What We Learned at IRCE

IRCE 2014 is one of the largest eCommerce conferences on the tradeshow circuit with more than 15,000 attendees, vendors, and exhibitors. There were three overarching themes that came to light this year:

Consolidate your Data

All retailers know they need to look at data, but many of us know the pain of trying to review data from disparate sources.  The more you can tie together, the more accurate your analysis, and the powerful your insights. Online jewelry retailer and manufacturer, Alex and Ani, grew its online sales in 2013 by 200% and is expecting to double that this year. According to their IRCE 2014 session "Building Strengths: Why Data Should Change your Marketing Plan Every Quarter," this incredible growth was due to their change in the use of data: They tied together traffic and purchase data to accurately attribute marketing dollars across all channels, and then used these insights to plan, build out and scale up.

Make the Data Actionable

Having access to data is great, but it's what retailers do with their data that makes all the difference. We see the most successful eCommerce businesses first brainstorm about how they could use specific data before diving into a big data project. Using this approach helped Great Northern Corp. boost online sales by 30%.  During his IRCE 2014 session "Serve Yourself: Improving Site Content to Help Customers Help Themselves," Matt Ruggle, Director of eCommerce at Great Northern Corp. attributed increased page visits, visit duration, and conversion rates to implementing changes to their eCommerce site based on data analytics. 

Windsor Circle's client, CoffeeForLess.com, is making $1MM a year from data-driven lifecycle email marketing.  They focused on looking at latency and product purchase data, used Windsor Circle to bring it into their email marketing software, and used it to power product recommendation, replenishment, and win-back campaigns.

Download the CoffeeForLess.com Case Study here.

You can't move forward without first looking back

In order to make strides in a very loud space, retailers need to understand how to interact with their customers. Understanding customers' habits and how they interact is key to engaging in a meaningful way, which is the first step in growing your repeat buyer market and increasing revenue. During their session, Alex and Ani's VP, Ryan Bonifacino spoke about how they have been able to continuously build on their success by discovering the best-performing programs and allocating spend towards their top performers through data analytics.

evo, an outdoor lifestyle retailer and Windsor Circle client, uses data to inform their decisions on which automated email campaigns to focus on. Their latest automated 3 part post-purchase how-to series has seen 58% open rates and 25% click rates. Nathan Decker, VP eCommerce at evo, developed this campaign by reviewing pre-existing web educational content that was driving interest, re-packaging it for ski-boot post-purchase emails, with the aim of reducing returns and increasing engagement.

Download the evo Case Study here.

In an email heavy world, retailers need to learn how to engage their customers and not just rely on batch and blast marketing. Data analysis is a retailer's friend, and actionable data is a retailer's mecca, so focus on historical data analysis, consolidation, and transformation of that data into an actionable format.  Then, keep calm, and keep your customers!

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