The post-holiday months are challenging for online retailers. Consumers reach self-imposed spending limits, hit rapid clearance sales ahead of the New Year, or may be simply tired of shopping.
A certain amount of customer lethargy after the holidays is to be expected, but online retailers have valuable information on-hand to help generate new sales in Q1: the items their customers bought, the items their customers looked at but didn’t buy, and the items they didn’t look at and didn’t buy.
Take this information to Facebook where you can use several advertising strategies to motivate missed or new sales. Here are ways retailers can reengage “lost” shoppers during the post-holiday lull.
1. Display Products That Complement Their Selections
The Macy’s mannequin is a tried and true example of complementary marketing, and Amazon has refined this strategy into high art with its “people who bought this also bought that” suggestions.
Doing this successfully, however, requires finesse.
When you take a customer’s purchase history to Facebook in search of sales of complementary products, consider offering discounts on refills or bundles. Make sure your ad clearly states the value of purchasing the add-on right away. (Prices may go up; items may only be available individually later and at a higher cost, etc.) If a shopper decides to compare prices, he or she has an incentive to pull the trigger.
2. Promote Specials in Categories They Explored
Facebook advertising retargeting, done via the Facebook pixel, lets you display products or categories a shopper looked at but didn’t buy.
Perhaps they browsed electronics and purchased a new monitor, then looked at but didn’t buy an HDMI cable. A special offer on HDMI cables in his or her Facebook feed may be enough to prompt a purchase.
This is a variation on the “complementary products” strategy above that can be expanded significantly based on a shopper’s browsing habits. They may be almost ready to buy something in a different shopping category but require a nudge to go ahead and make that commitment.
3. Retarget Abandoned Carts
Retargeting abandoned carts is a proven Facebook advertising strategy.
Your shopper cared enough about your products to look at them, select them, and add them to their virtual shopping cart, but then something prevented them from completing the transaction. Maybe the doorbell rang, or it was time to pick up the kids, or perhaps they weren’t quite convinced they should make the purchase.
When your Facebook ads display these abandoned shopping cart items, you’ve made it easier for the customer to complete the transaction by triggering their memory. Just be strategic around the frequency at which you’re displaying the same retargeting ads; inducing ad fatigue does more than bring your campaign performance down – it could turn shoppers off from coming back to complete their purchase or make additional purchases in the future.
4. Clone Your Highest-Converting Audiences
Facebook’s lookalike audiences can help you find a fresh new audience for your products based on customers who have given you an email (good), made a purchase (better) or have a higher-than-average order value across multiple purchases (best).
This is a tested and effective method to expand your reach, extend the life of your best creative against an audience that’s more likely to be receptive to your advertising, and avoid inflicting ad fatigue with your go-to cohorts.
Not taking advantage of Facebook’s sophisticated targeting capabilities is like throwing a party by inviting random strangers. You may get some hits, but misses are much more likely.
There’s no reason why a post-holiday lull has to cause problems for your e-commerce business as long as you take full advantage of Facebook’s outstanding targeting tools and dynamic ad types.
Timely display of complementary products, specials on items based on browsing history, retargeting abandoned carts, and expanding your customer base via lookalike audiences are all effective methods for counteracting a winter slowdown in sales.