Essence of Email Weekly - Back-to-school shopping to the rescue!

AUGUST 20, 2021 • 13 MINUTE READ


Back-to-school shopping to the rescue!

The back-to-school period is a relief for some parents, a nightmare for some kids, and a reason to celebrate for online and offline retailers.
According to the National Retail Federation, total back-to-school spending in 2021 is expected to reach a record $37.1 billion, up from $33.9 billion last year and an all-time high in the survey’s history.
For the majority, online retailers are the most popular for back-to-school shopping. However, some families are more than happy to get back to shopping in stores, since the pandemic kept them away last year.
And that’s definitely a good thing, since retail seems to be in need of support: offline sales declined 1.1% in July, surpassing the expected drop of 0.3%. Plus, U.S. consumer sentiment dropped in early August to its lowest level since 2011.
Andrew Hunter, an economist at Capital Economics stated that all this could be tied to the COVID-19 situation. “The renewed plunge suggests the latest wave of virus cases driven by the Delta variant could be a bigger drag on the economy than we had thought.”
However, it’s still too early to be dramatic. Yes, July saw a month-over-month decline, but with $617.7 billion in sales, it still saw a 15.8% growth from the same time a year ago.
Also… the good news is that even though back-to-school shopping might not be an absolute remedy for retailers, it’s still playing its part. For example, Walmart had a strong start to the quarter with parents and children coming back to its offline store for new backpacks, lunch boxes, and other school supplies.


There’s always room for improvement

The competition is tough and fighting for success isn’t a piece of cake. But it would be even worse if you didn’t try to continuously improve your marketing efforts.
Apparently, eCommerce businesses are eager to step up their game, according to Retail eCommerce in Context: The Next Iteration*, a study from Bold.
The biggest challenge eCommerce businesses are facing is that consumers are demanding more convenience in their shopping experience than before. And if they don’t get it, they’re more likely to abandon their purchase.
So, it’s not surprising that 90% of retailers want to continuously innovate and rapidly test new customer experiences. However, 43% lack the resources to do so.
Businesses are prioritizing improving the online experience, and they see innovating as the way to do it. The majority of respondents strongly agree that improving the online checkout experience is a priority, and by continuously innovating and testing new customer experiences, they will outpace the competition.
So, what can be done? Try to keep your customers happy.
Improving customer satisfaction scores is a priority for the majority of the respondents (64%). They also agree that supporting new digital touchpoints would allow them to attract more customers.
42% of the respondents noted that they have been using their current eCommerce platform for more than five years. This means that they’ll need to work on improving their platforms’ performance and flexibility in order to provide customers with the online experience they’re looking for.
Good news for email marketers: All of these projects involve personalization of content, so there’s plenty of room for web and email specialists to work their magic. For instance, 58% hope to increase their average order value, and 47% are looking to improve customer lifetime value.
*You’ll need to fill out a short form to see the whole study.


It’s never too early to prepare for BFCM!

Source: Giphy
When it comes to huge events like BFCM and the holiday season that follows, it’s never too early to start preparing. Because guess what? By putting an action plan in place ahead of time, you’ll have more time to focus on your customers.
To help you get started on your planning, Klaviyo has published a walk-through on why and how to get your SMS marketing strategy ready for BFCM. And believe us: you’ll want to add some SMS to your holiday mix.
Why? For starters, according to Klaviyo, customers who added text messages to their email outreach saw an average revenue increase of 21% in the first 60 to 90 days alone.
Plus, SMS and MMS messages are very short, which makes them perfect for sharing time-sensitive content and last-minute reminders. It’s a great way to get your engaged customers to like you even more.
Need inspiration? Here are some ideas for including more text messages in your BFCM strategy:
  • Use SMS campaigns to drive sales: Create announcements with clear CTAs.
  • Recover abandoned carts: Abandoned cart automations aren’t just for email. Use SMS in your flows to increase revenue.
  • Send transactional messages: Sending order confirmation texts or SMS with shipping information is always a good way to let your customers know that you care.
  • Nurture customers after they purchase: Re-engage your past customers or thank your current ones. Show ’em some love!
Head to Klaviyo’s blog post for more details and start getting ready for the holidays!


Let your product be your main character

Source: ReallyGoodEmails
Your goods are your main characters and you shouldn’t be shy of using them as often as possible. Make them stand out and sell themselves by just being there.
Like this sky-blue backpack from Moment.
The email couldn’t be simpler: one huge image and two CTAs. No reviews, blog promos, product recommendations so you don’t get distracted and forget about the main hero here — the backpack! You can spot the little details of the backpack in the close-up shot, but it still leaves room to intrigue you about this soon-to-arrive product.
The copy is also short, which helps to emphasize the simplicity and lightness of the backpack itself. It’s also crafted to lead you to click the yellow buttons — which, by the way, match the color of the details on the backpack. It’s all about the small touches, right?
We’re not photographers, but we’d like to learn more about this backpack after this email!

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