority of customers (71%) plan to do their shopping virtually this year. And while that means you might have to scramble to adjust your plans, this actually provides a huge, positive opportunity for you and your business to reach more holiday shoppers than ever before.
But with so many folks doing their holiday shopping online, you’ll need to beat out the noise of countless competitors to take advantage of the new influx of online shoppers. The best way to ensure your brand is top of mind? Let’s discuss how AI can help you capture the holiday shopper’s attention.
Send triggered messages while they’re in the shopping zone
As customers wade through the overwhelming amount of emails, push notifications, and ads they’re bound to get this holiday season, it can be easy to become another brand cursed with un-opened messages. Can we even blame them? Ramping up in overall sending volumes means it’s not uncommon for one customer to get 20+ emails in an hour, especially at peak sending times like 5 PM.
The sure-fire way to prevent your messages from being instantly overlooked is through triggered messaging powered by Engage Time Optimization. AI-powered Engage Time Optimization helps you optimize individual send times for future behaviors that lead to revenue, rather than metrics like open rates. The beauty of Engage Time Optimization is that it understands that today’s consumer interacts with brands in many frequent bursts of activity around the clock, as opposed to once or twice a day at set times. From analyzing past activity, customer attributes, and site activity, AI identifies and optimizes send times for each customer to when they are most likely to deeply engage with a brand — effectively pinpointing the perfect send time to get your message read and the customer on their way to conversion.
Coordinated messages across their favorite channels
With the perfect time of messaging nailed down, it’s now time to figure out the perfect channel to message your customers on. But, to be frank, there’s probably not a single “golden” channel to message a customer on nowadays. While customers will have channels that more often lead to positive behavior, it’s not enough to only message there — today’s customers expect and need a solid omnichannel shopping experience to buy. The majority of consumers use at least 3 channels to make a single purchase.
AI can help make the seamless coordination of channels across the customer experience a breeze. Similar to send time, you can also now take advantage of AI to optimize channel selection with Predictive Channel Engagement Scores. These scores help marketers autonomously select which channel is best for marketing to each customer by predicting the likelihood of a user engaging with a message on each channel — email, push, in-app, SMS, digital ads, etc. The “scores” that are assigned to customers are created through that examination of historic behavioral data, catalog interactions, customer attributes,
and any data you deem pertinent. These scores range from 0-100, with higher scores indicating that a customer has a higher likelihood of engagement on that channel. They’re easily leveraged throughout the customer journey to send coordinated, personalized messages across top channels to drive customers to engage, convert, and become brand loyalists.
Personalization that can predict their perfect stocking stuffers
For customers with fuzzy shopping lists, personalized recommendations can be a great way to earn their attention and their holiday budgets. In addition, truly thoughtful personalization can set your brand apart for customers who know exactly what they want. This personalization can’t just be stand-alone — you need to serve up personalized content across every channel, which is extremely challenging given how much data customers leave behind and the sheer size of product catalogs. Moving past generic “recommendations” is possible with AI-powered Predictive Recommendations.
Recommendations happen to be some most well-researched areas in academia — there is a ton of software that can produce extraordinary recommendations. Predictive Recommendations will take the input of your catalog content, customer data, and customer interactions with your catalog and produce recommendations based on a number of algorithms. That means as customers are doing their holiday browsing across your site, you can be collecting the data you need to produce meaningful 1:1 personalization that will get them converting with your brand.