Holiday Prep 2023: It’s Time to Double Down on Data

Holiday Prep 2023: It’s Time to Double Down on Data

Retailers seeking to improve holiday sales while preserving profits have an important but under-utilized tool at their fingertips: customer data.

With inflation-weary shoppers telling researchers they want personalized messaging and offers that promote value for holiday 2023, now is a crucial time for retailers and brands to maximize the value they can get from existing data collection, CRM and business analytics.

While retailers may be flush with data collected from website and in-store visits, or Loyalty and other customer retention programs, most marketers report they don’t make nearly enough use of their organization’s data.

These marketers are frustrated by the digital version of the Ancient Mariner’s conundrum - water, water everywhere (but not a drop to drink). Even though they are surrounded by data, retailers and brands often find it difficult to create processes that let them harvest actionable insights and use them to build customer segments and successful marketing campaigns.

What You Can Do Right Now

Here are OSF Digital’s Top 3 ways retailers and brands can use data to drive holiday sales and profits.

1. Focus on the customer, especially Loyalty members, with personalized holiday marketing campaigns

How to do it:

  • Create customer segments based on Loyalty status, overall spend, purchase frequency, 2022 holiday shopping patterns and any other actionable data you can access, including preferred marketing channel and frequency (e.g., daily product-focused email vs. weekly deals round-up).
  • Test offers and messaging to your segments. Focus on what you think will resonate, e.g., early access to limited inventory, category-specific offers, free in-store gift wrapping.
  • Even if your offers stay the same across the board, test marketing language, imagery and timing based on customer data. Tailor your creative differently for heavy purchasers of environmental-friendly products, or for a segment that buys children’s products or gift items only in December.
  • Don’t forget messaging that includes holiday gift guides based on popular items, or suggestions for 2023 purchases based on prior holiday purchase history.

2. Create marketing segments based on ROI

How to do it:

  • Work with your organization’s data analysts/finance team to understand which products/categories/offers are appealing to consumers and are high in profits.
  • Prioritize campaigns targeting ROI segments based on ease of execution and expected return.
  • Create segments of customers with low or negative ROI, e.g., heavy returners, and test offer suppression.

3. Set Yourself Up For Success With Data

How to do it:

  • Make sure your data building blocks are in place. Work with your marketing, tech and analytics teams to fully understand the types of data you are set up to capture, and brainstorm ways to turn the data into actionable insights. Prioritize new or updated marketing campaigns based on time to market and expected overall impact on 2023 sales and profits.
  • Make sure you have the right data team in place, including skills and bandwidth. If you need more funding, work with finance to put together a business plan showing anticipated gains in sales and/or ROI.
  • Prepare to win or fail fast with new segments and campaigns, and to act quickly to optimize based on your learnings.

OSF can help you get the most out of your customer data for holiday 2023.

Robin Kamen

Author: Robin Kamen, Sr. Consultant

Robin Kamen is a senior consultant of OSF Digital Strategy. She is a digital marketing and strategy leader with experience building global brands and driving customer engagement and ROI across many verticals.