From an e-commerce analytics tool to an intuitive platform, Klaviyo has come a long way. We sat down with Robert Gibson, the Senior Partnerships Manager, APAC at Klaviyo, to examine the changes in consumer behaviour, how it impacts retail strategies, and how they can cut through the noise in the lead up to Christmas.
What makes Klaviyo different from other email and SMS marketing software platforms?
Klaviyo started as an e-commerce analytics tool, which means that it’s built from the ground up to synthesise unlimited data from a customer’s ecommerce stack in a matter of seconds. We built robust solutions to turn this comprehensive data into engaging and well-orchestrated email and SMS campaigns that are always relevant, timely, and deeply rooted in customer data – all in one intuitive platform.
The pandemic has transformed many aspects of retail, especially online. What are some of the ways that SMS marketing has changed over the last 18 months?
The pandemic led to a huge surge in e-commerce as consumers did the majority of their shopping via mobile phone and online, changing the way brands interact with their customers.
Coupled with recent privacy changes and the shift towards enhanced customer privacy, businesses are turning to SMS marketing to grow their customer base. Since SMS marketing doesn’t rely on third-party data, brands can use SMS to reach the right customer at the right time, on the customers’ terms.
Online retailers, both pureplay and omnichannel, rely on personalisation tools and tech to ensure customers feel appreciated and understood. How can retailers use SMS marketing to their advantage with the developments in personalisation?
There’s no better time to consider SMS as a revenue stream. With the dramatic shift to online shopping, customers expect an experience that’s close to what they would get in person. The personal nature of SMS helps brands bridge that gap and is increasingly requested by customers as a more effective way to communicate with companies they care about.
You can use SMS to send new product promotions, share back-in-stock notifications, send post-purchase follow-ups, or build loyalty programs with your most engaged customers. You can also choose to segment customers and trigger SMS messages to be sent after someone takes a certain action on your website, or even after our algorithm shows they are likely to purchase soon. This direct relationship with your highly engaged and high intent customers create a better customer experience that helps drive more sales in the process.
Robert Gibson, the Senior Partnerships Manager, APAC at Klaviyo
In a report from Power Retail, email revenue has continued to increase. Is this a trend that Klaviyo expects to continue?
Email marketing remains a tried and true powerhouse of a marketing tool and one of the best ways to reach consumers who have opted-in to a brand’s communications. There are 3.9 billion daily email users—and this number is expected to hit 4.3 billion by 2023. But marketers can’t discount SMS marketing, which has quickly become a must-have for brands looking to build relationships with new shoppers and strengthen ones with their existing base.
From having more control over their marketing and building lasting customer relationships to driving more conversions and uncovering additional sales opportunities, the combination of email and SMS marketing has huge benefits for brands and we don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon.
If so, how can retailers make the most of the platforms, and cut through the noise to stand out with consumers?
Targeting marketing messages is a smart way to stand out with consumers. Segmenting your email list is a way to show subscribers that you’ve personalised your emails and are messaging them at the right time.
According to Boston Consulting Group, brands that create personalised experiences are seeing their revenue increase by six to ten percent—two to three times faster than those that don’t. The best way to help your brand cut through the noise: show your customers you understand who they are and what interests them.
What would be one tip you would give to retailers that are thinking of improving their email and SMS marketing strategies in FY22?
The most successful email and SMS strategies are informed by data, customer behaviours and preferences – the last item they browsed, their email and SMS preferences by time, their recent reviews, their website behaviour in the last five minutes, just to name a few. Utilising real-time behaviours and automating your email and SMS campaigns based on this data have proven to get more engagement and higher conversion rates than messages you batch and blast.
Analytics into how your business is trending over time as well as how it’s doing compared to other businesses also contribute to strong marketing strategies in the future. If you’re doing well this month, compared to your peers or previous months, you can sit back and celebrate with your team. If not, having new goals and benchmarks to hit can help inspire new tactics to try.
With everything retailers have to do in a day, it’s important to have a platform that provides email and SMS messaging, customer data, analytics and benchmarks all in one platform, instead of using separate tools you have to cobble together.
Cart abandonment is another major issue that retailers continue to tackle, especially as the landscape continues to grow. A whopping 76 percent of consumers say they have received a follow-up email from retailers, but only 13 percent have gone on to purchase an item. How can businesses utilise tech such as SMS and email marketing to their advantage to reduce cart abandonment rates?
Instead of having one sequence of emails and texts, try experimenting with two or more for different types of cart abandonment:
- For first-time buyers, offer a ‘new customer’ discount to those who have never purchased, but not for repeat customers. However, if someone is a repeat customer and has been inactive for several months, consider offering a discount to win them back.
- If the cart size is over a certain total, consider offering free shipping or a discount based on the margin of the items in the cart. If the cart contains items that customers may want in bulk, consider offering ‘buy two, get one free’ to encourage customers to increase their cart size.
Keep A/B testing new ideas frequently to a small sample size until you find a strategy that works. Use customer data to help inform your messages – try changing your tone, graphics, promotions, and audiences, see how customers respond, and iterate based on their signals. That’s how you get better as a marketer – constant experimentation based on data.
What does the future of e-commerce look like to the team at Klaviyo?
The future of shopping is shifting. At this point, it’s clear that the pandemic accelerated the adoption of e-commerce, but it’s more complex than just more people shopping online. Digital adoption is changing how customers relate to brands. Every brand needs to level up its online and in-store experiences to stand out.
With more competition, brands need to stand out with a seamless, customer-centric experience. Without being able to see and feel a product, brands need to make it easy for customers to find the right product. If customers don’t feel confident in their purchase, they won’t buy.
One thing is for sure: we’re in new territory and brands can’t play by the same old playbook, they’ll need to experiment strategically to figure out what works.
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