Tailored communications are the key to converting one-time festive buyers into repeat shoppers, says Bluecore

Industry-first 2019 Email Benchmark Report reveals how personalised engagement can increase the lifetime value of customers

UK retailers can capitalise on the upcoming busy festive period by personalising their email marketing strategies to convert one-time buyers into repeat shoppers. With first-time purchases set to rise by 25% during this year’s Christmas sales spike, retailers and brands have an opportunity to use tailored messaging that engages with these customers and leads them to buy again. Retailers that individualise messaging can then expect more than 50% of all second-time purchases made within the following four months of 2020. In fact, new data from retail marketing technology company Bluecore shows that revenue generated from personalised emails is 57% higher than that of static, one-time messages.

These are the key findings from Bluecore’s 2019 Email Benchmark Report, the first of its kind, which delves into how different types and degrees of personalisation influence customer acquisition, retention and other shopper behaviours. The report – based on over three billion emails sent by more than 400 retail brands in the past year – has also revealed that prioritising customer retention can deliver more impact in the long term. Frequent shoppers are 60% more likely to purchase again, compared to 14.5% amongst first-time buyers. Furthermore, a second-time shopper is 130% more valuable than a first-time purchaser, and high-spending customers have the highest email open rates (up to 50%), click rates (up to 17%) and conversion rates (up to 0.94%).

However, retailers should not become complacent when it comes to communicating with customers, especially new ones. Shoppers unsubscribe from welcome emails at a disproportionately higher rate (0.45%) than other emails. This could be due to consumers signing up for emails to receive a discount but then promptly unsubscribe once they have made a purchase.

Retailers who make their email marketing campaigns more relevant, by basing them on more than simple segmentation, will see the biggest gains in customer acquisition and retention. This includes engaging customers based on their real shopping behaviours; recent changes to products which shoppers have an interest in; and their unique characteristics.

The report is based on data collected between April 2018 and March 2019 and establishes quantifiable benchmarks for 11 types of triggered emails as well as one-time sends, informing retailers of key focus areas to refine their strategic email use.

“Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas are all great excuses for consumers to spend their well-earned money, but many of them will be buying from brands for the first time. The retailers that plan carefully – and introduce personalisation to their email strategies – could convert first-time customers into repeat shoppers. When a one-time buyer starts making repeat purchases thanks to tailored emails, they become incredibly valuable to a retailer,” comments Mike Harris, International Vice President and General Manager at Bluecore.

Further information and findings from the Bluecore 2019 Email Benchmark Report are available by downloading the full publication here.

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