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The 2017 Winning Playlist for US Retail Marketers

Every sporting event has a pump-up playlist, designed to work the crowd into a frenzy and build a foundation for success. Why not do the same thing for marketers? We brainstormed internally, and here is our playlist for commerce marketers to inspire an outstanding 2017 performance.

For the majority of commerce marketers, 2016 was a win. Online spending was up almost 30%, the logistics issues that haunted the 2015 holiday season were a distant memory, and email revenue performance was incredible, more than double the previous year in many cases. But don’t sit back and rest on your laurels. Take a moment to enjoy last year’s win and recognize your high performers. Then forget about last year (except for critical lessons learned) and turn your attention to 2017.

Need some inspiration? Crank up our sure-fire soundtrack and sing along.

“We Are The World” – USA for Africa

The commerce world we live in is simultaneously growing and shrinking. Last year, our research found that consumers are extremely open to cross-border commerce, with 80% of British consumers (as a good example) willing to buy outside of their country. Of course, only about half of those have already pulled the trigger, creating a vast untapped market.

The two biggest reasons cited by consumers for purchasing overseas are better prices and the availability of unique merchandise. Don’t make decisions in a vacuum; think globally and act globally. Promote your unique items, price them competitively and create excellent customer service and support.

“24K Magic” – Bruno Mars

With plenty of competition in the retail space, engaging customers throughout the purchasing lifecycle is critical for 2017. The last two years, cart recovery efforts have driven real value for customers who used it. Its revenue per email is much higher than the overall average, and more marketers have started incorporating it into their marketing strategies. But despite that success, the concept of moving further up the funnel hasn’t yet caught on. Only 15% of American retailers are currently using browse recovery strategies.

The key to a successful browse recovery program is to integrate browsing behavior patterns into your existing marketing strategy. Rather than thinking of browse abandonment as something to eradicate, approach it as a regular part of the shopping journey and plan that messaging accordingly.

“Mister Know It All” – Kelly Clarkson

When it comes to real-time offers from vendors, consumers are truly polarized. While 59% of shoppers expect highly personal offers that are related to browsing and shopping history, 40% find such offers irritating. The reason for their annoyance could be any number of things, but I suspect it’s merely caused by browse recovery and recommendation messages that are impersonal and poorly executed. Think like a main street shop owner. While you can’t personally know every customer, your marketing tools should be able to make it seem like you do.

“Stand By Me” – B.B. King

One in five consumers is a “brand loyalist” in terms of their purchasing habits. The remaining 80% base their decisions on other factors. That doesn’t mean you should ignore your customers. On the contrary, you should be working both smarter and harder to earn that loyalty. A targeted loyalty strategy that includes both post-purchase communications and user-generated content, such as customer reviews, is an excellent starting point. Loyalty programs and personalized email can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace and encourage consumers to consider returning more often.

When you’re thinking ahead, it’s easy to say, “The sky is the limit.” But I’ve never been one for clichés. Branch out and try new things, but don’t try to do everything at once. Give some of our ideas a shot, or execute a few of your own. Either way, if you’re flexible and open to new tactics, you’ll set yourself up to win in 2017.

This post was originally published by Apparel.

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