How Leading Retailers Use Relevance to Compete with Amazon

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Online retailers are talking about this holiday shopping statistic from Episerver’s global shopper survey: 42% of shoppers plan to buy most or all of their gifts from Amazon this holiday shopping season.

Yikes! But the survey also found that 47% of shoppers will buy few or none of their gifts from Amazon. Plus, 43% of shoppers will start their searches on a retailer or brand website, not just Google (29%) or Amazon (30%). 

How can you boost your chances of getting more sales from the 42% of Amazon devotees and retaining your share of the 58% that will shop elsewhere? 

One of the best battlegrounds to contend with deep-pocketed ecommerce competitors is the inbox. As recent research from The Relevancy Group shows, advanced personalization on this channel has become one of marketers’ secret weapons against giants like Amazon.

Beating Amazon at the Relevance Game

Give your customers something they can’t get from the retail behemoth: an email experience that shows your customers you know them as individuals, not just as files in a database.

Of course, Amazon already does email personalization. But marketers can still find room to go above and beyond to provide unparalleled relevance. In fact, according to ground-breaking research, 52% of retail marketers cite ‘providing a more relevant and enriching customer experience’ as their primary way to compete with Amazon.

Cohort recommendations (“people who browsed that item bought this item”) and next-logical-product suggestions (“People who bought that item also bought these items”) are Amazon hallmarks, as are browse- and cart-abandon email reminders. 

All of these have also become standard offerings on many ecommerce platforms like Shopify. 

But they don’t substitute for the kind of advanced email personalization that can help your customers shop more successfully, avoiding frustrating missteps like out-of-stock inventory on a hot promotion.

How Retailers are Winning in the ‘Age of Amazon’

The Relevancy Group’s groundbreaking study, The Value of Personalization Optimization for Retailers, discovered that advanced personalization drives multiple benefits for retailers of all sizes. 

Most notably, it can add $20 – or more – in revenue for every $1 spent on it, on top of the added revenue from basic or purchase-based personalization.

But advanced personalization, which uses real-time, clickstream and open-time data to drive unique, highly relevant content for each email recipient, can also help retailers stand up to Amazon.

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Mark is Email Experience Analyst for Liveclicker. He writes for and about brands developing real, meaningful relationships with customers through email, content, digital media and more. His love for marketing lies at the place where creative and analytics intersect, and he makes a mean vegetarian chili.

Mark Miller
Author

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