A return to post-pandemic normalcy and the looming threat of recession have been challenging for some e-commerce teams in 2022.
Yet, history shows us how the best businesses can thrive when the circumstances are seemingly against them.
For example, during the pandemic, restaurant chains that embraced digital ordering and added new capabilities like curbside pickup or contactless delivery mitigated the worst of it and sometimes even thrived. Many that didn’t embrace mobile ordering at all have since been shuttered.
It can be easy for marketers to stop advocating for new strategies when the cards are seemingly stacked against them. However, staying agile and making the right investments can help e-commerce marketers thrive against the odds.
5 ways for e-commerce teams to improve marketing efficiency
1. Focus on customer loyalty and improving CLV
On average, repeat customers spend 67% more in the third year of their relationship with a company than they do at prior stages. Small increases in customer retention can lead to large increases in profit.
Given that it’s harder than ever to acquire new customers, fostering the health of your existing customer relationships can be far more productive than throwing ad dollars at people who have never tried your product. Improving customer loyalty in this way can drive meaningful improvements in your CAC:LTV ratio, ROAS, or whichever metrics you use to understand marketing efficiency.
But how do you increase customer loyalty?
Traditional loyalty programs that incentivize increased engagement and more frequent purchasing (e.g. points programs) and membership perks are an obvious starting point, but there are many other ways to drive customer loyalty, too. Let’s go over some of them.
2. Offer “fast and free” same-day delivery
Research from Ohi (based on actual anonymized client data) shows a substantial boost to repeat purchase rates and customer lifetime value (CLV) for customers who chose instant delivery with Ohi versus those whose orders were fulfilled with standard shipping.
What’s more, merchants can leverage instant delivery as a selling tool, boosting website conversion rates.
Together, these effects work in tandem to help marketers drive improved return on ad spend (ROAS) by delivering more bang for the buck.
Read more about how “fast and free” shipping has an outsized effect on shopper behavior.
3. Reduce CAC by weeding out low-performing ads/programs and focusing on best-performing audience segments
When times are good, marketers tend to cast a wider net. More programs, more campaigns, more ads. When conversion rates go down, it’s important for marketers to reprioritize efficiency.
- Go through your programs, campaigns, and ad sets to determine which are actually bringing in new customers and which are wasting valuable dollars and ad impressions. Trim everything that isn’t working, or pivot into more relevant messaging.
- Use split testing to boost performance further, even for ads that are already performing reasonably well. See what reduces CAC for your ads by experimenting with creative, copy, CTAs, and audience targeting. Once you’ve made some optimizations and have enough performance data to review, rinse, and repeat.
- Targeting: As the times change, so too can your ideal customer profile (ICP). Continually update your understanding of who (demographics, interests, etc.) is best suited for your products, and ensure your advertising campaigns are optimized to target your ICP segments, specifically.
4. Recoup lost sales with remarketing strategies
Did you know that the average documented cart abandonment rate is 69.99%? That’s right — seven out of 10 shoppers that add something to their shopping cart don’t go on to complete their order.
Cart abandonment can be extremely damaging to your company’s bottom line and marketing success, causing both acquisition and retention costs to skyrocket.
Shoppers who have recently left the site without completing their purchase can be retargeted using techniques such as these:
- Send personalized abandonment email campaigns with enticing offers such as free same-day shipping or a discount to get them to complete the purchase. “Your cart with (Product Name) is still waiting for you.”
- Similarly, you can run customized display ads to re-engage cart abandoners by letting them know they still have items in their baskets and teasing that they’ll have a special offer upon their return.
5. Offer an excellent post-purchase experience
Increasing revenue while lowering costs is near the top of every company’s priorities. But in order to accomplish that, your customer experience must be on point.
While e-commerce teams and marketers understand the importance of the customer experience, they often over-prioritize everything leading up to the purchase decision.
After all, getting a new customer to order one time means a lifetime of blissful re-ordering, right?
Not quite. The key to boosting your revenue over the long term is heavily dependent on the post-purchase side of the customer experience.
What is a customer’s actual experience with your product, how quickly did it arrive, and how have they successfully incorporated it into their lives?
Here are a few ways to enable an amazing post-purchase experience:
- After a purchase is made, point customers to a “thank you” page that goes beyond the “order confirmation” function. Take the opportunity to thoughtfully address how this is more than a transaction for your team – how every order contributes to something bigger and more meaningful, e.g. societal impact, a movement to do X, Y, and Z.
- Send out follow-up emails with product care tips, how-to guides, or interesting use cases to help customers incorporate your product into their lives successfully.
- Encourage customers to join and interact with your community of happy customers.
- Reminding customers to restock (e.g.: 50 days into a two-month supply) is another excellent way to provide value, stay in touch, and increase CLV.
- As discussed earlier, ensure a fast and reliable delivery experience. Ohi’s research shows that providing same-day delivery results in a significant boost to CLV and repeat purchase rates, suggesting the importance of last-mile delivery within the overall post-purchase experience.
- Give customers the option to schedule and reschedule deliveries (e.g.: Ohi allows customers to schedule the delivery in a four-hour window, up to seven days out), especially for subscription orders. Delivery scheduling allows customers to enjoy e-commerce on their terms while reducing the risk of package theft and removing much of the friction that receiving a package can present.
While the post-purchase experience is not traditionally a focus for marketing teams, advocating cross-functionally for some of these best practices can dramatically improve overall marketing efficiency, and that’s reason enough to have the conversation.
At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.