The following is a guest contribution from our Technology Partners at Dynamic Yield.
On November 24, 2017, millions of shoppers will wake up with deals on the brain. But rather than storming the beaches of Best Buy’s TV aisle, they’ll be blitzing the bandwidth of AT&T and Verizon as they surf the mobile web.
Welcome to the first Black Friday of the Retail Apocalypse.
While Black Friday’s cultural influence is slowly waning, the National Retail Federation estimates that more than 108 million Americans shopped online last year, with more than 60 million shopping on a mobile device.
Though 2017 is expected to shatter the $1 billion in mobile sales mark set on Black Friday 2016, a rising mobile tide will not lift all retail boats. Hell, Amazon alone will take about a third of the mobile shopping pie with the remaining two-thirds going disproportionately to the retailers with the best mobile websites.
"It's going to be a tough Cyber Monday and retailers better be on their game. Facebook and Instagram are the major ad platforms driving revenue in consumer retail and they are simply running out of space to run more basic eCommerce ads. Merchants are going to have to find other ways to stand out.”
Dylan Whitman, CEO BVAccel
As traditional acquisition channels tap out, serving individualized experiences to each unique visitor once they arrive on your mobile website will be the key to Cyber Weekend success. However, many of these visitors will be newbies on your site, enticed by holiday promotions or simply the wave of consumerism that sweeps cyber weekend.
Without any information on a visitor’s browsing history, cross-device behavior or past purchases, how do you create unique experiences? Well, it just so happens that you probably know a bit more about “unknown” visitors than you realize. With basic information like operating software, traffic source and location, you can immediately serve unique creative and messaging.
Inspired by top performing use cases across Dynamic Yield’s enterprise customer base, here are four ways to craft personalized sessions that turn your first time mobile browsers into buyers.
#1 Page Curl Notification With Personalized Promotion
Across Dynamic Yield’s suite of mobile optimization templates and widgets, few are as popular as the page curl. Although it is often effectively deployed as a one-size fits all promotion, adding a layer of personalization will increase the impact.
Consider that for a large outdoor retailer, Dynamic Yield data from Black Friday last year shows that iOS users spent about $110 on average while Android shoppers had an AOV of around $85. Thus, why not display a 20% off orders more than $100 for Android users to try and push them to increase the value of their baskets? For iOS users, the standard 20% promotion could apply to a more expensive category of items or those with particularly high margins.
Finally, to increase conversion rates from the page curl, deploy a button with a link to call support for users lingering in the checkout page or displaying exit intent after engaging with the promotion.
#2 Deploy a Sliding Drawer With Contextually Relevant Recommendations
Dynamic Yield’s analysis of 50 million shopper transactions in North America and Europe shows users who engage with product recommendations spent 2.8X as much money on average as those who don’t! To expose more visitors who arrive via the homepage to recommendations, deploy a sliding drawer on mobile to boost product discoverability.
While the default strategy should be to showcase most popular products, incorporate location or traffic based enhancements. For example, if it snows in Boston on Thanksgiving, use the drawer to showcase cold weather gear. Or if a user arrived via a search for “Nintendo Switch games,” cue up a copy of the hot new Zelda adventure.
Data from across our deployments shows this strategy works best up to six page views, at which point, recently viewed items should command the sliding drawer real estate.
#3 Optimize Layouts Based on Traffic Source
Generally, a common optimization strategy of first-time visitors is to highlight the about us section or general information about a retailer’s brand purpose and move that information below the fold as a user browses. While this strategy still makes sense on desktop where sessions are longer and users more engaged, it doesn’t fit the transactional nature of mobile.
With the limited real estate on mobile, it makes sense to immediately devote share of screen to more personalized recommendations. For example, if a user arrived to your homepage after a search for running gear, consider moving PDP style recs for runners higher above the fold to help a buyer quickly discover relevant products.
For unknown visitors that enter the URL directly or through a generic search for your company, complement the homepage with Tinder-style product discovery widgets to quickly introduce users to products on the first page they view.
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#4 Serve Personalized Free Shipping Messaging Based on Location
When a user arrives at the homepage or category page, replace the generic free shipping bar or overlay with a “FREE SHIPPING to KALAMAZOO” or “2-DAY FREE SHIPPING to TOLEDO.”
It’s a small gesture-based solely on IP address but one that creates an emotional connection.
As a user browses your website and adds items to her cart, this message can dynamically adapt to reflect the value of items relative to the free-shipping threshold. For example, if the initial message says “FREE SHIPPING to NEW YORK with $100 purchase and a user adds a $50 product to the cart, change it to “YOU’RE $50 AWAY FROM FREE SHIPPING” to encourage users to hit the magic number.
As the majority of commerce moves to a five-inch canvas, successful holiday seasons will increasingly be defined by success on mobile. While data on first-time visitors is limited, subtle customizations of the mobile experience make all the difference for crafting a first impression that drives conversions and keeps mobile shoppers coming back for second and third dates long after the holiday rush.