With a global population exceeding 7 billion, Santa’s job is harder than ever. Fortunately, he has a few new toys of his own. We were delighted to learn that Santa’s Chief Data Scientist recently signed up for RJMetrics. We asked her if she’d mind us sharing some of the North Pole’s more interesting insights.
So what’s on Santa’s dashboard? Here’s the inside look at the data he tracks.
Tracking “Naughty vs. Nice” with Customer Segments and Drill-Downs
Santa has an enormous database of all naughty and nice actions by everyone under the age of 18. He can segment these populations by “net niceness” to determine how many children get toys and how many get coal. He can then filter these populations and monitor the trends over time.
Repeat buyers are the holy grail of ecommerce marketing. Research across our hundreds of ecommerce clients found that your best customers spend 30x more than your average customers. You want a big ROI? Keep them coming back. Now, with the obvious stated, let’s look at how you can turn these new holiday shoppers into repeat buyers.
At RJMetrics, we don’t just look at our data, we look at all the data we can get our hands on. It’s easy to get obsessed with our own data (in a good way, of course), but it’s helpful to look at bigger trends as well. When researching data for food and travel plans for Thanksgiving, some trend stats really stood out for us. We think these three stats speak volumes of how consumers think.
The first stat:
Over Thanksgiving, about 1 in 4 turkeys consumed is a Butterball Turkey
How we interpret this data:
The most terrifying part of this article is that turkeys have seemingly gone on a collective diet solely to ruin our Thanksgiving plans (well played, turkeys). However, the most interesting part of the article is that nearly 25% of Thanksgiving meals involve Butterball.
On average, the customer lifetime value of a holiday shopper is 15% lower than year-round customers. They chase sales and promotions, expect free shipping, and can be far outside the norm of your typical customer base. To boost ecommerce conversion rates during the holidays you can’t just rely on what works other times of the year. Instead, you to rethink some of the essential elements of the customer lifecycle.
Buzzfeed is full of numbered lists with sensational headlines. Have you ever wondered what number results in the most viewed articles? We certainly have. We asked our coworkers what number they would be most likely to click on and the answer was pretty much unanimous. It amounted to “Any number as long as there are cute baby animals.”
This answer didn’t satisfy us very much, so we decided to look at the data. Fortunately, there’s a view count on the bottom of every Buzzfeed article, so anyone with a little time and curiosity could do it.
Jeff Clavier, Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, estimates that he’s heard about 10,000 pitches in his life. Ask him what makes the best ones stand out and he’ll tell you: data. Recently Jeff joined our CEO, Robert J. Moore, for a Q&A webinar, Raising Venture Capital with Data. It’s worth watching all 53 minutes of the recording, or you can take the shortcut and catch some of the highlights here.
Full Disclosure: SoftTech VC is an investor in RJMetrics.
Choosing Where to Invest
On an annual basis SoftTech VC hears several thousand pitches, closing only about 20 of them. One of the most surprising data points that Jeff shared speaks to the importance of a strong network: over 9 years and the 143 closed deals SoftTech VC has made, there are 0 that came without an introduction.
How Founders Should Look at Data
Obviously, data is fundamental to what VCs are doing. The challenge for both investors and founders is that in early-stage companies there can be very little data to look at. Jeff shared a few things investors are always looking for:
Email continues to be a top-performing channel for ecommerce marketers and you, along with every other retailer, will soon be showing up in customers’ inboxes with messages of upcoming holiday sales and promotions. The best way to ensure your email is the one that gets read is to tailor the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Certainly easier said than done, but it’s well worth the efforts.
Email service provider, MailChimp, found that segmented lists improve email performance, boasting open rates 14% higher than average and click rate 15% higher. As we’re entering the busiest shopping time of the year there’s never been a better time to use your customer data to create highly segmented email communications. The following are five customer segments to consider targeting this holiday season:
UTM tracking is very important for measuring your data. The problem with UTM tracking is nobody ever explains how to accurately set it up to be useful. If you’ve been marketing online and only half heartedly tracking the results, you’ll want to keep in mind the best practices we’ve listed below.
What exactly is UTM tagging?
Mildly interesting fact: The name UTM comes from Urchin Software, a company acquired by Google in 2005. It went on to become Google Analytics, but UTM (Urchin Tracking Modules) remains as the tagging convention for URLs.
Imagine you were walking into an Apple store for the first time. It’s completely empty except for a few employees wandering around and smiling politely. What do you do? Are you supposed to handle the products? What products are the most popular? Who are these products made for? Do you belong here? Whether we realize it or not, we rely on social cues to inform our actions, but online, these social cues are largely absent. In a sense, every customer is shopping in an empty store.
User generated content (UGC) is an invaluable tool in helping ecommerce retailers combat this feeling. Showing customer comments, photos, or even a list of the most popular items helps online retailers to bridge the gap between the digital and physical.
Our recent hackathons have yielded quite a few gems: a gong that rings itself, eCommerce benchmarks, a github-powered roadmapping tool, and countless product enhancements.
Last spring our designer, Zach, unveiled a hackathon project that would end up impacting our entire organization: a new visual identity. New colors, new fonts, and, most importantly, a new logo: the dodecahedron.
This rebranding came with a great origin story that fit well with our company’s mission and world view. After getting some positive feedback from colleagues, peers, friends, and family, we pulled the trigger.
In July, we launched a new website that incorporated the rebranding and celebrated.
A Brief Problem
A few weeks later, I saw the first tweet like this:
I had never heard of Y-Fronts, so I wrote it off and scrolled right past. But they kept coming…